While winter can be a time for lockdown for a lot of older adults, the summer is a perfect time to ramp up social activity and get out and have some fun.
During the winter in Canada, it can be difficult to find a good reason to go outside if you don’t have any obligations compelling you to do so. But once all the snow, ice, freezing temps, and hideous slush is gone, the outdoors seem much more appealing.
The beauty of summer is that are always lots of fun activities to get involved in, for people of all ages.
If you are family or professional caregiver, there are a wide range of exciting and engaging social activities and events to participate in.
Socializing Fun for Seniors and their Caregivers
Whether you are looking to try something new, or stick to the old tried and tested routine, it is important for seniors to be involved in regular social interaction.
Studies show that social interaction is crucial for older adults to help keep the brain active to avoid cognitive decline, and also to prevent social isolation and depression.
Some suggestions for summer socializing, may be:
- Go for a walk
- Have a picnic
- Check out a sporting event
- Outdoor music concerts
- Hit the beach or the pool
- Be a tourist
- Relax on a patio
- Take your regular activities outdoors
Go for a Walk
This simple summer activity has both social and physical benefits. It is a great way to have a chat with your loved one, or the senior in your care, while getting a bit of exercise and fresh air.
It is a good idea to start out slow, and not make the excursion too strenuous the first couple times. For seniors with mobility issues, begin with a short route and see how that goes. If all goes well, you can start to build up to longer outings.
Have a Picnic
This is another simple but effective social activity. You may want to have a picnic at the local park, and keep it low key with just you and the senior in your care.
This idea can also be turned into a larger social event by inviting friends and family.
Make sure your picnic venue has ample seating and shade.
Whether it is a professional sporting event, or just getting out to watch a grandchild’s soccer or t-ball game, it is a good opportunity for an entertaining social activity.
Some good summer sporting events that can be enjoyed outdoors are baseball, lacrosse, soccer, or even water sports if there is a body of water nearby.
Most cities offer a variety of outdoor music shows in the summer, and in a lot of cases they are even free admission.
If the senior in your care is a music fan, outdoor concerts are an amusing and relaxing social activity.
Music is great way to relieve tension and stress, and it is has shown to be beneficial for concentration and memory in seniors.
Beach or Pool
Even if your senior is not overly interested in swimming, sitting by the pool or on the beach can be very soothing.
If your loved one does enjoy swimming, it an excellent aerobic and muscle strengthening activity. Swimming can also be helpful for sore and stiff joints.
Relaxing on the beach or by the pool can be great for socializing or even just people watching.
Be a Tourist
Sometimes it’s fun to act as a tourist in your city. Open air bus or trolley tours are an excellent way to do some sightseeing in your own city.
Group tours may be available that cater specifically to seniors for some added social engagement.
Relax on a Patio
Hanging out on the patio of your favorite restaurant or café is a great social summer activity. Grab a bite or a beverage and soak up the ambience.
Check ahead for event scheduling to see if there is some live music or engaging activities to be enjoyed.
Getting involved in a community garden can be an excellent social activity for seniors. Community gardens are a great place for seniors to meet and mingle.
Gardening is such a tremendous activity for seniors because it has all the required aspects of good health: physical activity, social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and nutritious by-products.
Take it Outdoors
A good approach for summer socializing is taking your regular activities outdoors. Play cards or do a puzzle on the patio, have dinner on the deck, or just sit and socialize on the porch.