Engaging and Safe Activities for Seniors in the Summer

July 13, 2023

Summer Fun

When you think of summer, what comes to mind? Fun in the sun, maybe on the beach or by the pool? While summer is a great time of year to enjoy the outdoors, those outside activities aren’t always the best for older adults. Seniors are prone to heat stress, so if you are looking for ways to have fun and engage with an older loved one this summer, choose activities that will keep you both cool and comfortable. If you are looking for some great things to do together, we have some suggestions. 

Take a Dip

Swimming and other water-based activities are wonderful for seniors, because they provide exercise and a relief from the heat. People with arthritis or stiff joints benefit from exercising in the water because it is low impact, and water exercise can also increase bone density and muscle mass. This can alleviate pain and improve flexibility.  

Be Safely Active Outdoors

While older adults can be active indoors, and activities like yoga and chair tai chi are good low-impact options, there’s also value to being outside, even when it’s hot out. Sunlight is important, because it provides vitamin D, fighting osteoporosis, depression, and anxiety, as well as boosting the immune system and improving brain health. Taking a walk helps strengthen bones, improve mobility, and decrease pain, as well as reducing stress. Walk during the cooler times of the day, maybe during the sunrise or to watch the sunset, to avoid the height of sun exposure. Make sure to bring a bottle of water to prevent dehydration, and apply sunscreen no matter the time of day. Another great way to be active outside is to do some gardening, which has the added benefit of reducing the risk of dementia. 

Make Something Together

Working on arts and crafts or sewing is a fun way to relax together, and it is good for maintaining fine motor skills and allowing artistic expression. What’s more, making something helps older people by increasing their confidence, concentration, and motivation. Not feeling crafty? Pick up some fresh produce, which is abundant during the summer, and cook a nutritious meal together. Cooking, like crafting, provides a creative outlet and a sense of purpose. 

Do Something Quiet

Reading together can be a good way to bond over a common experience, and reading can reduce stress, enhance sleep, and sharpen decision making. In fact, there is evidence that reading may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Putting together puzzles is also a wonderful quiet activity for older people. It can prevent boredom, boost the mood, and because it requires them to concentrate on the task, it can help improve cognitive function. 

Have Some Fun

Even leisure activities can have value. Looking through scrapbooks and reminiscing about the past can trigger memories for older people, giving them a chance to tell stories, improving communication, and reducing stress. Playing board games and card games can help keep older adults engaged and give them an opportunity to socialize, and there’s evidence that playing games can reduce the risk of dementia. Even watching movies is beneficial, because it provides an emotional escape and a way to relax, which is particularly good for those diagnosed with dementia. 

Eat a Tasty Treat

Is there anything better on a hot summer day than cold, smooth, delicious, ice cream? As long as they don’t overindulge, older people can actually benefit from eating ice cream! This delicious treat contains vitamins like A, B-6, B-12, C, D, E and K, along with thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. It also provides carbs, fat, and proteins, essential for keeping energy up, and minerals like calcium and phosphorus for stronger bones. Ice cream stimulates the production of feel good hormones, and because it is made of milk, it contains L-tryptophan, which acts as a natural tranquilizer. So, eating ice cream can make people feel happier, more relaxed, and less stressed, and it can also combat insomnia. 

Choose Quality Care

Having fun with your aging loved one in the summer may be easy, but we know that caring for someone all day every day can become overwhelming and stressful. That’s why at BrightStar Care Jupiter & Martin County, FL, we work hard to deliver the right care for your relative and to be a partner you can turn to for support. Because we believe that caring is more than just a job, our nurses, therapists, CNAs, and caregivers offer the most professional compassionate care available. In the comforting, familiar surroundings of home, we offer a full range of care services to meet your loved one’s needs and help you when you need it most. When you are looking for an agency with a reputation for high standards and excellence in caregiving and a team dedicated to providing high-quality care for your loved one, contact us or call 561-741-1200 to learn more about our services.