An ice cream cone can solve any problem - even if it's only for a few minutes.
Ice cream is a summer treat that people of all ages enjoy. On a hot day, an ice cream cone or dish of ice cream is pure pleasure. So, if your parent(s) enjoy ice cream, find a way to eat some together. You could drop off their favorite ice cream and put it in the freezer for later consumption or you could even dish up a bowl and give it to them to enjoy. But there's something about pausing in a busy day to enjoy ice cream together, that makes fond memories.
Last summer, my mom was in the hospital for unidentified bleeding. The doctors could tell that she'd lost blood, but they could never find the source. Due to my mom's joint replacements, she can't have MRI's, so the doctors ability to "see" her bleeding was limited. Anyway, I think it was June then and hot, but not unbearably so. My mom's appetite wasn't good and - surprise - she didn't like the hospital food. So, one day I went down to the coffee shop on the hospital's first floor and brought back three dishes of soft serve ice cream: one for me, one for Mom, and one for Dad. I had chocolate-vanilla swirl and they had strawberry. We didn't say much for a few minutes, we just sat and ate our ice cream and my parents both pronounced it delicious and, Mom even smiled. I don't remember anything else about what happened on that particular day, but I remember the ice cream.
Eating ice cream is the sort of simple pleasure that builds happy memories of our parents' final years. We may not remember each of the tasks we were rushing around to do. But, we will remember things like the day we sat and ate ice cream together in the hospital. This summer, slow down and find time for some small pleasures, like eating ice cream. I know you'll be happy you did.
Long distance tips
You could send coupons for Baskin Robbins or Dairy Queen or encourage your parent's caregiver or a sibling or grandchild to take them out for ice cream. And maybe, while they're at it, they could take a picture to send to you. Either way, you don't have to be with someone to help them enjoy a simple pleasure. It's better that way, but second-best can be okay too. Or, if you prefer, wait until your next visit. It can be useful to keep a list of special things to do when you visit. The smaller the "special" treat or outing the better, because as people age, they don't usually enjoy elaborate things anyway.