Life is sweet at home

Tips for Summer Activities for Seniors

Swimming is great exercise and a great way to cool off! Photo by Amy Cicconi

I love the Northwest Senior Games tagline, “Grab Life and Go…Get in the Games!!”

That phrase pretty much says it for me, especially in summer when I want to be out “playing” as much as possible. I also like to get my elderly mom out in the sun and fun.
While she may be “beyond” waterskiing or running marathons, she is always keen for companionship. Mom loves to spend quality time with me – out of the routine and out of the house.

In keeping with our “summer activities for seniors” theme this month, I want to remind everyone that there are specially designed senior events and activities available in most every Seattle area community. Just as our elders range in capabilities and interests, these offerings run the gamut from physically active to arts and crafts. For lots more ideas in other local communities such as Seattle, Renton or Edmonds, head to their city websites.

For example, the City of Bellevue sponsors events that would be fun for elders and caregivers alike such as the free “Foreign Films in the Park” (Thursday nights in August at Crossroads Park). Or perhaps your favorite elder would like some mild, adaptive exercise, swimming in the Warm Pool at the Bellevue Aquatic Center.

Other great summertime activities include taking your grandkids to a $5 performance of the Bellevue Youth Theatre. Flower and outdoor lovers relish outings to the Bellevue Botanical Gardenfor free events such as the Fuschia Society Plant Show & Sale in August. Of course, the city offers a full menu of senior activities year round that range from footcare and message therapy to yoga and group fitness.

Seniors enjoy watching kids play.

More Ideas for Fun Summer Activities for Seniors:
• Sit and watch the sunrise or sunset with your senior. Many like to rise early, enjoy the cool of the morning with a fresh juice or coffee.
• Take your senior to a children’s baseball game.
• If you live close to a beach or lake, go for a walk, or wheelchair ride along the lake side.
• Just sit under a shady tree on a warm sunny day and maybe take off your shoes and theirs to feel the grass underfoot. Talk about summer games they use to play.
• Shell some peas, snap some beans, eat some fresh tomatoes from the garden.
• Find out what their favorite book or author is and read a chapter each time you visit.
• Go swimming. Sometimes it’s difficult to take a senior swimming, but many YMCA’s have senior swim times and early morning hours.
• Find a free outdoor music concert.
• Go on a simple picnic. Drive to their favorite park, find a picnic table and eat a simple brown paper bag lunch.

Let’s keep in mind that whatever activities we enjoy with our favorite senior this summer, let’s do them with love and patience. We can make new memories, and reinforce old ones. We can take the time to truly listen to our elder loved ones – listening is such a royal gift. It will make them feel wonderful and you, too!

What are your elderly loved one’s favorite summer activities? How do you make “magic” out of summer?