What is on your 2023 bucket list?
A new calendar year is when many of us think about how we want to be spending our time. Resolutions are common and those tend to be things we believe we should do to improve ourselves: lose weight, exercise, stop smoking and more. While important, we are proposing that in addition to resolutions, caregivers and older adults think about creating a bucket list of things they would enjoy in 2023.
Caregivers, how about including self-care and things you can enjoy with your loved one? Some things on your list may be impossible due to limitations of an aging body, COVID precautions, or budget limitation but creative thinking may result in a variation that brings pleasure! And, even if your loved one has memory challenges, they will enjoy the bucket list activity while they are doing it.
Let’s brainstorm ideas to help with your list:
• Travel – Plan a spring trip to enjoy with your loved one. It can be as simple as a local trip to a neighboring town to see historical and cultural sights through a driving or walking tour. Take a virtual trip through online presentations about different countries or check your local Council on Aging to see if they have any armchair travel activities coming up.
• Enjoy different foods – Trying a new cuisine can spice up your day and might go with a travel theme in your virtual trip. If you like to cook, find a recipe, and cook with your loved one. Find a local restaurant that offers the cuisine and get takeout for the two of you. Nothing local? There are amazing options for world cuisines that are available via mail order. Are you more in the mood for an old favorite food? You and your loved one can reminisce about your favorites and plan to enjoy one or more together.
• Read books – The options are endless. Savor a classic or try the latest bestseller. Your local library can help with choices and find the best format for you. Large print versions, e-readers, paperback, or audible options are available for many books.
• Friends’ day out – Is there a friend that you or your loved one hasn’t seen in a while? Plan an in person visit if that is possible. If not, plan a Zoom or FaceTime chat or a phone call.
• Share stories – Older adults have a wealth of fascinating stories. Have them share stories with you and other family members.
• Learn something new – Perhaps 2023 is the time to learn something new that you haven’t made time for before. Whether it is knitting, painting, writing, dancing, cooking or something else, try it. Online lessons are often a great way to learn, or local lessons may be available or just get some supplies and experiment.
• Update your décor – A few minor changes can provide a welcome refresh. Take a few photos, get some inexpensive frames, and hang them on your wall. A couple of new throw pillows can change the look of a room.
We hope these ideas help you think of ideas that are meaningful and fulfilling for you.