The first day of summer is right around the corner. It’s time to start planning your summer activities itinerary which includes activities for grandma and grandpa too. And, while you want them to have a good time, wouldn’t it be nice to plan fun summer activities for seniors that are secretly beneficial to their health too? It may sound like cheating, but hey, you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do right? It’s the same concept as sneaking vegetables into your kids’ meal; they may be stubborn about healthy food, but they’re benefitting from your secret genius ways.
So where do you begin planning summer activities for seniors that are fun AND pack a beneficial punch? It’s actually a lot simpler than you may have thought. Planning activities for grandma and grandpa can actually coincide with your family’s summer plans. And trust me, they’ll love being included in your plans as they get to spend more time with their family.
Summer Activities for Seniors
Now, obviously, you aren’t (and probably shouldn’t) be planning extreme sports for your elderly loved ones. But, if they enjoy being outdoors, give them opportunities to have fun outdoors. Try out different plans to find out what they enjoy. Being outdoors also has great benefits for seniors. It gets them up, out, and moving, and access to free vitaminD.
Being outside allows for seniors to improve their immune systems as well. If you often find that your elderly parents are affected by illness on a regular basis, it may be time to let the all natural sunlight heal them. Going on a nice walk, light fishing or gardening, or hosting a family picnic in the park is a great way to create light exercise and boost overall spirits. And if they’re typically bound to the house, getting them up and out is a great way to increase mobility.
Arts and Crafts
If an extremely hot day is putting a damper on your summer activities for seniors, take things to the shade or to the sweet haven that is air conditioning (mankind’s greatest invention in my opinion). Host a Pinterest night for your senior and find some arts and crafts to make. Sitting down for some quality art time doesn’t have to be intimidating. If your elderly parent already has a hobby or interest like scrapbooking, work with that!
Participating in art projects improves dexterity in the hands and fingers and can provide great therapy for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Art projects are also a great way to give seniors a stronger sense of confidence and independence. Completing an involved project is rewarding. They will have created a beautiful piece of art for their home AND improved their health without even knowing it!
Hosting a family game night is an awesome way for your seniors and even your family to benefit from your super secret summer activities. Your elderly parents come from an age where cell phones and smart gadgets didn’t exist at the dinner table. So get rid of them! After a long day at the pool or the beach, head home for a game of Monopoly at the kitchen table. There are so many senior-friendly games available to get the fun started. Puzzles, board games, you name it.
What’s great about these activities, is they offer memory techniques and communication skills. There are often many rules or concepts to memorize when you play a board game or memory style game that help strengthen the mind. Puzzles and games also offer a low-intensity activity for seniors with arthritis or vision issues as game pieces can often be found in larger sizes. And, if all else fails, let your kids introduce them to some of their favorite video games! It will be a great bonding opportunity and allow your elderly parents a look into today’s more virtual experiences. Who knows – they might even turn out to be a video game rock star!