The long, hot, carefree days of summer make you want to kick back, relax and soak it all in. However, if you’re caring for an ill or aging loved one, it can feel like summer slipped away before either of you had a chance to enjoy it. Staying active and engaged will allow you to experience the many health benefits, spend more time together and make the most of the season. Here are some summer fun ideas to get you started:
- Be a Tourist: While a getaway may not be possible, try seeing where you live with fresh eyes. Take a bus tour, visit a museum, enjoy summer festivals, outdoor concerts, movies in the park or sporting events. Many of the offerings are free, so check out your city’s calendar to see what’s planned for the summer.
- Set a Goal: Find something you and your loved one can work towards together. Try painting summer scenery, learning a new language, taking up pickle ball, or experimenting with photography. Many community centres and colleges offer summer classes that can help you reach your goals.
- Try New Recipes: Summer is the best time to cook and bake together with local, fresh ingredients. Find unique summer recipes and go to your local farmers’ market to source the fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese you need.
- Get Gardening: Spend time outside together watching your hard work grow. If you don’t have your own yard, community gardens are becoming increasingly popular. If your loved one has mobility challenges, use raised flowerbeds or planters and buy adaptive tools to make gardening easier.
- Create an Oasis: If you have an outdoor space, invest in comfortable patio seating with an umbrella, a string of white lights or a bird feeder or water feature to enjoy the sights and sounds of summer at your doorstep. Bring in flowers and accessorize with colour to make your indoor space feel more summery.
- Picnic Outside: Invite friends or family and find a spot to eat outside together. Pack classic summer food like berries, watermelon and corn on the cob or make it a potluck. A picnic can also include horseshoes, bocce ball or other outdoor games. Just remember to bring comfortable seating and shade for safety.
There are so many ways to enjoy the summer together, with a few adjustments to accommodate your loved one’s needs. Be aware that summer can bring extreme heat and that the elderly and people with chronic health conditions are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. Be sun smart and plan activities for the coolest part of the day to enjoy a happy, safe and fun summer together.