Seize the Summer: Engaging Activities for Caregivers and Seniors

Explore top summer activities for caregivers and seniors. From gentle dancing and swimming to attending sports events and city tours, our guide offers fun and safe options to make the most of summer. Stay active, social, and joyful with these caregiver-friendly summer ideas

Seize the Summer: Engaging Activities for Caregivers and Seniors
Summer Activities for Caregivers 

SUBMITTED BY Felicity Dryer

As the sun casts its warm glow and the days stretch longer, summer opens a treasure trove of opportunities for caregivers and their elderly loved ones to bask in the joy of outdoor activities. This season, make the most of the vibrant weather with an array of activities tailored to enhance the well-being and social engagement of seniors. Here's your ultimate guide to creating unforgettable summer memories.

Dance into the Sunlit Hours

Think dancing is just for the young? Think again! Summer is the perfect time for caregivers and seniors to engage in the rhythmic joys of dance. Choose from slower, graceful movements that not only provide a gentle full-body workout but also uplift spirits. Ballroom, tai chi, or even a gentle boogie in the park can be both invigorating and socially enriching.

Swim for Health and Happiness

empty pool with loungers
Swimming is a great summer activity

Swimming stands out as an ideal summer activity, offering a refreshing escape from the heat while promoting fitness. Seniors can enjoy light aquatic exercises that are easy on the joints yet effective in maintaining physical health. Plus, poolside gatherings are excellent for socializing and fostering community connections.

Safety First in the Summer Sizzle

Always remember that the summer heat calls for extra precautions. Ensure proper hydration, sun protection, and schedule activities during cooler parts of the day to prevent heat-related issues.

Cheer on at Sporting Events

Sports events are not only thrilling but can also be a nostalgic avenue for seniors to reminisce and connect with family. From a grandchild's little league game to a laid-back cricket match in the local park, these events can be enjoyed with a side of a delightful picnic, making them perfect for intergenerational bonding.

seashore during golden hour
Summer Activities for Seniors

Embrace the Tourist Within

Why not play tourist in your own city? Explore the hidden gems of your locale, from serene parks to fascinating museums. These excursions can stimulate the mind and provide a platform for seniors to share stories and wisdom gleaned over the years.

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    Enjoy Summer Games

    Summer games that are well-suited for seniors often combine gentle physical activity with social interaction, cognitive engagement, and elements of fun. Here’s a list of games that caregivers and seniors might enjoy during the warmer months:

    1. Bocce Ball: This lawn game is perfect for seniors due to its relaxed pace and the light physical activity involved in tossing the bocce balls toward the target.
    2. Horseshoes: Throwing horseshoes at a stake can be both competitive and leisurely, making it an ideal game for seniors looking to enjoy a sunny afternoon.
    3. Croquet: This classic backyard game involves hitting plastic or wooden balls with a mallet through hoops embedded in the grass, combining strategy and coordination in a low-impact way.
    4. Cornhole/Bean Bag Toss: Easy to set up and play, this game requires players to toss bean bags at a raised platform with a hole at the far end, encouraging hand-eye coordination.
    5. Shuffleboard: Either on a court or tabletop, shuffleboard is a great game for seniors, requiring precision and a light touch without demanding too much physical exertion.
    6. Miniature Golf: Playing a round of mini-golf is a fun way to get some low-intensity walking and practice fine motor skills.
    7. Bowling: An outing to a bowling alley for glow-in-the-dark bowling can be a fun indoor alternative on hot days or evenings.
    8. Gardening: While not a game per se, gardening can be gamified by setting small challenges, such as who can grow the tallest sunflower or the largest tomato.
    9. Bird Watching Bingo: Combine the joy of bird watching with bingo. Prepare bingo cards with local birds and turn spotting them into a game.
    10. Water Aerobics: For a refreshing workout, water aerobics classes in a community pool can be both invigorating and gentle on the joints.
    11. Pétanque: Similar to bocce, this game involves throwing hollow metal balls as close as possible to a small wooden ball, and it can be played on different surfaces.
    12. Balloon Volleyball: A gentle version of volleyball using a balloon can be played seated or standing and is excellent for those with limited mobility.
    13. Tai Chi: Often referred to as “meditation in motion,” tai chi can be a calming and restorative activity, suitable for all levels of fitness.
    14. Walking Clubs: Joining a walking club or setting up a walking challenge can be a great way to incorporate exercise and socialization into a daily routine.
    15. Board Games and Puzzles: For days when the heat is too intense, indoor board games, card games, and puzzles are fantastic for cognitive stimulation and can be a source of great enjoyment.

    When selecting games, it’s important to consider the mobility and health conditions of the participants, ensuring that the activities are safe and enjoyable for all. Always remember to stay hydrated, take frequent breaks, and protect against sun exposure during outdoor activities.

    red and green balls in green field
    Bocce Ball

    Prepping for the Perfect Day Out

    As you plan your summer outings, it's important to consult with healthcare providers to ascertain safe activity levels for seniors. Have emergency contacts at hand, maintain regular meal and medication schedules, and be prepared to adjust plans for the comfort and safety of your loved ones.

    Incorporate these summer activities into your caregiving routine and watch as they bring joy, health benefits, and a sense of adventure to the elderly you care for. Not only will these experiences enrich their lives, but they will also provide you, the caregiver, with the rewarding experience of seeing your loved ones thrive in the golden season.

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    What summer activities do you enjoy with your aging family member? Please share here? Help others realize that they are not alone. Submit Your Caregiver Story
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    Meet Felicity Dryer

    Originally born in Flagstaff, Arizona, Felicity Dryer was raised by her parents (more or less modern-day hippies) to always make her health a top priority. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a freelance health writer, and continues to help those seeking encouragement to keep moving forward to achieve their goals.

    Here is a podcast to view on Seniors and Traveling

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