In Olive Branch and elsewhere around the country, events and activities have been planned for the month of June, which is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. The goal of all these events will be to help raise national awareness of the seriousness of mental health, and maintaining brain health through active mental involvement. Senior home care professionals understand the importance of staying mentally active so that the brain is used frequently and stays active and engaged. That’s why caretakers will often seek the participation of their charges in such activities as solving crossword puzzles, reading books, and even playing board games that require thought and strategy, e.g. chess, checkers, etc. In this article, we’ll be considering some of the 4th of July activities that get overlooked, but which might be appropriate for seniors and other family members to celebrate the holiday.
Depending on the general health and fitness level of your senior loved one, he/she may not be able to participate in some of the more active events you’d like to plan. Care must be taken for instance, if you plan something like a cookout with family and friends, and the day turns out to be extremely warm and humid. Such weather can be problematic for some seniors who are not often exposed to it, so they may need to be kept protected and out of the sun for long periods of time. Baseball games or other active events like a volleyball game, might not be possible for seniors to participate in, so make your plans accordingly. Make sure to have cool refreshments on hand if you do plan an outdoor event, even a passive one like watching a parade. Seniors can quickly become dehydrated, and develop health issues.
Here are some activities that you might not immediately think of, but which will be great ways to celebrate the birth of our nation:
- group walk or bike ride – have your whole group take a walk around the town park or your neighborhood, to enjoy the sunshine and get some exercise as well. If everyone has a bicycle, the activity can be converted into a group bike ride.
- backyard picnic – families don’t seem to picnic as often as in the past, but if you can manage the logistics of it, this is still a very enjoyable activity for an entire family.
- family campout – take the whole family to a local state park or other campground, where you can spend a night in a cabin and have a greater appreciation of the natural world. This can provide you with tons of other opportunities for exciting events in the natural setting.
- beach day – arrange for a whole day at a nearby beach where everyone can enjoy swimming and other water activities, and those less active can soak up some sun on a lawn chair in the sand.
- have a Pickleball tournament – since the COVID-19 pandemic, a great many seniors have become interested in this relatively new sport, and youngsters love it as well. Stage a whole tournament with your family and friends, so everyone can get in on the fun.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that it might rain on the 4th of July, and you’ll want to have some activities planned for indoors, just in case. Here are some possibilities that everyone in your family can enjoy:
- have a movie marathon – you can plan to show patriotic movies, which Hollywood has churned out by the score, or just plain popular movies that have universal appeal. For instance, you might want to show all three of the ‘Hobbit’ movies or all three of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies.
- dance party – get together a mix of popular music that might appeal to all different age groups, and have a music festival/dance party right in your own living room. The more participants you have, the more fun everyone will have.
- indoor picnic – when was the last time you planned an indoor picnic? The sheer novelty of the event should be appealing enough that all your friends and family will want to participate.
- scavenger hunt – these activities are always fun for everyone because all parties have to become involved in order to find the items listed on the scavenger hunt roster. This can be fun for all ages, and will undoubtedly lead to a good deal of unofficial collusion and partnerships.
- make homemade ice cream – while this can take a while, the end result will be enough to reward anyone who becomes involved in the process. Youngsters may not even be aware that ice cream can be produced in this way, and seniors may recall this method of production from their youth.
Be safe and have fun
It may require a little extra attention to ensure that seniors safely participate in any of the events described above, but they will definitely have a lot more fun if they’re involved and not just observing. When planning any family event to celebrate the holiday, take a few minutes to think of any possible accidents or things that could go wrong, and take steps to prevent them. That will allow everyone in your group to have a great time, and to properly observe the whole point of the holiday, which is to recognize the birth of our nation.