It’s been a tough year for many people, including older adults, caregivers and families, as the pandemic continues. What better time to add some joy and cheer than by celebrating the changing season? The air is crisper, the leaves are brilliant and the sky is extra-blue. It’s finally autumn, which means cooler temperatures, milder weather and cozy days inside. If you are a caregiver, you may be wondering about creative and safe fall activities you can do with the person you care for, particularly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some ideas to get started:

1. Spend time outdoors

With milder temperatures, now is an ideal time to enjoy outdoor activities:

  • Visit a local pumpkin patch or apple orchard.
  • Ride a community trolley.
  • Sit on the back porch.
  • Pick up a pumpkin spice or chai tea latte at a nearby coffee shop.
  • Go for a stroll at the park.
  • Enjoy a picnic outside.
  • Take a drive to see the changing leaves.

Bring along layers to keep warm and your face masks in case social distancing isn’t possible.

2. Bake festive treats

What better way to savor autumn than with cozy, seasonal treats? Search for healthier recipes online or bake a tried-and-true favorite recipe. Think baked apples, no-bake cheesecake, pumpkin muffins, snickerdoodle cookies or pumpkin pie.

3. Cheer on their favorite football team

Now that it’s football season, the person you care for may enjoy cheering on their favorite college or professional football team. You can even whip up or purchase tasty tailgate or stadium favorites, like pigs in a blanket, pimento cheese and crackers, chili and cornbread, nachos, chips and salsa, or hot dogs.

4. Decorate their space for fall

Make their space extra-cheery by decorating it with faux or real pumpkins, mums and other affordable fall-themed décor. Or create a seasonal centerpiece with flowers, mini pumpkins and a flameless candle.

5. Prepare for trick-or-treaters

Since we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, consider making goody bags that your older adult can leave in a basket on their porch if they’re expecting trick-or-treaters. Goody bags can include wrapped candy, mini coloring books or small toys.

6. Try a new activity or class

Embrace the back-to-school feeling by taking an online class together. Some topic ideas include knitting, tai chi, chair yoga, crafting, painting, drawing or cooking.

Or challenge yourselves with an autumn-themed jigsaw puzzle.

7. Have a fall movie marathon

Ask about their favorite fall or Halloween-themed movies and plan a mini-marathon for cooler or rainy days. Some festive film ideas could include: Hocus Pocus, Mona Lisa Smile, When Harry Met Sally, Knives Out, The Village, Remember the Titans, Dan in Real Life, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and Friday Night Lights.

8. Read a cozy, autumnal book

You could also read a classic, autumn-inspired book together. Some ideas: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, Black Beauty, The Great Gatsby, The Cider House Rules, Anne of Green Gables, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Practical Magic, and the Little House on the Prairie series.

9. Get crafty  

Print or buy fall-themed coloring books or pages. Coloring is a fun, relaxing activity for people of all ages. Or paint a pumpkin or make a DIY wreath together.

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September 28, 2021
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