We all have dreams and desires.
We dream about a sunny day when it is raining, we dream of the smell of our favorite cookie when we are hungry, we dream of faraway places, and we dream of bygone times.
Do you know what your senior may be dreaming?
Many people dream of completing what they call their “bucket list.”
Does your senior loved one have some dreams left undone that they might enjoy fulfilling?
Completing items on a bucket list, things a person would like to do before they die, gives us all a way to dream.
It allows us to look to the future with a bit more hope, with more life ahead of us yet to be lived.
For some, this act of setting goals for the future helps give us direction.
If we want to travel, we need a passport and some funds.
If we dream to record our life’s story for our heirs, then we need to go through scrapbooks of photos, gather our writing implements and begin to journal our history.
To achieve our goals, or bucket list, we need to do some planning and then take action.
Sometimes we need a little help in doing so.
Bucket List Items You Can Help Them Accomplish
Different people with different life experiences will dream different dreams.
Some may be easy to accomplish and others may be out of their reach.
Here are a few kinds of dreams your senior loved one might have:
- Learn a new language
- Support a charity
- Help people in the community with lifelong skills
- Learn something new like crocheting
- Play a musical instrument like the piano
- Travel to a nearby city
- Try a certain new food like bison
- Read a particular book, such as ‘War and Peace’
- Redecorate a room
- Get a pet
- Paint a masterpiece
- Write your history
Using Technology To Achieve Your Dreams
As our seniors age, they become less able to do some of the things they dreamed about doing in the past.
They may have mobility issues that make it impossible to travel the world.
Perhaps they no longer have adequate finances to do some of the things on their list.
Technology can help them not only visualize but also achieve some of their dreams from their own home.
Apps on tablets, computers and even a smart TV can help your senior loved one connect with the item on their bucket list in a virtual world.
- Using an app such as Rosetta Stone or a multitude of other free apps that could help stimulate a love of foreign languages.
- Can you help them support their favorite charity through donations of time or treasure or getting others to do it on their behalf?
- Learning something new, such as crocheting, knitting, or quilting, can be done using a computer, tablet or TV while accessing do it yourself videos on YouTube. Your senior can also use an app for that too at little or no cost for the app.
- Playing the piano can be done from home without even having a piano. A virtual keyboard on their smartphone or tablet can be used to play the piano for enjoyment without a real piano!
- As you might imagine, there are so many ways to provide the experience of travel without every leaving home.
- Going to the library and getting large picture books of different parts of the world, travel books, and even videos can make them feel like they are somewhere else.
- You both can go online or use the smart TV for a larger experience to stream travel videos or destination images. You can even get movies of foreign places to enjoy.
- How about serving a traditional meal while you watch from a country you view to make the experience more hands on!
- You can also get some world maps or old atlases and plan a journey through cities and vistas wherever they want to visit!
- Can you make a mock passport and stamp it for every destination they experience this way?
- If able, you can load up the car and take a day trip to a nearby city together. Even if your senior isn’t mobile enough to walk the streets, you can drive around the sights and stop somewhere for some local cuisine without too much exertion.
- If there is some special food they want to sample such as bison, New York cheesecake or southwest chili, you can always order it online. Just about anything is available online.
- The library is a great place to find classic books as well as downloading them onto an e-reader or tablet so that the font size can be adjusted according to needs. Help them find a quiet time and a comfortable place to read the novel of their dreams.
- Sometimes seniors have lived for so many years in a home with décor from a much earlier decade. The couch may be uncomfortable, the colors faded or style no longer to their taste. You can help them find new items for a living room or bedroom through online shopping, Pinterest boards and sale circulars. It may be fairly simple to update accessories and not necessary to replace it all but the impact will be large.
- Is it finally time to adopt a pet? Maybe rescuing an older pet will work for your senior and provide them with the companionship they desire.
- Have they ever painted or done some other craft that is able to help them express their emotions? Gathering together the materials and media they need to become a Picasso can help them check this off the list! Online art classes or tutorials from YouTube might be fun to learn a new technique too!
- A true family affair that may satisfy more than one person’s bucket list item is creating the family history. Putting together a scrapbook on paper or digitally with family pictures, names and dates that can memorialize the history of the family. You can add their favorite music and set it to video. Use some elements of the time period too, such as newspaper headlines, military medals or other memorabilia they own. You can make it as in depth as you dare but everyone will enjoy this project for years to come!
Caregivers Lend Support
As a family caregiver, it is important to be aware of the dreams of your seniors to help them have the best quality of life and enjoyment of their ‘golden years’.
Communicate openly about what dreams they may have and if they feel unfulfilled with what they haven’t yet accomplished.
You can share their goals while you help them make achievement of those goals reality.