When the weather begins to turn warm, signaling that summer is on the way, it’s only natural to want to shake off the cobwebs of winter and get outdoors for some much-needed sunshine and fresh air. This applies to people of all ages, from tiny tots to senior citizens.
Mobility issues, illness, injury, and other limitations may stop some seniors from seeking outdoor fun, even if they’ve enjoyed summer activities in the past. They may also be more susceptible to the effects of heat than younger adults. What can you do to encourage the seniors in your life to get outside and enjoy the balmy summer temperatures?
The trick is to find activities seniors can participate in, that are geared for their interests, their level of fitness, and their potentially limited tolerance for heat and direct sunlight. Here are several outdoor activities for seniors that might entice your elderly loved ones to get outdoors and enjoy summer weather.
Picnics provide an excellent excuse to get outside and commune with nature. The whole family can enjoy a delicious meal of finger foods and refreshing beverages in an area offering abundant shade, such as a local park. This allows plenty of time to socialize, the chance for an afternoon siesta, and perhaps even some mild exercise like walking around a park or hiking a local nature trail.
This warm-weather activity gets put on hold during the cold winter months, but once spring has sprung, seniors can get back into their gardening routine, planting flowers to enjoy through the summer or planning vegetable gardens to grow fresh produce for meals. Even seniors with limited mobility may be able to participate at some level, especially with assistance. At the very least, they’ll enjoy the fruits of this labor, quite literally.
Fishing doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. While seniors may not be able to handle a boat on their own, this is an ideal activity to connect younger and older generations (seniors and their children and grandchildren, for example). It’s a great way to get out in the summer sun, enjoy a day of casting and shooting the breeze, and perhaps come home with a fresh catch to cook up for dinner.
There are many ways for seniors to remain fit and active through exercise, but high impact is generally best avoided, even for those who don’t suffer ailments like arthritis or mobility issues. Exercises that can be done in a swimming pool offer a great alternative to traditional sports, especially during warm summer months.
Whether seniors enjoy swimming, water aerobics, or other activities, getting in the pool each day allows them to stay cool when the weather turns warm and get exercise without causing undue stress on bones and joints. Water also adds resistance, which delivers both cardiopulmonary and muscle toning results, helping to keep seniors healthy and improve overall fitness and function.
Farmers Markets/Flea Markets
Warming temperatures herald a host of markets in pretty much every town. This could include weekly farmers markets offering fresh produce and often, local crafts, as well as seasonal flea markets stocked with scads of fabulous finds.
Any senior can enjoy the bounty of nature with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the farmers market, and perhaps even work with younger family members or a caregiver to can and jam items for the colder months. If the seniors in your life love to craft, flea markets can be a fun way to find unique materials on the cheap.
While some seniors remain incredibly active into their twilight years, competing in marathons and signing up for the local softball league every year, there are also many seniors who need to take it easy when it comes to physical activities. Luckily, there are sports and games that cater to people of every age and fitness level.
A round of golf can be a fun way to spend a day engaged in mild to moderate activity, and people limited to walking may enjoy nature hikes or birdwatching. Croquet, shuffleboard, horseshoes, ring tosses, and similar games can also provide a mild level of activity for seniors that aren’t particularly mobile. All give the seniors in your life a chance to socialize and get outdoors.
Whether seniors are keen to play sports or not, they might be just as happy watching professional teams play. Plan a night out at the ballpark or soccer stadium or see if seniors would like to come and cheer on their grandkids at weekend soccer or softball games. With hot dogs and ice cream to round out the event, this is a great way to enjoy the best of summer.
Summer is rife with opportunities to join in community gatherings, from 4th of July festivities, to summer concerts and Shakespeare in the Park, to art, car, and garden shows, just for example. All can offer a great reason to get seniors out of the house, socializing and partaking of summer activities they’re sure to love.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.