When you visit your elderly parents what do you do with them? Do you have trouble coming up with activities? Don't just sit around looking at each other; take steps to make each visit a memorable experience.
The kitchen is a great place to interact with your parent. Bring over the ingredients for a simple meal. Don't just do the cooking involve your parent in the process. Even with limited mobility, the parent can chop onions, stir pots, or read recipes. Involve the children also. Bake some sugar cookies and while you and your parents are fixing dinner, let the children decorate them.
Senior citizens love to talk about their past. After dinner, get comfortable on the sofa, munch on cookies, and ask questions about things that happened in your parent's past. How, did they meet and fall in love? What kind of jobs did they have? Encourage them to bring up humorous events in their life. Your children will learn a lot about history and family values from your parents.
Don't assume that just because your parents are elderly they don't have an opinion. Talk to them about current events. Keep it light, though. Don't get into a big political discussion with them if you don't agree. Keep emotions at bay. If the parent has lived in the same town for a long time, take a ride one afternoon to places they visited when they were younger. They will start telling stories about events that happened around town.
Complete a home improvement project. Take your parents to the store to pick out flowers and then plant them in the yard for them. If they are not able to help, bring out a chair so they can enjoy the sunshine and watch as you garden. The most important message is to enjoy your time with your elderly parents.