When it comes to spending quality time with elderly loved ones, it’s important to find activities that are not only enjoyable, but also appropriate for their age and abilities. Summer is a great time to engage with older relatives, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities that can help create meaningful memories.
Indoor Summer Activities for Seniors
Indoor activities can be a great option when the weather is too hot or humid to be outside for long periods of time.
One fun and creative indoor activity is scrapbooking. Not only is it a great way to capture and safeguard precious memories, but it also taps into creativity and imagination. If your elderly loved one has arthritis or difficulty gripping, consider getting the younger generation involved in cutting and pasting, or explore digital scrapbooking options.
Take a class
Taking a class is another fun indoor activity that can be both entertaining and educational. From a hand lettering class to a genealogy workshop or a deep dive into ancient history, there are plenty of opportunities to learn something new. Educational travel, in particular, can be truly transformational as participants are immersed in local history, culture, food, and traditions.
Volunteering is another powerful way to engage with elderly loved ones and contribute to the community. Identify causes that matter to your family and seek out opportunities to contribute. Creating personal care kits for a homeless ministry or volunteering at a local animal shelter are just a few ways to make a difference. Not only do these activities make us feel good, but they also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Visit a museum or cultural institution
Visiting a museum or cultural institution is another great indoor activity that can help keep the brain engaged and challenged. Walking in crowded places or even just walking and talking with a friend can challenge the brain just as much as the body.
Outdoor Summer Activities for Seniors
For seniors who are more mobile and enjoy spending time outdoors, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy.
Gardening or working in the yard
Working in the yard is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the benefits of gardening. CDC data reveal that just 2.5 hours of active gardening each week helps maintain a healthy weight and avoid osteoporosis, colon cancer, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and even premature death. Gardening also helps stave off depression and creates a sense of connection with the earth and with family.
Go on a picnic
Another great outdoor activity is planning a picnic. Summer produces a bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, making it the perfect time to enjoy a meal outside. Preparing food is a form of nurturing and altruism that makes us feel self-sufficient and useful, and eating together strengthens bonds and reduces isolation. Picnicking is also an opportunity to share favorite recipes and stories from summers gone by.
Low-exertion outdoor activities
Finally, low-exertion outdoor activities like bocce ball, shuffleboard, and croquet are fun games that require little physical exertion. These old-school activities can also evoke pleasant memories for older relatives, even those with mobility, vision, or cognitive issues. Contact your local medical center or council on aging to learn about special programs designed for seniors. These programs can provide adapted equipment, modified leagues, and golf professionals to help seniors get outside and enjoy the game of golf.
In summary, whether you’re spending time indoors or outdoors with elderly loved ones, there are plenty of fun and engaging activities to enjoy during the summer months. By staying active and socializing with family and friends, seniors can experience the numerous physical and mental health benefits of being part of a community. From scrapbooking and taking classes to volunteering and visiting museums, there are many ways to keep the mind sharp and engaged. Outdoor activities like gardening, picnicking, and playing low-exertion sports can help seniors maintain physical health and connect with nature.
Additionally, travel can be a great way to make new memories and experience new places, and with the help of travel agents, seniors can ensure that their special needs are taken care of. By embracing these activities, seniors can make the most of the summer season and continue to enjoy life to the fullest.