Eight Things to do with Your Ageing Parents in Birmingham
Your elderly parents will benefit from getting out of the house and doing something different from time to time. Fortunately, Birmingham has many opportunities for things you can do with older family members. Here are eight great ideas for places to visit:
- Birmingham Back to Backs
- National Sea Life Centre
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- Cadbury World
- Gas Street Basin
- Bull Ring
- Sarehole Mill
- Edgbaston Reservoir
If you are responsible for arranging live-in care in Birmingham for your parents, you will have explored all the possibilities to enable them to remain living independently in their own home for as long as possible.
Whether the in-home care you have chosen is 24/7 care from a live-in carer or elderly care from a home care provider, your parents will still benefit from getting out of the house and doing something different from time to time. Fortunately, Birmingham has many opportunities for things you can do with older family members. Here are eight great ideas for places to visit.
Birmingham Back to Backs
The National Trust’s Birmingham ‘Back to Backs’ houses give you the opportunity to explore how people lived and worked here between the 1840s and the 1970s. If your parents are no longer able to manage stairs, there are special ground-floor tours available so they can still enjoy this experience. The brew house and the courtyard are also wheelchair accessible.
Older people who have Alzheimer’s care at home may enjoy visiting the 1930s’ sweet shop to see confectionery that may have been popular in their youth. Reminiscence therapy is widely used in dementia care as a way of helping people with the condition to communicate, and during a visit here you or your loved one’s caregiver could take the opportunity of encouraging them to talk about their younger days.
National Sea Life Centre
This fascinating aquarium houses more than 60 displays of marine and freshwater aquatic life. Everyone from toddlers to nonagenarians will enjoy a visit to the sea life centre.
One of the top attractions here is the colony of Gentoo Penguins, but before taking your loved one to see them, ensure that their care helper has equipped them with warm clothes as the temperature is a chilly eight degrees Celsius.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Art lovers will enjoy a visit to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Known for its Pre-Raphaelite art, the gallery houses paintings by Holman Hunt, Rossetti and Burne-Jones, among others. Ford Madox Brown’s ‘The Last of England’ is also displayed here.
Renowned artists of the English School who have work hung here include Constable, Hogarth, Landseer and Gainsborough. People who have private care provision can often retain the interests and hobbies they enjoyed when they were younger, so if your parents are interested in art or history, this would be a great day out for them.
You might think that Cadbury World is a children’s attraction, but who doesn’t love chocolate? Find out about the history of chocolate manufacturing in Birmingham and see how the process works. The company has made provision for visitors with a range of special needs, so a trip here with your loved one should be quite straightforward.
Visually impaired visitors have the chance to feel certain props during the tour, and there is a large print script available for those who need it. Hearing aid users are also catered for, as are people with mobility problems who need a wheelchair.
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Gas Street Basin
Elderly care recipients who lived in this area 50 years ago would probably think of the canal basin as a rather rundown and grimy place, so they might be fascinated to see how it has changed.
Today Gas Street Basin is an attractive, lively area with plenty of excellent places to eat. A stroll around here is worthwhile to enjoy the canal architecture and the bustling atmosphere.
Elderly people receiving care at home may need to replace household items or buy new clothes from time-to-time. Although you could arrange this for them, your parents might enjoy a shopping trip to the Bull Ring to do it themselves. There is a Shopmobility scheme here so you could book a scooter or wheelchair in advance if this is needed.
The Birmingham Museums’ Trust runs this watermill in the Shire Country Park. Sarehole Mill is one of Birmingham’s two working watermills and is well-known for the association with author J R R Tolkien, who lived close by. The annual Tolkien Weekend is also held in the nearby grounds.
The site of the Edgbaston Reservoir extends to 70 acres and consists mainly of open water. The reservoir, which is a top up for Birmingham’s canal system, was built by Thomas Telford in 1827. It is the perfect place to spot a wide variety of birdlife and animals, and there is a flat, well-maintained path around the reservoir along which to enjoy a leisurely walk.
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