The high temperatures of the summer months can make it hard for seniors to stay active, but it’s important to find activities that keep elderly parents in shape, with sharp minds and positive spirits. There are many activities for elderly parents that may also help improve memory and maintain healthy cognitive function through learning new skills and thinking logically. Here are some ideas that can keep seniors engaged and active while beating the summer heat.
Play a Game
Games are a fantastic way to keep busy during the summer, particularly on those hot days when you just want to stay inside and enjoy the air conditioning. Board games, such as chess, checkers, Scrabble, Yaztee, Backgammon and Mahjong can be played with two or more people, and they are great activities for elderly parents who want to keep their minds sharp while having some fun. Games such as charades even provide a bit of exercise along with the fun.
Card games such as gin rummy, spades, blackjack, solitaire, and poker can provide hours of entertainment, with the benefit of being portable. Likewise, paper games such as dots, hangman, and tic-tac-toe just require paper and pen and are terrific activities for elderly parents to play with young grandchildren on the go. For the more electronically savvy seniors, handheld electronic games or downloadable apps for smartphones can provide mind-stimulating games that can even be played online with friends and family living across the country.
Take a Field Trip with Your Elderly Parents
Outings such as going to the movies, the zoo, seeing plays or visiting special events in your local town are fantastic activities for elderly parents to get them out of the house and enjoying what your town has to offer. Try a new restaurant, experiment with food trucks, or visit a local fair for exercise, fresh air, and tasty new treats. Even visits to the playground with the grandkids can be perfect summer fun for seniors. Just be sure to stay cool and hydrated, and take plenty of breaks if the heat is high.
Get Some Exercise
Summer is the perfect time to try out a new physical activity for elderly parents. Swimming and water aerobics let seniors stay cool while getting exercise that’s easy on their joints. For inside fun, try a ballroom dance class, yoga, or join a recreation league for their favorite sport.
Crafty Summer Activities
When the summer heat gets too hot, stay inside and get crafting. Crafts are a great activity for elderly parents because they can learn new skills, stay mentally challenged, and even make fantastic gifts for family and friends. Sewing, scrapbooking, painting, knitting, and woodworking are all fun activities that keep seniors active and allow them to express their creativity and individuality.
Spend Time at Home
Staying home and getting some work done around the house can also be a perfect way for seniors to stay active while beating the summer heat. Decluttering old possessions that no longer bring joy, scanning old photos, and doing minor home repairs or redecorating can keep elderly parents busy and engaged while refreshing their surroundings. Visiting with neighbors, experimenting with new recipes, or hosting a book club can allow seniors to try new things and stay social.
Games, crafts, and exercise can help keep home-bound seniors fit while providing fun and companionship. It’s important to encourage seniors to experiment with new activities and not fall into the trap of sitting in front of a television all day. Many of the activities above can be enjoyed by seniors and their caregivers together.
If you’re out of ideas, our caregivers can help. Learn more here.