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Think Like a Child. Create Your Own Fun.


"I visit my father every Saturday in an assisted living facility. I struggle with those visits because there does not seem to be much for us to do together, and we run out of things to talk about. Do you have any suggestions that would help me look forward to my visits? I want to make sure Dad is having fun, too."


The answer to your situation is to think like a child!  The true joys in life are simple. Children understand clearly that if you overthink fun, you won't have it.  What you need to do is create a moment or three for the two of you.  It's not horribly difficult if you try.  You may need to think like a six-year-old child, but that can be such fun!  You see, your father could likely use a bit of fun also.  You can do something about that, so that in your absence he will have something to talk and think about.

I will give you a few ideas that you might try:

  • Take Dad out for a drink and a hamburger.  I suggest a sports bar when his favorite team is playing, the beer is on tap, and the excitement is palatable.
  • Bring in a puppy for a visit.  Borrow one from a friend if you do not have one.
  • Get a picture book from the library from the World War era.  Page through it together, and help him relive those days (if he is fond of them, of course).
  • Learn and play your Dad's favorite card game.
  • Take him fishing.
  • See a movie in theaters together.
  • Rent or borrow a Karaoke machine.  Round up the residents for an audience and sing his favorite tunes. You will be the talk of the facility!
  • If he can handle it, and if the equipment is available, bring a motorcycle with a side car or a side-by-side ATV. Take him for a ride: helmets, goggles and all. 

Those are just a few ideas for you to consider.  There are many more, only limited by your imagination and creativity.  Pictures are a must for these adventures so he can show his friends or other visitors.

Most importantly, make good use of the time you have together.  Making it a bit crazy and fun will make your time together memorable and worthwhile.  Who knows? You may have a blast!  You will most definitely have a few precious moments the two of you will talk about for a very long time.  I say, don't over think it, just go for it!