12 Outdoor Summertime Activities for Seniors
As the weather warms, many seniors are taking their afternoon activities outdoors. A rocking chair or a comfortable lounge chair on a sunny deck may be the perfect spot to finish your book or catch a lovely nap in the sun. The outdoors is also a great option for helping seniors stay active while the weather is warm and the world begins to bustle with summertime activity. What are some of the best outdoor summertime activities for seniors, and how can you ensure senior safety in the sun? Here at Elite Home Health Care, we have a few helpful tips to share.
Why Seniors Should Spend Time Outdoors
Sunshine is good for the body in small, delightful doses. Sunshine stimulates your metabolism, promotes vitamin D production, and helps to prevent the onset or progress of dementia. Seniors feel good warming their bones in the sun and those who stay active can find many relaxing and fun summertime activities to do outdoors. Many seniors can go outdoors themselves for their daily sunshine and fresh air, while others rely on the help of caregivers and loved ones to catch a few hours enjoying their back patio or warm summertime deck.
Outdoor Summertime Activities for Seniors
This list of activities considers seniors who have varying levels of physical ability. Those who can sit comfortably will enjoy seated activities while seniors who are still active can seek light summer activity in a number of fun ways.
1. Taking Daily Walks or Hikes
Taking a daily walk does the body good. The hips are the gears of digestion and just 15 minutes of walking a day can improve cardiovascular health. Further, walking in the sunshine produces vitamin D, and walking among greenery promotes happiness via serotonin. So, a daily nature walk or a walk in a tree-canopied neighborhood is always good for you.
2. Raised Planter Gardening
It's a well-known fact that some seniors adore gardening. If you've got a green thumb, raised planters make it easier to enjoy outdoor gardening without the need to stoop or kneel.
3. Outdoor Photography
Take in the beauty of summertime nature and human life through photography. Many seniors discover a talent for photography later in life, along with the ability to quietly observe the world around them. Pick up the camera and see what secrets the summer holds.
4. Picnics and Al Fresco Dining
Planning a picnic or dining at Al Fresco is a delightful way to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Sharing a meal with close family or good friends is also always enjoyable, indoors or outdoors.
5. Spending Time at the Pool
Seniors and swimming pools are a perfect match for outdoor summertime activities. Swimming pools offers a variety of low-impact exercises and are a cooling delight in the hot summer sun. Seniors can also enjoy lounging in the shade of nearby pool umbrellas.
Many seniors have spent a lifetime honing their barbecue skills and manning the grill is still a point of pride. Barbecuing the perfect dinner for friends and family is a great way to spend your time outdoors in the summer.
7. Outdoor Games and Crafts
Set up the picnic table and enjoy some games and crafts in a shady place outdoors. Puzzles, board games, and handicrafts are fun to do outdoors for fifteen minutes or a few hours in safe summer weather.
8. Watching Children Play
Many seniors enjoy time at the park or in their own backyard watching the young generation play. Having a nice place to sit or a lovely path to walk near a play area lifts the spirits and is a joy each day.
9. Light Sports and Golfing
Seniors can stay active with light impact summer sports like golfing pickleball and beanbag toss games are fun because they keep you moving but don't require strenuous or dangerous levels of exercise.
10. Attending Outdoor Concerts
Outdoor concerts are often popular with seniors. Music in the park is a lovely way to spend your time and a great reason to get out of the house on a summer afternoon.
If you have a sharp eye, bird watching is a fun activity for many seniors. A pair of binoculars and a tree-covered park are all you need to spot many of your local Audubon varieties.
12. Tour the Farmer's Market
Take a pleasant walk somewhere with outdoor shopping like a farmer's market. These weekly summer events are a great opportunity to meet people, explore fresh foods, and enjoy the outdoor ambiance.
Stay Safe in the Sun While Enjoying Outdoor Summertime Activities
When seniors are spending summer hours outdoors, pay attention to signs of sunstroke or heat exhaustion. A warm sunbeam can be comforting, but too much sun can be a risk for those of sensitive health. Watch for flushed face, sudden sweating rapid breathing, and altered mental state or behavior. Listen for complaints of a headache, nausea, or dizziness, and make sure all outdoor seniors get plenty of water while soaking up the sun.
If a senior starts exhibiting signs of sunstroke or heat exhaustion, get into the shade with cool (not cold) water to cool down.
Staying at Home for Enjoyable Outdoor Summertime Activities and Care
Summertime for seniors is most enjoyable in your favorite places, at home, in your own backyard, and in your local park. With Elite Home Health Care, seniors can age in place and enjoy summer in their homes with professional at-home support and attentive summer care. Contact us today to find out more about home care and senior summer activities.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.