During the summer season, there is a lot of sunshine, but there are also high temperatures and extreme weather conditions that can be dangerous. Older adults are particularly vulnerable to heat stress, so they should be cautious when doing activities in the heat. To keep aging adults cool, engaged, and active this summer, here are some safe summer activities for seniors to try.
Take advantage of all the seasonally available fresh produce – it’s generally more affordable and easier to find. Seniors can benefit from cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables as it offers valuable nutrition. Psychology Today suggests that cooking can also be a therapeutic activity as it provides a sense of purpose and a creative outlet. To incorporate more freshness try simple summer recipes or infuse water with fruits and herbs to stay hydrated. Check out some recipe ideas here.
Talk about the past
Reminiscence is a great activity and we love to look back on past summers and the fun memories made, such as trips to amusement parks or across the country. Sharing these stories not only brings joy, but also has benefits like improved communication and reduced stress. Postcards and photo albums can be a wonderful complement to this activity. Even planning a trip using maps and creating a packing list for a trip are great things to do.
Arts and Crafts
Dr. Barbara Bagan suggests that art therapy can benefit elders by providing creative stimulation. Engaging in a craft can help express emotions, develop fine motor skills, increase confidence, concentration, and motivation. Recent research has shown that working with clay, in particular, offers significant benefits for seniors. Think creativity, dexterity and tactile stimulation.
To stay fit in the summer and cool off at the same time (if you have access to a pool with lifeguard) activities like swimming and water aerobics are ideal. Seniors with arthritis or stiff joints can benefit from low-impact water-based exercises. Additionally, low-impact activities like yoga, chair tai chi, and balloon volleyball can also be beneficial.
Beat the heat and have an indoor experience playing board games and card games. These are entertaining and competitive activities that can help older adults engage and socialize. Studies have shown that games and leisure activities can lower the risk of dementia. If the weather is favorable, you can even try playing outdoor games such as cornhole. If you prefer quiet activities, solving indoor puzzles is a great alternative. Another study has revealed that puzzling is beneficial for seniors’ aging minds and can give a sense of accomplishment and purpose.