Posts Tagged: Summer

Summer Activities for Older Adults

The weather is getting hotter, making it the perfect time of year to enjoy spending time outdoors. If you’ve reached retirement age, the old summer tradition of visiting an amusement park to ride the roller coasters is probably no longer your cup of tea. If it is, more power to you; keep riding those coasters until you can’t take it anymore. If you’re like most seniors, though, you’re probably looking for something a bit more mellow. Read on for ten fun summer activities.

  1. Going to a Museum

Many museums offer discounted tickets for seniors, so don’t miss your chance to take advantage of these money-saving opportunities. Tour an art or natural history museum in your area, or look for something a bit out of the ordinary. Museums are popping up all over the country with a focus on niche interests, like collectibles, specific points in history, particular regions, and more. A quick internet search can reveal a plethora of opportunities in your area, with some just a short train or bus ride away.

  1. Fishing 

Fishing is a relaxing activity that appeals to older adults. Seniors might enjoy spending time with old friends or a grandchild. Seniors can go to local fishing spots during the early morning hours or in the evening—basically when temperatures are not too intense. 

  1. Attending Local Outdoor Events 

Weekly outdoor events are becoming popular in many communities. Some places offer concerts, which give seniors a chance to hear their favorite songs, while others feature live plays or outdoor movies weekly. These outdoor events tend to take place in the evenings when it’s cooler.

  1. Bird Watching

Invest in a bird feeder and you can enjoy many hours of bird watching. This can be a more in-depth activity if you borrow books from a local library and identify the various birds you see. A pair of binoculars can be useful in seeing further and could help with vision issues.

  1. Joining Adult Classes 

Many community centers and colleges offer classes during summertime. Seniors can opt for these classes and learn a foreign language. Learning stimulates different regions of the brain, preventing cognitive impairment. Interacting with other students will help seniors broaden their social circle. 

  1. Go Swimming or Wading

Aqua aerobics isn’t just for cruise ships and resorts anymore. Many popular fitness centers and public swimming pools offer these classes, giving you the chance to stay in shape while also beating the heat. Check with your local gym or a public pool for specific class times and difficulty levels. Most of these workouts are low-impact, making it perfect for elderly individuals. Depending on the instructor’s style, though, some of these challenges can be much more challenging. If you are unsure if a particular class is suitable for your ability level, feel free to ask the instructor before signing up for the class.

  1. Have a Picnic

Seniors can plan a picnic with their families. They can gather snacks, a few drinks, a blanket, and perhaps some music and head to the local park to spend a fun-filled day.

Or if a picnic is not your thing, try dining al fresco. At most restaurants, the lunch menu is more affordable than the dinner menu, and the portions tend to be smaller as well. Check review sites like Yelp and OpenTable to find restaurant recommendations in your neighborhood. These sites will also tell you which restaurants have outdoor seating. Summer is the perfect season for Al Fresco Dining, so put on your favorite hat to protect your face from the sun and meet up with some friends for a leisurely lunch at a new spot.

  1. Go for a Nature Walk 

Perhaps alone or with your grandchildren, head out for a nature walk. There are so many parks you can visit! It’s a healthy activity.

And don’t be frightened by the word “hike” if you aren’t as mobile as you used to be. There is no need to scale Mount Everest at this stage in your life unless you’ve been preparing for years. Check with your local Department of Parks & Recreation to learn about hiking trails in your area. You’ll be surprised by how many trails are rated easy or very easy, with minimal incline and smooth, well-worn trails. Put on some sunscreen, fill up your water bottle, and enjoy a relaxing stroll in the outdoors. Feel free to set the pace as fast or slow as you wish.

  1. Gardening

Flowers bloom like crazy this time of the year, so head to your local nursery or home improvement store to pick up some new plants for your garden. Don’t feel the need to redo your entire yard; even a simple flower box can spruce up your home, giving it new life. When working outside, be sure to drink plenty of water and take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and back. Gardening is meant to be a fun pastime, not a chore, so take care not to overdo it.

  1. Join or Start Your Own Book Club

If your community does not have a book club, you can start one. Ask your local churches or library to help spread the word. Then start by just sharing books that everyone has enjoyed.

Being a senior doesn’t mean you’re bound to your home. You can enjoy many of the past-times you did when you were younger. These are just a few of the many potential activities you can try out this summer with your family or friends to make the most of the year’s warmest season. The more active you are, the more active your body will want to be; so pick your favorite from this list, get out there, and enjoy the summer!

10 Summer Activities for Older Adults

Leisure time for older adults helps promote mental, social and physical wellbeing. It also helps prevent depression-related problems that may arise from a sense of isolation and disconnection from society. Not sure how to entertain your senior loved ones during the hot summer season? Take a look at these ten outdoor and indoor activities that can keep your loved one entertained, while promoting positive mental and physical health.

1- Go swimming

Splashing around in a private or public pool is a fun and relaxing way to spend time with a variety of people. Swimming is an excellent physical activity that is light on the joints and helpful in strengthening muscles.  Swimming strengthens core muscles, improves body posture, and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Water exercise is the only non-weight-bearing workout that eliminates the risk of accidental falls during exercise. It is a wonderful summer option to beat the heat of the summer while staying in shape.

2- Go fish

Fishing is a great activity that is accessible even to those who are restricted by a wheelchair or walker. It’s easy to drop a fishing line from a dock (pier or along a riverbank), cast a rod into the water, and socialize while waiting for the next catch. Make an afternoon out of this outing and don’t forget to pack your snacks, drinks, and a blanket.

3- Get your hands dirty

A great summertime activity is gardening. It provides an opportunity to take in the fresh air and engage in physical activity, which is not that strenuous.  Individuals may garden in a backyard or community garden where volunteers are highly appreciated.

4- Work for a cause

Find a good organization to volunteer your time and energy. Volunteering is extremely beneficial. Working for others gives a sense of purpose, something we all question as we age. Philanthropic organizations, churches, schools or green societies are some organizations that can help keep your loved one engaged while offering a sense of purpose.

5- Check your local newspapers

Engaging in outdoor community events is an excellent way to socialize. Many communities sponsor car shows, musical performances, flea markets and bingo nights. Choose an event that best suits your needs and spend your day making others smile.

6- A book of memories

Now and then, staying inside is a wonderful option to beat the heat. Stay at home and go down memory lane. Scrapbooking is a fun and creative way of documenting memories immortalized in photographs and memorabilia. This activity also assists with cognitive exercise and stimulation as it triggers recalling important events. Making a scrapbook is not only an affordable and simple activity, but it provides significant health benefits. A recent study found that scrapbooking can help older adults cope with loss and grief as it helps to relive cherished memories.

7- Get Creative

Getting in touch with your creative side is another fun way to spend time. Painting, drawing, coloring, and sculpturing are all delightful diversions that can channel a person’s thoughts and emotions. It also helps in improving eye-to-hand coordination and in boosting confidence. Research has found that these creative activities can help battle chronic illness by decreasing negative emotions and increase positive ones, reducing stress and anxiety and improving medical outcomes. Another fun option to consider is creating mosaics out of flower pots, eggshells, tiles, and other tiny items. Eye and hand dexterity is essential for this art activity. Mosaics hone imagination and creativity skills as they create colorful masterpieces out of assembled pieces of art.

8 – Dine al Fresco

Good company, food, and a lovely ambiance are all a recipe for success. Satisfy your palate and take time for some quality bonding. Grab a meal outdoors and enjoy the world as it marches by.

9 – Invest in a Bird feeder for Bird Watching

Birds provide beautiful entertainment, and birds chirping signals an opportune time to invest in a feeder. Whether blue jays or hummingbirds, bird feeders attract nature to you. For added fun, there are loads of kits and instructions on the internet for building your own bird feeder.

10 – Plant an Herb Garden

To go along with healthy eating, a modest herb garden provides not only gardening fun, but healthy and tasty ingredients for your favorite dishes. You don’t need a lot of space to grow a herb garden. Pots of all sizes can accommodate herbs such as rosemary, chives, basil or thyme. 

Daily engagement in activities can improve everyone’s well-being. While these ten suggestions offer some great activities to engage in, be mindful of the health conditions of your loved one and participate accordingly.

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