Make sure that your senior loved one has a fun, safe, and stress-free holiday this year by adapting traditional holiday activities to suit their needs. Relaxation is the key to everyone having a good time this Fourth of July. Here are some activity ideas for your family to consider when celebrating with a senior loved one.
Make Traditional Foods, But Keep Your Loved One’s Nutritional Needs in Mind
Fire up the grill and make foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Make potato salad, coleslaw, and fruit salad for sides. If your senior loved one is good with a grill, let them take over, or share the grill time together. If anyone in your family has special dietary and nutritional needs, make sure to put something on the menu for them. Search through some great diabetic-friendly recipes and wonderful heart-healthy recipes.
Make Food Preparation a Family Affair
Make sure that everyone is involved in preparing all of your family’s special holiday dishes. If cooking is your love-one’s special thing, step back and let them take charge. Learn everything that you can about their recipes and the way that they fix things, so that the tradition can be passed down. If your senior loved one has any form of cognitive decline and is not entirely capable of cooking by themselves in the kitchen, have them help by washing lettuce, other vegetables, and fruit and have them fix the salads. Cut vegetables and fruits for them to avoid injuries from a sharp knife, if needed.
Fix Simple, Fun Desserts
You don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen making dessert. Your holiday dessert can be patriotic, fun, and simple. Make a layered fruit salad “cake” instead of baking, or fix one of these many red, white, and blue Jell-O recipes. Piece together flag fruit skewers and put them on the grill or chill them in the freezer before serving. You can even set up an ice cream sundae bar and let everyone fix their own sundaes.
Many seniors love the sunshine and the outdoors. Weather permitting, spend some time outside with your senior loved one if they want to. To make sure that your outdoor activities are senior-friendly, keep a close eye on the temperature.
Stay Safe and Comfortable in the Hot Weather
If it is very hot outside, make sure that everyone stays hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids. They should also go rest inside every so often in the air conditioning or under a nice tree in the shade. Make sure that everyone wears proper skin protectants, like light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing, sunscreen, and bug spray. Have comfortable seating and close bathrooms available. Brush up on some summertime safety tips for seniors.
Throw a Backyard Barbecue
Provide a special, comfortable seat that is just for your senior loved one, and let them enjoy the action from a nice, shady spot in the yard. You can help your loved one avoid feeling too tired or feeling overstimulated by providing plenty of shade and several different places to sit, chat, and sip on something cool. From their seat, they can get up and join in on the action and even be grill master for a while if they want, but they always have the option to sit back down and relax.
Watch the Fireworks
Take a wheelchair or a portable chair with you so that your senior loved one won’t get tired from standing for too long during a fireworks show. Since fireworks shows take place in the late evening and early hours of the night, make sure that you have bug spray on hand to reapply as necessary. Bring earplugs for your loved one if they are sensitive to loud noises, and take them inside if the noises, the bugs, or an uncomfortable seat begins to bother them too much.
Many seniors cannot leave their houses or cannot go outside in the heat during the summer, so why not bring the holiday celebration to them? Enjoy some air-conditioned fun with some of these great activities.
Watch the Fireworks on Television
Most local news stations will show live local fireworks shows once the sun is down. Search your tv guide or click through your local channels until you find a fireworks show that you like. Turn the lights off in the living room and enjoy the colors and lights together.
Sing Patriotic Songs
Play songs on youdawr computer, phone, or tablet and have everyone sit in the living room and sing along to them.
Pull out some old board games or a stack of cards and play a game together. Let your senior loved one pick out a board game that they remember from their childhood, or have them teach you a card game that you haven’t learned yet. Read about some fun activities for people with dementia.
Do Holiday-Themed Crafts
Gather around a table covered in craft supplies and put together red, white, and blue pinwheels, magnets, cards, or handprint art. You can paint, draw, cut, and glue together whatever you like. Click here for several patriotic craft ideas.