Five Things to do with Your Elderly Parents in Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Situated in the Chiltern Hills, Amersham is only 27 miles from all the attractions of the capital, but if you prefer to stay a little closer to home, here are five ideas for things to do with your elderly parents.
- Amersham Fair Organ Museum
- Little Chalfont Nature Park
- Chenies Manor
- Amersham Museum
- Chiltern Open Air Museum
Keeping life interesting for older people can be quite a challenge. Sometimes the less someone does, the less they want to do. Trips out can be an enjoyable break from everyday routines, so if you want to ensure that your elderly parents enjoy the best quality of life they can, why not arrange to do a few different things together in Amersham and the surrounding area?
Now that the live-in care in Buckinghamshire has become a viable alternative to residential care homes, there are more opportunities than ever to spend quality time with your elderly parents. Situated in the Chiltern Hills, Amersham is only 27 miles from all the attractions of the capital, but if you prefer to stay a little closer to home, here are five ideas for things to do with your elderly parents.
Amersham Fair Organ Museum
One of Amersham’s best-kept secrets, this museum houses fairground organs from famous makers such as Marenghi, Gavioli and Hooghuys. The oldest here dates from 1885. As well as looking at the beautifully decorated instruments, you can watch the moving parts and listen to them playing during the open days.
For many older people, this museum will evoke memories of days gone by and could even form part of the kind of reminiscence session that is often used in dementia care to facilitate communication with people living with dementia. You can also enjoy tea and cakes here, and a visit is well worthwhile, especially in winter when you might not want to be in the open air.
If you decide to visit this museum with your elderly parents, check the website first as the opening hours are limited, and you will need directions to find the museum.
Little Chalfont Nature Park
This nature park opened in 2016 and is easy to reach from Amersham. Although the park only extends to 4.6 acres, there is plenty for nature lovers to enjoy with a wildflower meadow, cherry orchard and ancient woodlands. If your elderly parents have live-in care, this would be an excellent place for their carer to take them for a picnic in good weather. Although the park is wheelchair accessible, it may not be suitable in wet weather as the main path has not yet been paved and can become muddy. There are designated parking bays for blue badge holders in the nearby car park at Snells Wood.
This beautiful historic house was formerly known as Chenies Palace and dates from around 1460, although there have been many changes including an extension in the 16th century and ongoing restoration work. The house and gardens are open in the afternoons on Wednesdays and Thursdays from April to October, but wheelchair users will only be able to gain full access to the gardens.
Chenies Manor has hosted Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and their courts. You’ll find exhibitions of the work of national and local artists in the recently restored 16th-century pavilion throughout the season.
There is a lovely tearoom overlooking the sunken garden. This and the other gardens including the white garden, the physic garden and the rose border attract many visitors including elderly care groups and individuals, particularly in spring and in summer when the large display of dahlias is at its best.
Mikis’ care story
In this short video, Nick and Maro explain their reasons for choosing Elder live-in care.
They discuss how live-in care has allowed Nick’s father Mikis to stay independent in his own home while making a new friend at the same time.
When the weather is not so clement a visit to Amersham Museum is always interesting and can provide a break from care at home for a few hours. It is easy to park nearby, and the ground floor of the museum is wheelchair-accessible, although access to the first floor is less so. There are wheelchair-accessible toilets nearby in Old Amersham, but those in the museum itself are not suitable.
The museum holds many events and the collection covers local history over the last 2000 years. The building itself dates from the 15th century and is Amersham’s oldest domestic building, part of a Tudor hall house that may have belonged to a merchant. The gardens are also interesting and contain many culinary and medicinal plants.
Chiltern Open Air Museum
If your parents have companion care, another suggestion is to visit Chiltern Open Air Museum. There are designated car park spaces for disabled visitors close to the entrance of the museum, and they try to ensure that the 35 rescued historic buildings are also accessible.
You can hire electric scooters at the museum, but it is advisable to book these in advance. You can also borrow adult manual wheelchairs. Some ramps are temporary and will be put out by staff if you ask at the ticket office when you arrive.
The buildings include a reconstructed Iron Age roundhouse, a Medieval barn, a working Victorian farm and an 1830s wychert cottage right up to a 1940s’ Prefab and a Nissen Hut, allowing visitors to experience 2000 years of architecture in one unique museum.
The working farm is very popular with old and young, using traditional farm machinery and techniques as much as possible. Visitors can see how heritage crops are grown, harvested and stored, as well as meeting the rare breed livestock. There are also special events, with costumed re-enactments where you can experience living history. In the past these have included a Highwaymen living history event and Tudor Times events, making for a day out with a difference for your elderly parents.
Common Misconceptions and Myths About Care
More elderly people need care in this country than ever before. News headlines frequently focus on the crisis in care, but what do you really know about care? The following misconceptions are widely held; we explain the truth below.
Caring for the Elderly: Memory Change Versus Dementia
Changes associated with ageing can include the slowing down of the brain and body. This is not necessarily anything to worry about, as the individual’s intelligence remains unchanged, but it can take longer to process information. Memory changes may also occur, and many older people have difficulty remembering things such as place names and the names of people.
Discharge From Hospital: How to Care for Ageing Parents
Often a hospital stay after a stroke or fall will result in lifestyle changes for elderly people. Being discharged from hospital doesn’t always mean returning home to live as before. After a certain age, care doesn’t end when a patient is discharged, and for family members, this can be a challenging and confusing time. Key questions may include: ‘how will the discharge be carried out?’, ‘what do we need to know about our loved one’s care needs?’ and ‘where will they live?’
Home care for the elderly – What is it?
The majority of older people would prefer to live independently in their own homes but unfortunately this is not always possible.
Alzheimer's: How to Care for Ageing Parents
There may come a time when we realise our parents or relatives aren’t able to live alone any longer. Old age and age-related issues such as Alzheimer’s create safety concerns, and these become a constant worry. However, we neither want them to move into a home nor do they wish to live in residential care. The question then arises whether live-in care is an option. Can care given by a live-in caregiver be a better option, and is it an affordable one?