With both Mother’s Day (May 12) and Father’s Day (June 16) right around the corner, spring is a wonderful time to take the opportunity to celebrate the seniors in our lives.

Spending time together is the best gift you can give an aging loved one. Here are some creative ways to make the seniors in your life feel special:

  • Plan a special day where you go out to lunch, a movie, concert, sporting event, museum or local festival, something they will enjoy.
  • Surprise your loved one with a random act of kindness—bring a homemade dinner, a pastry from their favorite bakery, or help out around the house with chores.
  • Everybody loves receiving unexpected mail, so write your loved one a letter reminding them how much they are cherished.
  • Before you reach for the phone to give your loved one a call, opt to visit them in person instead, if you live nearby. If you have children, bring them along, too!
  • Do you love your mother’s apple pie or father’s Thanksgiving stuffing? Ask them to teach you how to make their family-famous recipe. It’s a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time, learn a new skill and make lasting memories.
  • Look through photo albums together—you might be surprised how much of your family’s photographic record you haven’t seen. Alternatively, watch family movies if you have them.
  • Play a game together. Mental exercise is beneficial for everyone, so break out that deck of cards or a favorite board game.
  • Exercise together. Lack of physical activity can result in health complications. If your loved one is able to do low-impact exercise, go for a walk in the park or try a new exercise class together that is specifically geared toward seniors, such as yoga, Pilates or water aerobics.
  • Ensure your loved one has a way to have fun and be social. Encourage them to get involved with a local senior center where they can participate in activities with peers and join support groups.
  • Spend time together outdoors. Sit on a bench at a local park and enjoy the sunshine, go on a picnic or work in the garden.
  • Does your loved one have a doctor appointment? Offer to take them, then stop at coffee shop to chat on the way home.
  • Give the gift of touch—give your loved one a hug, take them to get a massage, hold their hand, or take them to have their hair or nails done. Who doesn’t like to be pampered?
  • And most importantly, say “I love you.” It’s a simple phrase, but is powerful and means so much.

“Gifts for Elderly: Spending Quality Time Together,” Tennille and Kevin, caring-for-aging-parents.com, April 5, 2017.