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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 a 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 bird 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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