The days are longer and brighter, as luscious lawns and trees in full bloom color beckon us to fill our extended afternoons with outdoor activities and relaxation. With unique ways to make memories and spend time with family and friends present in every season, take advantage of summer’s bounty of recreational activities, warmth, and sunlight.
With more opportunities for spending time outdoors, it is important to note that exposure to sunlight offers numerous advantages. While anyone will tell you that sunshine brightens the mood and lifts their spirits, Vitamin D, a nutrient the body produces when the sun’s UV rays come in contact with the skin, also yields significant health benefits. For seniors specifically, the CDC highlights, Vitamin D has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety, enhance cognition, and improve sleep quality. It also enables the body to absorb calcium, a nutrient that helps maintain strong bones.
Yet, spending time in the sun poses significant risks as well. Overheating or dehydration can significantly affect organ function and cause irreversible damage, yet can easily be avoided by consistently drinking. Long-term exposure to UV rays can cause damage to the skin, eyes, and immune system. Therefore, while it is highly recommended that seniors get direct exposure to the sun at least once a day to reap its beneﬁts, applying quality sunscreen and limiting time outdoors to increments of 20-30 minutes will help reduce the health risks associated with excessive exposure to direct sunlight.
Here we’ve compiled some great entertainment options for those eager to venture out in the summer sun or other ideas to enjoy while staying cool indoors:
1. Experience the Lovely Outdoors
While heat may limit time enjoyed outdoors, early morning or late afternoon hours in some locations are significantly milder and offer the perfect temperatures for comfortably enjoying time spent outside. Start the day by taking in the fresh dew and early sunshine on a scenic morning walk. Caregivers can accompany older adults on a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood as the day awakens, or in slightly more rigorous physical activity offered by following a guided walking trail in a local park or nature reserve. Be sure to consider your loved one’s mobility when planning an outing. You’ll want to make sure the choice is appropriately suited to their physical capabilities, including scouting out paths that are smoothly paved to avoid falls or accommodate wheelchair accessibility, if necessary.
For those less motivated to venture out early in the day, late summer afternoon and early evening hours offer unique scenic views, as the sun sets and summer fireflies speckle the night sky. No matter if you choose to admire the scenery from the porch, while strolling in a local park, or walking along a guided hiking trail, you’re guaranteed to return indoors refreshed.
2. Take A Fishing Excursion
A fishing outing is a relaxing venue that appeals to many older adults. Spending time with old friends or a grandchild is an experience that seniors often enjoy and treasure as memorable moments spent together, for years to come. Be sure to inquire about senior fishing license discounts offered in many states, as well as discounts at local fishing clubs.
3. Groom the Garden
A home garden is a wonderful way to spend leisurely time outdoors while getting some exercise and enhancing the landscape. Nurseries and major home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot carry an array of affordable shrubs, herbs, vegetables, and flowers that can be planted without requiring extensive gardening experience or upkeep. For seniors who have limited mobility, choosing options that require little maintenance or are kept in pots that are easy to access will allow them to be involved in the project, even if they require some caregiver help. Older adults will take pride in using homegrown herbs while cooking, or seeing their plants take root and add lively color to their home environment.
4. Visit a Farmers Market
Summer farmer’s markets are more than a convenient place to purchase locally-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables, dairy products, or honey. Visiting a farmer’s market is also an informal way for seniors to be social by offering them the opportunity to interact with neighbors and support local farmers. Caregivers can accompany adults strolling through the market and stop for free product samples and treats while enjoying the plethora of colors and produce. Many farmers’ markets keep their summer calendars filled with features such as live music festivals, jewelry stands, or fresh juice bars. Your loved one can select from a variety of fresh products to enjoy at home, or bring to the next family BBQ, and is sure to look forward to another delightful trip. Click here to locate the farmer’s market closest to you.
5. Snack on Seasonal Treats
On a hot afternoon, when spending time outside is less appealing, who doesn’t savor the sweet flavor of iced lemonade or fresh summer fruit? Cooler indoor accommodations with sunlight streaming in through the window are the perfect opportunity for spending time experimenting in the kitchen and sharing a refreshing snack. With easy-to-find ingredients, caregivers can help whip up something delicious to snack on or share with friends and family at the next opportunity. Take advantage of summer’s bounty of blueberries, peaches, and squash by incorporating them into one of these simple-to-prepare seasonal treats.
6. Visit A Museum
While summer is synonymous with sunshine, many locales get their fair share of rainy days interspersed throughout the season as well. For a day that you seek an indoor alternative to being out in the hot sun or downpour, a museum or aquarium is the perfect venue for relaxing entertainment. Your loved one will be comfortable and enjoy the spacious, air-conditioned rooms while exploring exhibits and learning new things. Many museums and aquariums offer senior discounts, as well as easily accommodate seniors who are wheelchair-bound. Be sure to inquire about special events hosted throughout the summer.
We’ve rounded up 6 convenient and budget-friendly summer activities that seniors can easily take part in to maximize the season’s pleasures as well. Regardless of where you and your loved one choose to spend your time, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day as you celebrate the new season spirit.
You can find additional caregiver resources on our website, and explore a variety of timely topics such as medical assistance, personal care, and senior companionship. Reach out to us today to learn more about our team of caring and experienced personal caregivers, registered nurses, and home health aides who expertly serve families just like yours. We’re here for you and happy to assist your family. Give us a call at (845) 425-6555 with any questions.
Regardless of how you choose to share the summer days, we hope you enjoy the time spent together. Community Home Health Care wishes you and your family a safe and relaxing summer!