Summer brings along longer days and endless warmth, a welcome change from the frigid air of the winter months that finds a way to penetrate even the deepest layers. For seniors who get cold more easily due to thinning skin, low blood pressure, and various other conditions, summer offers a break from constant shivering. Not only that, but it also opens the door to outdoor activities, which can further fight boredom.
The challenge, though, lies in finding activities for seniors with dementia. It can be difficult for caregivers to plan engaging activities that are also safe, but keeping a senior busy is crucial for reducing anxiety, agitation, anger, and depression.
Caregivers can use the following ideas to brainstorm summer activities perfect for seniors with dementia.
Do Something They Used to Love
One of the most important things caregivers can do with seniors who have dementia are activities that they loved when they were younger. Seniors with dementia may have difficulty remembering recent events, but they can often remember the activities they filled their summers with as kids and young adults.
Home Health Aides and CNAs can speak to the senior’s loved ones and family members to determine what activities they used to enjoy. One common activity in the summertime is going to the beach; so if the senior used to love soaking up the sun’s warmth while listening to the crash of waves, take a trip to the beach and let them relax near the shore.
For many seniors with dementia, reenacting an activity they used to enjoy can bring up memories, which can help them feel connected with their past. You may be surprised by what the senior you care for remembers once they go to a familiar location.
Gardening is a great summertime activity that allows seniors to use their hands. Not only that but being in the sun provides a vitamin D boost which can help reduce some of the symptoms of dementia. Gardening is also a great, gentle form of exercise that strengthens muscles while also boosting the cardiovascular system. Seniors will see great satisfaction in their garden’s growth over the summer months, and planting vegetables gives the extra pleasure of eating the food they grew themselves. Seniors can also share their bounty with friends and family, allowing them to feel satisfaction in their contribution.
Go to Community Events
Seniors with dementia can fall victim to isolation, leading to depression and poor quality of life. To combat this, caregivers can immerse the senior in community events, which are much more abundant in the summer months. Events such as farmer’s markets, game nights, movie nights, and town fairs allow seniors to get out of their houses and enjoy the company of others.
Planning Summer Activities
The summer months bring increased sunshine and chances to get outside and enjoy the day. To make the most of this time, caregivers should try to get seniors outside, even if it’s only in the backyard. Even better, try to plan activities that will bring up pleasant memories from the senior’s past, helping them to feel content, peaceful, and valued.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of caregivers for seniors with dementia, call us today.
Littlejohns, T., Kos, K., Henley, W., Kuma, E., & Llewellyn, D. (2015). VITAMIN D AND DEMENTIA. The Journal Of Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease, 1-10. doi: 10.14283/jpad.2015.68
Woods, B., O’Philbin, L., Farrell, E., Spector, A., & Orrell, M. (2018). Reminiscence therapy for dementia. Cochrane Database Of Systematic Reviews, 2018(3). doi: 10.1002/14651858.cd001120.pub3
Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging: Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions. (2022). https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html