Follow
Share

Hi all, I'm looking for suggestions for where to take my Dad to eat when I visit him from OOT. Background: I drive to his city and stay in an Airbnb for a week at a time when I visit. Thru the winter when I was there, I always brought casseroles etc. for us to have for lunch and heated them in the microwave at the LTC. Now that the weather is getting warmer I'd like to get him out more when I visit but it makes meals a bit of a challenge. I don't want to turn this into daily meals at restaurants due to the costs involved and am happy to prep whatever meals we have but I'm at a loss of where to eat. Certainly parks for a picnic are an option (weather permitting) but that's the only thing I've come up with. I'd love to have him come to the Airbnb where I'm staying but more often than not the accomodation has a flight of stairs and it's worrisome with him on a walker so not an option. There's a lovely garden at the LTC but he wants to go off the premises. Altho this may seem locale specific, I'm hoping some of you have run into the same situation and have some tips.


Thanks in advance.

Find Care & Housing
A place where different birds can be viewed - bring along sandwiches and a small cooler of bottled water. Keep it simple.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Some Gov Bldg and churches have pretty grounds and can be easier to navigate. He could go into a courthouse and apply for a marriage license, look up an ancestor or maybe get a copy of some document from long ago.
If he has friends or families who have passed he might enjoy taking a flower or stone to their graves.
Look up historical sites that might have monuments or statues to visit.
Airports, bodies of water, like a dam or nice bridges or ferrys where birds hang out or people fish or ducks swim by.
University or school campuses might be accessible and have scenic spots. Large hotel lobbies can be enjoyable and sometimes a pianist is providing back ground music if you need a place to pop in and be refreshed. I have a friend who lives in a tiny condo in Chicago. She thinks of the large hotel next door as her living room where she meets friends.
Large hospitals sometimes have the same ambiance.
Public golf courses. Any large manicured area is beautiful to look at driving by, through or parked in a nice spot.

Places where he could hold a puppy or see aquariums would be fun to visit. We use to take our young daughter to a feed store that was located in the middle of a huge city where they often had parrots and a variety of chickens and pigeons. Sometimes several breeds of bunnies. Often a box of furry kitties or puppies. She called it the “littlest pet store”. That could be before or after a meal. If you find some places that pique his interest to visit then he might agree to eat at his facility after the visit out. That would make it less expensive for you and he would still get out.
Little league parks where kids are playing baseball might be fun.
Book stores often have comfy seats and large restrooms. Maybe not a place to eat but I know If someone took me to a bookstore when I am past driving for myself I would love it. They often have a coffee shop attached.
Some large grocery stores have booths or tables and chairs and you can buy a sandwich to split or get a cup of soup and watch the frazzled mom’s for a few minutes with their toddlers.

Farmers markets can be fun and with the proper supplies, a paring knife, a few wipes, a fresh peach or pear can be enjoyed or sliced tomatoes and fresh bread. A couple of folding lawn chairs can enable a picnic almost anywhere.
You might go to a visitors center or chamber of commerce office and find brochures and suggestions for the Area.
Antique malls can be fun to spend a few min in if they aren’t overfilled. Also sometimes you can find old fashioned 5 and dime stores. Thrift stores can be fun and places he will see other seniors out and about and of course there are senior centers where you could get a different meal.
Western stores or farm implements stores or hardware stores can be fun to poke around. Perhaps you could take photos of him at the different places you take him and make a scrapbook or photo album for him to look through when you are away. You can stop in many drug stores and print out your photo of the day and have it ready to paste in the book the next day. Then he gets to enjoy his ventures more than once.
Many art galleries have openings and tasty morsels along with wine on certain Fridays of the month. That might be more for you than dad. I’m making myself tired.

I suppose consider dad’s interests and yours and then think what is easy for him to navigate. Does the facility have a transport chair you can borrow? I think you can sometimes rent those. I agree that the food is secondary to just getting out and creating a feast for the senses. Small bites otherwise.
I love your idea. Let us know how it goes.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report
BaileyP3 Jun 4, 2019
Wow 97yearoldmom these are some wonderful suggestions. Thanks so much. I hadn't even thought of municipal buildings.

I'll definitely need to take him to a Farmer's Market since he frequently has mentioned he's missing his golden delicious apple since they don't have them at the nursing home.

Thanks for the thought you put into this response. That's load of ideas I'll be able to use!
(1)
Report
I used to "car picnic" with mom and dad. There was a particularly beautiful overlook on a quiet road that looked across the valley and up to a mountain. We would open the windows and listen to the crickets and if we were really lucky, they would have just mown the field next to the road. I always brought wipes, extra napkins etc. I suppose you could even bring a breakfast tray. There are even half-way decent-looking travel bibs for adults (they come in a little stuff sack, that look like the front of a shirt that I got for dad because his hands shook due to a medication he was on. My parents didn't wear hearing aids, but I can imagine that car picnicking would be easier for someone as there is less ambient noise for someone who does. This way of eating out became more comfortable for them as they became less ambulatory.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to lynina2
Report

Visit the local Senior Center.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to btaylor11
Report

If your visit is at the beginning of your trip is it possible to prepare a casserole and freeze it to take along. A good ice chest with block ice can keep it fresh for a week or better.

We don't enjoy eating out so when we are traveling we will stop and get lunch meat, bread and pre cut veggies to have a make shift meal. One of my faves is bread with a nice cheese and mustard and in my day a glass of champagne.

They now sell tuna in a bag that is all ready to put on bread for a sandwich. Sit in the car and watch the world.

You are a blessing to your dad, for sure.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
BaileyP3 Jun 4, 2019
That's exactly what I'm planning. I visit for a week each month right now (this is the new normal) so going out to eat gets costly after a bit. And since I love to cook and he loves my cooking I make a lot of the meals that we have together. All winter I would reheat meals in one of the lounges at the nursing home then we'd eat in the lounge. I'm just wanting to get him off the premises now that the nice weather is here. There's been a couple of suggestions of parks that have covered picnic areas which is perfect. Just looking for some on the go options for places to eat when it's too hot for the park :-)) Thanks for the kind words.
(0)
Report
Some local restaurants offers senior early bird discounts. Ask the LTC as they may know. What I do with mom and she is always just delighted with the bargain. And my pocket too of course! Enjoy your visit!
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to janlee
Report

My mom never liked to go out to eat and as she got older she preferred to eat at home. I was lucky to have a gazebo in my yard and we ate there she loved it. It was lovely and now has extra warm memories of eating together. It's all about their needs or wants as they gracefully grow old.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Momsablessing
Report

How about the mall? There are places to sit and people watch. Or pack a lunch and go to food court. I think there are chairs/scooters you can rent for the elderly to get around. Some malls have that. The person can still walk, but just not that far. It is an option for them to get around easier. Altho some elderly refuse bc they dont want to be seen in a chair if they can walk.

There was a lady at the nursing home that would get a wheel chair van. It was like a cab that would take her to the mall to meet her family for lunch. Thought that was really cool she could do that. It got her out and made her feel like she was still part of society.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Jasmina
Report

Cracker Barrell... home cookin' in a casual atmosphere. My dad's favorite place to eat because it has his favorite food in the world: mashed potatoes and gravy lol

But as others have said, it's sometimes more about the visit... make up a picnic and have lunch with him outside at his facility if there are tables. Red checkered table cloth, potato salad, fried chicken, lemonade... whatever dad likes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to TekkieChikk
Report

My sister who works in an AL/NH says don't over think it, it's the opportunity to get out that is more important than the food. Instead of planning a meal plan, just stopping for ice cream or coffee, even a McD's burger or fries are a treat when you don't get anything like that at the facility.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to cwillie
Report

I know this sounds crazy but my mom loves Mcdonalds and Swiss Chalet. We take her there then Tim Hortons for a coffee. After that she's tired and ready to go for a nap.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to jan135
Report

Many facilities have places that they will take residents out to lunch on the facility van. You can ask for a list of these places it might be possible that you dad has gone on one of these outing so he might be more comfortable in a place that he has been before.
Sounds real strange but many hospitals have pretty good cafeterias now and that might be an option if you are close to one. The access would be great and the selection would be varied.
If you are concerned about time it might take..go after lunch rush or before.
I was given some cards a member of one of my Support Groups was given or purchased..they were business size cards and stated.."The person I am with has Alzheimer's...Please be patient." But the card could be adapted to many conditions.

I am sure there are Airbnb's that are accessible maybe check that out as well.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report

If you go in warm weather, how about a cafe with outside seating?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Myownlife
Report

My Dad was very uncomfortable going "out to eat" . Plus it was very hard on everyone. How about you making him a home cooked meal at his home. Remember they are from a generation that had simple food ( The Great Depression for the U.S.). He may even be able to "help". Then a drive after( playing music he loved when he was younger). with a stop at the ice cream shop. I know that sounds too simple but simple is best for you and your father. Ummm..That would be a nice treat for everyone
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to maggiepie
Report

Might I recommend a Diner, Where the Menu is at Everyone's Beckoning Call and All for Variety.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Parise
Report

When I would visit my grandmother in London, years ago, the Knights of Columbus put on a delicious fish and chips supper - that might be a nice option. If he likes desserts, you could get some sandwiches and bring them to the picnic tables at the London Ice Cream Company (Baseline Rd W). They have great flavours - something for everyone and there's a nice No Frills grocery store nearby for sandwiches/sandwich fixings.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SarahK
Report
BaileyP3 Jun 4, 2019
Thanks I'll check out the dates for Knights of Columbus that's a great idea. Unfortunately he's diabetic and has been having trouble with his numbers so I'll have to go for ice cream when he's not with me :-))
(0)
Report
My parents were into "sunday drives" so going for road trips with mom and eating in the car was something simple and enjoyable - I kept a couple of towels to protect our clothes and a pack of wet wipes in the back seat.

There's always the food court at the mall, mall walking is great exercise too.

Farm Boy has interesting food and an eating area (but that might be as expensive as a restaurant)

Have you been to the civic gardens at Springbank and Wonderland?

How about a day at the beach - if you want to take a longer trip the beach at Goderich is very senior friendly.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to cwillie
Report
BaileyP3 May 30, 2019
Thanks cwillie...Ohhh you know London :-)) I'm scoping out Gibbons Park and Springbank and as well we need to go to the library while I'm there so I'm suspecting the new YMCA/Library/arena on Southdale may have a common area with some tables that we can have a quick bite.
Goderich is definitely a possiblility if not in June, there's always July or August. (I used to have a sales territory that covered Bayfield and Goderich so that would be a great drive in the autumn too.) I'm kicking around Rock Glen or even Sarnia/Point Edward for their Slots. He's never been much of a beach guy but you've brought to me Mackie's down at Port Stanley.

Thanks for reminding me of some of these great options!
(1)
Report
How old is dad? What are his medical conditions? Does he have dementia?

How nice that you want to plan some outings with him while you are there. Do, consider his ability and your limitations on what you can do.

Ask the facility where he is living to see what ideas they may have. And they are very familiar with his abilities.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to gladimhere
Report
BaileyP3 May 30, 2019
Anyone else running into problems with sending blank messages?
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
There's a brilliant website called Ontarioparks which, besides the picnic info, also talks about camping type accommodation - I spotted a section called "roofed" and looked at that. So maybe the picnics wouldn't have to be weather-reliant?

But does he like the great outdoors or is he hankering after a bit of downtown?

??? Why do I think you're in Ontario? Am I just having random thoughts :/ or did it come up before???
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report
BaileyP3 May 30, 2019
Great idea Countrymouse! I hadn't even thought of the Ontarioparks site.

And yes, you're quite correct, it's SW Ontario (London area) so there should be an abundance of places. I believe I'd mentioned Ontario previously so great memory and thx!
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
I think I'd look for an air bnb that is handicap accessible and allows kitchen access.

Look for local fire department/ church suppers, fish fries and pancake breakfasts.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report
BaileyP3 May 30, 2019
Thanks Barb! I hadn't even thought of that. What a great idea! The next visit is during prime 'strawberry social' season so I'll check that out today.
(1)
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter