We had both the set of parents visiting us back and forth in the past few years. Considering that they don’t drive here and have limited social circle, we have to get creative in entertaining them. Here are some ways to avoid boredom and create a memorable visit every time.
Internet is your friend:
All the serials that both my parents and in-laws watch are uploaded on YouTube an hour after they’re broadcasted. Even if not in YouTube, you can find them in other regional websites.
Our smart TV is connected to a laptop and we have a keyboard remote through which we access the laptop without carrying a computer keyboard. Just make sure you install a good AdBlock software to avoid them clicking unwanted ads.
We bookmark those regional websites in the browser and all they need to do is click each link for each serial.
We have been using this Lenovo multitasking keyboard remote for 5 years now. We broke one couple of years ago and bought the same one again. It’s easy to use and there is a blacklit option that helps the remote lit up at night. With few minutes of training, our parents started using the remote without any struggle.
Even if you don’t have a smart TV, a laptop is enough to do all the above. They can watch all those serials online. No need of expensive cables.
if you live in a community where you can find other parents who talk the same language, connect with them even before your elders visit. If not, reach out to people in your regional Facebook group.
Get them a cell phone:
You can get a prepaid cell phone plan for just $10 a month. We get one every time our family visits us. That way, they can go out for walking without worrying about getting lost. They also can feel the independence of going out on their own even if it’s just for walking.
Cook with them:
Currently, my parents are with me. I make snacks in the evenings and cook dinner. I cook with my mom and we both try different recipes together. My dad and the kiddos join us in the kitchen and we talk about everything under the sun. I’m sure I’ll cherish these moments once they’re back home.
Spend time with them EVERY DAY:
The main reason parents are here is to spend time with us. It’s understandable that we are busy. Still, make sure you spend some quality time with the elders. Sometimes when my toddler demands all my free time, I put the kiddos in the stroller and take them for walking with my mom. That way, my mom and I can talk and my toddler can enjoy the walk.
Take them to movies:
If your elders like to watch movies, take them to movies when there is a new release.
Have you played your favorite games with your visiting family? One time when we had friends at home, my mother-in-law joined us and played carrom board with us. Until then, I didn’t know she plays carrom. She played better than me and she was the gold star player in that game.
Find their interest:
My mom loves sewing. I bought her a small sewing machine when she came here the first time.
One of the elders likes to visit historic places. So we try to visit nearby historic places with them whenever we can. Find their interest and do things that they enjoy.
Take them to local library:
My father in law reads a lot. When in-laws were here, we frequently went to the library and check-out the books he wanted to read. That occupied him quite well.
Temple classes / events:
Our nearby temple offers classes and events for elders. Check out your local temple and see if there are any events just for elders. It’s also a great place to find like-minded people.
Try to arrange get-togethers and take them to your friends get-togethers whenever possible. Visiting parents love to be around people who speak the same language.
Watching movies together:
We try to watch movies on Sunday afternoons when the toddler takes naps.
Last but not least, take it easy:
My mom is my best friend. We talk a lot of things, even then sometimes we have our differences. It’s important to create a light atmosphere and make them feel home. Keep in mind, they’re far away from their own home and the very last thing we want to do is to make them feel alone.