Taking your grandparent out to dinner can be a great way for the two of you to experience some quality time together. However, dining out does present a few challenges for older adults. To ensure the experience is a positive one for the both of you, follow these tips to work around and avoid these challenges.
Choose a restaurant where you won't have to wait long, or make a reservation.
Waiting for a table can be difficult for an older adult, especially if there is not a clear seating area for guests to wait for a table. To avoid this issue, either choose a restaurant where you know there will not be a wait, choose one that you know has a comfortable waiting area, or call to make a reservation. If you call to make a reservation, tell the person who you speak with that you're coming with an older adult who may have trouble standing to wait for a table. Most professional restaurants, such as Athens Restaurant, will be happy to accommodate you by making sure your table is definitely ready on time.
Talk with your grandparent about what he or she would like to order before the server comes around.
Many grandparents may struggle to read the small print on menus, but they won't want to admit they're having difficulties. This might lead to them hemming and hawing, or ordering something that they don't even want, when the server comes to take their order. Avoid this situation by asking your grandparent what he or she plans to order before the server comes around. If your grandparent seems uncertain, you can suggest a few items on the menu that you think that he or she may like, or otherwise help clarify the order before it's time to place it with the server.
Plan on spending longer at the restaurant than you would if dining with younger adults.
Dining with your grandparent is likely to take longer than dining with younger adults for several reasons. First, your grandparent will likely want to chat and catch up, and this will slow the pace of the meal. Second, elderly people tend to complete tasks like reading a menu, ordering, and getting up to use the restroom more slowly than young people. To ensure you're not having to rush out of the restaurant at the last minute, plan your meal with your grandparent on a day when you have plenty of time to spare. Clear your calendar for a few hours after your meal, just in case it takes longer than expected.