If you have a loved one in assisted living or memory care, you may be looking for fun, senior-friendly activities that will get her out and about and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. Outings provide a change of scenery, a chance to socialize, and the opportunity to bask in the sun’s warm glow. But what types of activities can you and your loved one enjoy together during the summer? While different cities offer various recreational opportunities with differing degrees of senior friendliness, there are activities any senior can enjoy in nearly any location. Here are a few fun-filled ideas for activities to enjoy with your aging loved ones this summer.
5 fun summer activities for seniors in assisted living
If your loved one resides in an assisted living community, there are ample opportunities for her to get out and about with fellow residents, friends and family. These activities will be sure to bring a smile on a warm summer day and create lasting memories you’ll both cherish forever.
1. Take a water aerobics class
Aquatic exercise is not only more manageable for many seniors, but it provides a welcome reprieve for aching joints. Even if you don’t participate in a formal, organized class, a relaxing swim at your local YMCA or public swimming pool can be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. Some assisted living communities have on-site indoor or outdoor swimming pools for residents to enjoy.
2. Attend a sporting event
Does your local community host sporting events, such as baseball games, soccer or football? Whether your elderly loved one once played sports in high school or is simply a fan of the local teams, attending a sporting event for the afternoon can be a fun way to spend a summer afternoon or evening.
3. Go fishing
Casting a line in the water makes for a surprisingly relaxing afternoon. If your aging loved one once enjoyed the sport of fishing, this activity is a sure-fire win—and even seniors who are wheelchair-bound can participate with the right location and planning. If your city or town is situated near a river or lake, rolling a wheelchair right up to a pier or dock is easy.
4. Hit the local mall
If shopping is more your style, a visit to the local mall or shopping center is the perfect way to spend a few hours out and about with your elderly loved one. Some malls offer walking programs, such as the Silver Sneakers program, and the indoor, air-conditioned atmosphere means no worries about heat stroke and sunburn on a scorching summer day. Your elderly loved one might appreciate the opportunity to do a little early holiday shopping, or she may decide to treat herself to something special (and well-deserved).
5. Watch the sun rise—or set
Many people appreciate the beauty of watching the sun rise or set, particularly on a beautiful summer day when the weather is just right early in the morning or in the evening. Taking a senior loved one to a perfect spot to watch the beauty of nature in action is an excellent way to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air while spending some quality time together making memories that will last a lifetime.
5 fun summer activities for seniors in memory care
If your loved one resides in a memory care community, her memory impairment may leave you wondering what activities you can participate in together that will be enjoyable for you both. Consider the following five activities if you’re looking for something fun and imaginative to do with your elderly loved ones.
1. Attend a concert or musical
Music can be magical for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, sparking memories that otherwise are inaccessible. The familiar sounds of a favorite musical or artist can be a fun and enjoyable experience providing an opportunity to reminisce like you haven’t had in quite some time.
2. Head to a book reading
If you happen across a local author who has written about your loved one’s hometown history, attending a reading can be quite the positive experience for an aging loved one with memory impairment.
3. Participate in an art class designed specifically for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Art is powerful for all ages, but there’s something especially freeing about putting paint to canvas for people with memory impairment. Art provides a way for your aging loved one to express her emotions in a way that she may no longer be able to do with words. The experience will be one you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
4. Spend an afternoon baking your favorite food.
The sense of smell can create powerful feelings of nostalgia, particularly for memory-impaired persons who suddenly recall the comforts of their childhood homes as the smell of their grandmother’s famous banana nut bread wafts through the air.
5. Have a picnic lunch
Sometimes, just getting outdoors for some fresh air is a welcome activity for seniors. If your aging loved one suffers from mobility issues that make it challenging for her to go outdoors on her own, a picnic lunch in the warm sunshine can be just the thing to bring a smile to her face.
Whether your aging loved one resides in assisted living, in a memory care community, retirement community, or even at her own family home in the larger community, seniors appreciate when loved ones go out of their way to spend some quality time with them. A small gesture may take just a few hours of your time—but it might mean the world to your elderly loved one. Take the opportunity to get outside on a beautiful day this summer to make some memories that you’ll cherish forever.