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Fun for caregivers, seniors

Caregivers often spend so much time and energy caring for their loved one's physical needs that they may overlook their senior's need for fun, according to Lynn Howe of Caregiver.com. While it is understandable that most caregiving responsibilities focus on necessary tasks like medication management, personal care, nutrition, and finances, it can be equally important to inject some fun into the caregiving routine. Most homebound seniors would love a chance to get out of the house for a few hours without having to go to a medical appointment, and both caregiver and care receiver can benefit from an occasional deviation from the schedule. So, what can caregivers do to keep things fun?

For more ambulatory seniors, a trip to the grocery store can be a treat, especially if no one is in a hurry. The sights, sounds, and smells can be appealing all on their own. Have your senior pick out a bouquet from the floral department, or a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery.

Other ideas include:

• Help your senior dress up in their favorite outfit and take their picture. Digital cameras are great for this - take as many pictures as you like and load them onto the computer for easy viewing.

• Pull out an old photo album, and have the senior talk about what they see. Their memories may bring some pleasant surprises!

• Treat them to something they don't usually get to eat - maybe a soft ice cream or a michigan!

• How about a pedicure or manicure? Both can be done while the senior is sitting.

• Rent some favorite old movies - let the care receiver pick them.

• Have a sing-along, even if it worries the neighbors!

For more information contact the BHSN Caregiver Resource Center.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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