Oh, the long, hot days of summer! In Arizona, it starts early and goes late. Often, our elders remain indoors during most of the summer months, and more recently, with COVID-19 lurking, seniors with underlying conditions are stuck inside even more so than usual.
It may be a nice time to discover a new activity, or reacquaint with an old hobby! Here are some ideas to either do on your own, with a friend or neighbor, or to encourage an elder loved one to consider to allay boredom and the same old thing every day.
When you add an activity to your day or to the day of a senior you love, you might consider this approach:
Focus on enjoyment, not achievement.
Determine what time of day is best for the activity.
Be flexible and patient with yourself if it’s something new.
If you choose an outside activity, make sure it’s early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid extreme temperatures. Outdoor activities can be relaxing and fulfilling. It’s always great to get a change of scenery and enjoy fresh air.
The following are ideas for outside activities:
Plant some flowers or herbs in small pots.
Pull old plants and weeds from the garden.
Take a walk and identify the flowers and plants with a book on plants along the way.
Check on your garden daily for new sprouts or ripe vegetables. This can also lead to other activities such as picking and preparing what has grown in the garden.
Put a birdbath and feeders out in the yard, so you can watch the birds out the window.
Have your meal or snack outside.
Read a book or poetry in the shade outside.
Play a game of horseshoes.
Sit on the porch noticing all the activity, colors, and scents. Wave to the neighbors!
Sew something for a friend.
Take up embroidery or knitting.
Call an old friend who would be surprised to hear from you, and catch up.
Learn how to Zoom or FaceTime, and suggest a family “gathering.”
Read a new book indoors in a quiet spot, with a nice cup of tea.
Find a poem or prayer you’d like to memorize and spend several minutes a day reciting it.
Pull out old music and listen and reminisce.
Find a new radio program or podcast you’d like to listen to.
Pull out your old photo albums and just reminisce, or reorganize them.
Gather together some paints or colored pencils and create some artwork.
Write a letter to an old friend or family member.
Make a memory book or a personal scrapbook.
Organize drawers or cupboards.
Find a new recipe and make something special.
Get a handbook for dice games and play.
Pull out a once-loved board or card game and play…or learn a new one!
Watch an old musical.
Make apple pie or cobbler from scratch. See who can peel the longest unbroken peel!
Soak and massage your feet, or a friend’s. Paint your toenails if desired!
Plan a happy hour for yourself with music and salsa and chips and margarita mix.
Put up maps of the state, country and world and mark all the places you’ve been and where you’d like to go.
Write down your family timeline and history….births, deaths, moves, marriages,
Write down your favorite childhood memories, your memories as an adult and things you have learned about life.
Polish and shine your shoes.
Make birthday card collages for friends from old magazines and photos.
Put on some favorite, irresistible music and MOVE! (You don’t have to call it dancing!)
Sing favorite hymns and carols.
Blow up an inflatable punch ball and use it as indoor balloon volleyball.
Learn simple exercises you can do in a chair.
Experiment with aromatherapy and essential oils. Try new ones and notice what they do to your mood. Remember, don’t apply them directly to your skin. Always use in lotions or diluted in infusers, and don’t use for extended periods. Here are some ideas on essential oils to influence mood.Invigorating: Peppermint, rosemary, lemon
For more recommendations of fun activities for seniors, call on the aging care pros at Nightingale Homecare! We’d love to provide the friendly companionship for older adults, along with plenty of creative and engaging ideas that make each day the best it can be. Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about how our experts in home care in Glendale, AZ and the surrounding area can help a senior you love.
Our Surprise home health care team helps seniors stay active and engaged.
As the saying goes, age is just a number! With an active mind and lifestyle, purpose and meaning, and a positive attitude, many older adults continue to feel vibrant and engaged well into their later years. The key for caregivers, such as those at Nightingale’s Surprise home health care agency, is to foster as much independence and activity as possible to allow seniors to thrive.
In honor of Older Americans Month, we offer the following tips to help boost senior activity and engagement for your loved ones:
Foster self-worth. We all need to feel needed, and there are a variety of ways that older adults can continue to make a difference in the world around them. Help your senior loved one explore volunteer opportunities in the community that he or she is especially passionate about – reading to kids at a local school or children’s hospital, spending time visiting with the animals at a rescue facility, collecting hygiene and other needed items for veterans or the homeless – the ideas are limitless!
Ensure dependable transportation is available. Many seniors give up the car keys and rely on others to take them where they need to go. And often, that leaves seniors feeling as though they don’t want to impose on others, therefore cutting back on getting out and about. Arrange for transportation to be available at the senior’s disposal; professional care providers, such as Nightingale Homecare’s Surprise home health care aides, are on hand according to each individual’s requested schedule and routine.
Stay active together! It’s always much more fun to exercise with a companion. Sign up with your senior loved one for a yoga or water aerobics class, set a regular time each day to take a walk together, etc. Not only will it allow the older adult (and you!) to remain physically fit, but will provide ample opportunities for socialization enhancement as well.
Find a furry friend. The benefits of pets to seniors are numerous, shown to improve both mental and physical health, providing a sense of purpose and a friendly companion who is always available to keep an older adult company. It’s never a good idea, however, to “spring” a pet of your own choosing on someone; instead, if your loved one is open to the idea, visit a local animal shelter or pet store together and let the senior choose the perfect pet.
The Surprise home health care team at Nightingale Homecare can help implement all of these suggestions and more to help older adults remain active and engaged in the world around them. We love nothing more than helping seniors enjoy life to the fullest, and can provide transportation and accompaniment to exercise classes and other fun outings, companionship to alleviate loneliness and enjoy activities together, as well as a full range of both non-medical and skilled nursing and therapy services in the comfort of home. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 to learn more ways we can help improve quality of life for your senior loved ones.
As we grow older, the holiday season can become challenging for a variety of reasons: memories of loved ones lost, chronic health conditions, increased difficulty with mobility and others. And as a result, many times seniors may feel left out, isolated and saddened, rather than joyful, merry and bright.
Families can help their older loved ones enjoy the holidays with a little pre-thought and planning of activities that all ages can participate in together. Our Arizona home health care team at Nightingale Homecare offers the following ideas:
Recipe sharing. Make a day out of poring through recipes that have been a big part of the person’s life, and add in some new ones you’d all like to try. Create a simple recipe book together, with the children adding their own touches through illustrations, stickers, etc. Once completed, get together on a regular basis to create and enjoy one of the recipes together.
Decorating. The options are truly limitless when it comes to holiday decorating. Bring a bag full of glitter, pom poms, craft sticks, pipe cleaners, paint, etc. and let everyone get creative! Or simply pick up a couple of pre-made gingerbread house kits complete with frosting and candies for a guaranteed fun afternoon for all ages. It’s also a great idea to pull out and look through decorations the older adult has collected over the years, and reminisce over the stories associated with each.
Helping another. Nothing feels better than helping someone in need, and the holidays provide the perfect opportunity to work together as a family to make a difference in a way that’s near and dear to your hearts. Serve at a homeless shelter, pick out gifts for children in need, bake dog treats and bring them to a local animal shelter, visit a local nursing home to sing holiday songs, fill stockings with small treats and hygiene items for veterans, etc.
At Nightingale Homecare, we love helping seniors participate in the fun of the holiday season, and can help in a variety of ways! Our Arizona home health caregivers provide friendly companionship, escorted transportation to fun outings and events, encouragement to be as involved as possible in any holiday activities that spark interest, and much more, customized to each person’s individual needs.
Call us any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about our licensed, certified, RN-managed in-home care services for seniors. We’ve been serving seniors throughout Maricopa County and the greater Phoenix area since 1994 and would love to help your senior loved one live life to the fullest as well – throughout the holiday season and into the new year as well!
A Nightingale representative would be happy to answer your questions or help you arrange for home care that is custom-fit to your needs.