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Safe Summer Activities: Stay Safe While Having Fun With Your Senior!

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Summer is here! Clear blue skies, flowers in full bloom, long days, and warm air. Summertime is the perfect time of year to stay active and engaged with your loved one

With more hours of daylight, fresh air, and plenty of vitamin D, the summer months present several opportunities for fun! More time outdoors is shown to increase wellness and quality of life

However, the increase in heat means balancing fun in the sun with safety. Below are some ideas for both safe and fun summer activities to enjoy with your loved one this year! 

 

12 Safe Activities To Try Out This Summer

When thinking about you and your loved one’s summer schedule, it’s important to have variety in your activities. Here are some ideas for fitness, getting outside and staying social for you and your loved one

 

Staying Fit:

 

1. Go For a Walk 

With longer days, summertime offers opportunities to go for walks early in the morning, or later in the evening to beat the heat. 

Take a walk around the neighborhood with your loved one, or make a list of different local parks to visit together throughout the summer! 

2. Outdoor Exercise Classes 

Take advantage of the nice weather with outdoor exercise classes at the local senior center. These might be classes you can encourage your loved one to do independently, or, see if there is an option for you to attend with them, if your schedule allows. 

If they don’t offer any, try an online video out on your own patio. 

Try a low impact exercise class such as tai chi or yoga - both are great for strengthening, osteoporosis management and balance!  Make sure to find a shady spot and stay hydrated! 

3. Make a Splash with Water Aerobics 

If your loved one is a water lover, book a water aerobics class for you and your loved one at your local pool or community center. 

Another low-impact class exercise that will keep you cool and in shape! 

 

Outdoor Activities:

 

4. Plant a Garden 

Summer is the best time to test your green thumb! Whether you’re planting vegetables, flowers or herbs, a garden gives a project for the whole summer. 

If getting down in the dirt is difficult for your loved one, consider a raised flower bed, or potted plants. When watering your plants, make sure your loved one is hydrating themself also!

5. Music & Reminiscing Outdoors 

A great way to wind down in the summer evenings is to sit outdoors with some tunes and reminisce with loved ones

Learn about your loved one’s favorite summertime memories and share yours with them.

6. Games & Puzzles 

Find a nice shady spot and move your favorite board games and puzzles outdoors! Consider playing board games together that you may have played with your loved one in the past.

 

7. Bird Watching 

Bird watching is a fun activity that can be done from the comfort of home, or while you are out and about. Make a game out of the drive to a medical appointment by looking for birds and wildlife together. 

If you’re at home, hang some feeders by the window to watch the birds fly by. If your loved one is feeling mobile, grab a pair of binoculars and head out to the park or on some trails to find some wildlife. 

 

Out and About:

 

8. Spend time with the Grandkids

With kids out of school, take advantage of spending time together. 

Sporting events, recitals or concerts with the kids can be great ways to get out and make memories. 

 

9. Look for Community Activities:

Summer is a popular season for community events. Go out to look for local outdoor concerts, movies, or even parades. 

Check out if any local towns have outdoor craft festivals or flea markets to walk around and peruse, which is a great way to get in a walk, while also “window shopping''! 

See if your local library may offer a summer book club. These types of activities can be fantastic for increasing socialization.

 

Meal Times:

 

10. Find Fresh Foods

Tis the season for fresh fruits and veggies! 

Check out local farms with your loved one for “pick your own” fruits and vegetables, then enjoy it fresh or make your favorite recipes! Keep an eye out for farmers’ markets that have fresh produce and other local items as well.


11. Eat Al Fresco 

Make meal time an event by eating outdoors. Whether it’s at home or at a local park, enjoy a picnic with all your favorites. 

Invite family members or friends to tag along with you and your loved one

 

12. Ice Cream Time 

It wouldn’t be summer without ice cream

Does your loved one have a favorite ice cream shop? Or a favorite kind of sundae? Take a drive to the best local ice cream shop, or make this a fun pit-stop on the way home from your loved one’s medical appointment. 

 

How To Stay Safe Outside (3 Safety Tips) 

While summer offers plenty of opportunities for vitamin D and other health benefits, it’s important to be cautious

No matter what you’re doing with your loved one outside, consider the three safety tips below to make any activity safe with your loved one safe.

  • Think about the time of day. 

Morning and evening are the best times to take advantage of the weather with less direct sunlight.

  • Slather on the Sunscreen

As we all know, sunscreen is the best protectant against sunburn. Don’t forget to bring it and re-apply it to yourself and your loved one as needed. 

  • Drink plenty of water

According to NIH, older adults are more prone to dehydration compared to younger adults. If your loved one doesn’t like water, consider high water snacks like popsicles and watermelon.

 

Enjoy staying active this summer and taking advantage of the sunshine!

Laurel McLaughlin

A Certified Dementia Practitioner and expert in Gerontology with over a decade of experience in elder care, including home care and senior living.



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