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Geriatric Care Expert-Approved Summer Activities for The Elderly

Updated: Jun 11

Longer days and more sunshine are a significant turn in the year for many of us for many reasons. For seniors with dementia, the summer season can bring special relief as they tend to be more drastically affected by the Winter Blues than the rest of us. For our elders, in general, this season offers ample opportunities to engage in activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Whether it's soaking up the sun or staying cool indoors, there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you’ve been thinking of making this summer special and packed with memory-making moments with your older loved ones, this article is for you!


Here, our team presents some Geriatric-Care-Expert-approved summer activities tailored to the unique needs of the elderly:


1.    Outdoor Strolls and Nature Walks:


Encourage your elderly loved ones to take leisurely strolls in the early morning or late evening when the weather is cooler. Choose parks or nature trails with flat surfaces and shaded areas to prevent overheating. Not only does walking provide gentle exercise, but it also allows seniors to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.


Allowing these walks to be enjoyable is crucial for building a habit. Make the strolls as short as necessary and bring coffee or tea, a camera, an audiobook or podcast, or a friend!


2.    Gardening Therapy:


Gardening can be therapeutic, creative, and rewarding. In fact, there are many studies on the wonderful effects of holding planting soil in one’s hands on brain health. Set up raised garden beds or containers to make gardening more accessible for seniors with mobility issues. Planting flowers, herbs, or vegetables provides sensory stimulation and a sense of accomplishment as they watch their garden thrive throughout the summer months. If this is a new hobby, start small, and don’t bite off more than you can chew!


3.    Water-Based Activities:


Beat the summer heat with water-based activities that are gentle on aging joints. Consider options such as swimming, water aerobics, or simply relaxing by the ocean or poolside. If swimming isn't feasible, try watercolor painting outdoors or hosting a backyard water balloon toss or water gun fight for some refreshing fun and quality time with family members of all ages.


4.    Picnics and Outdoor Dining:


Organize a picnic outing to a nearby park or beach, complete with easy-to-eat finger foods and refreshing beverages. Alternatively, set up a cozy outdoor dining area in your backyard or patio for alfresco meals with family and friends. Don't forget to pack plenty of sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect against the sun's rays.


5.    Summer Eats


One of the most basic pleasures of summer can be found in food. Specifically, seasonal dishes, refreshing summer fruits, and colorful vegetables. Seasonal foods can create and evoke a strong memory bond to the respective season. Hit up a local farmers’ market, go on a scavenger hunt to find fruits and vegetables you have not tried, and commit to cooking more seasonal dishes (from more complex, around-the-world dishes to simple, local salads!).


6.    Creative Arts and Crafts:


Engage seniors in creative arts and crafts projects that stimulate their imagination and artistic expression. Set up a designated crafting area with supplies for painting, pottery, or creating handmade cards. Encourage them to craft seasonal decorations or personalized gifts for loved ones, fostering a sense of purpose and creativity.


7.    Virtual Travel and Cultural Exploration:


If traveling isn't an option, bring the world to your elderly loved ones through virtual travel experiences. Use technology to explore famous landmarks, museums, and cultural sites from the comfort of home. Plan themed days where you cook international cuisine, watch foreign films, or learn about different cultures together.


8.    Mindfulness and Relaxation Practices:


Summer is the perfect time to slow down and practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Schedule regular sessions of gentle yoga, meditation, or tai chi to promote relaxation and stress relief. Encourage seniors to spend quiet moments outdoors, listening to the sounds of nature and savoring the present moment.


9.    Intergenerational Activities:


Foster meaningful connections between seniors and younger generations by organizing intergenerational activities. Plan a family barbecue, game night, or storytelling session where everyone can share memories and experiences. These interactions promote socialization, combat loneliness, and bring joy to the elderly and their younger counterparts.


As you plan summer activities for the elderly, always prioritize their safety and comfort. Be mindful of their individual needs and limitations and consult with healthcare professionals if necessary. With thoughtful planning and creativity, you can help seniors make the most of the summer season and create cherished memories to treasure for years to come.


At Senior Steps, we understand the importance of providing personalized care and support to seniors during every season of life. Go to to learn more about our comprehensive geriatric care management services tailored to meet the unique needs of your loved ones.


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