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Published July 11th 2016
Here are a few ideas to inspire you for fun outings
Excuse my Aussie slang. "Oldies" is an affectionate term here for any of our relatives older than us. I should not jest as I am now one of the oldies in our family. At Weekend Notes we have thousands of outing ideas for the older members of your family. Put any of the suggestions listed below in the search box for your city and see what comes up. You could also try searching categories of "Mothers Day", "Parks", City Escapes or "Historic Houses" to name a few. Perhaps choose some places you may not know of or have not been to in a while. Or look at google maps for an area you have never been to.
Gardens and outdoor events are good for older people to walk around. Image by Out and About.
Suggested Outing Ideas List:
Visit an open garden.
Pack a thermos and a picnic and visit a new park in a different neighbourhood.
Go on an easy bushwalk on flat ground. Spot some birds or Spring flowers.
A drive in the hills or countryside. Stop and pat some horses or find a big tree.
See an art exhibitions at some galleries.
Attend a matinee or early finishing time music concert or choir recital.
These seniors were snapped by Weekend Notes writer Out and About at the Salisbury Secret Garden at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Image by Out and About.
Visit some new display homes and be amazed at what they are doing with kitchens these days.
Take a mystery tram or train ride to a different part of town than yours and see what turns up. Also take a timetable for return trip.
Go on a guided tour of a city building such as parliament or large libraries.
Visit a small museum and reminisce about the old days.
Oldies love outings to see old things. They like to talk about the old days, like solid old well built cars. Image by Out and About.
Go to a zoo or small wildlife park and see some animal antics. Oldies like to pat soft animals.
Visit a plant nursery and café.
Try a canoe or paddle boat hire or something else active to share together.
Visit a high end car sales showroom and pick your favourite.
Go to an historic house open day.
Go shopping for a new lipstick and ask the sales person for a free mini makeup.
Attend an antiques auction and be amazed at the prices for the junk you threw away over the years.
Go to a club or society annual show; such as a cat club, plants, gem society, dolls or miniatures.
Take a river boat or ferry ride to anywhere and then buy an icecream.
Go on an adventure. Get on a ferry to somewhere new. Image by Out and About.
Go to an Asian grocery store and buy some unusual treats like dried bananas, cashew rice cakes and guava drink.
Visit a retirement village open day and see what's on offer.
Buy a miniature rose or tomato plant and go home and pot it up.
Take some pencils and a sketch book to a nice location and sit and try drawing.
Go to a beauty salon for a mini facial, manicure or pedicure together.
Wander an old cemetery. Don't make it sad by going where you may have been to a funeral. Go to an old town and visit for historic purposes. Oldies silently think about death yet no-one seems to want to talk about it. You will be surprised at the conversation that flows from this outing. Stop talking and listen.
Seniors like to learn about places and history. Image by Out and About.
Things to consider for outings with elderly people:
Mornings are best as many older people tire in the afternoon. Ensure they have had a good breakfast for some energy to go out. A few hours is enough; don't make outings too long.
Older people feel the cold so much more. Ensure they have a warm coat and a rug in the car. In summer they can get overheated quickly so take a hat and even a dark umbrella is good for shade. Always have drinks and a snack with you. Older people generally don't drink enough. I don't ask- I just put a drink in their hand and then they drink it. Ask and they more than likely say no.
Always check out where the toilets are and locate them as soon as you get to an event or venue so you know when you may need them. Use the national toilet map for Australia here to locate toilets. Most events will keep aside parking for the less mobile so ask at the front gate is there somewhere to drop off and pick up the oldies.
When taking oldies out we tend to stereotype them and think of activities that are easy going or familiar. In reality older people like to do things they used to do, but don't have the opportunity anymore and may enjoy with your help. I recall years ago my Dad and I picking up my very old Grandma at the nursing home. She was up a ready at dawn and eager to go out. As we walked to the car I asked would she like to go to a nice park down near the river. She stopped and looked up at the clear blue sky and said, "You know I'd love some crumbed prawns from the Chinese take away and go look at the beach. We never get prawns in this place." Now she is long gone, this is a fond memory, and makes us laugh.
Some seniors are not so forthright and refuse to go out, but we know for their physical and mental health it is good to get them out of the house even for a short while. The trick here is to just get them to the car somehow and don't make it all about them. Put the focus on you instead. Say, "I really need some help with something so I hope you can help me out today" By the time they get out and see something different they will have forgot all about what you needed to do. Don't make drama. The best action for any outings with oldies is the K.I.S.S. principle and keep it simple. You could print out the outings on this list ( but cut off these tips) and tell them to circle the 5 they like best, or they could make their own list of things they would like to do. You may be surprised like we were with the prawns at the beach idea.
Giving someone your camera for a while gives a whole new take on the outing for some. Image by Out and About.
One last tip is to always take some photos. One day those photos of a simple outing will be precious. Giving an older person a camera also helps them to focus on where they are and be in the moment. I do wish you lots of fun times out and about with your parents, grandparents and friends.
Oh dear - my grandies consider me an oldie, and I'm afraid my daughter might too, though I'm only 60. However, I would not be happy with many of the things on this list. Take me somewhere I've never been before, to do something I've never done before. If it's adventurous, I'm up for it - depending on the day and amount of pain, and its' suitability, of course. Paragliding is next on mylist...
Congrats on your win - well done! I'm reminded of my Mum whose favourite outing (aside from op shops and markets) was getting fish and chips at the beach and just sitting and enjoying the view and the sea air.