If your loved one has limited mobility with a walker, wheelchair or cane, you may be hesitant to bring them outdoors. In fact, it’s not uncommon for elders to not want to go outside because they are embarrassed of their limitations. But now that the bright, sunny summer is here, it’s important that you get encourage your elderly parent to get outdoors and enjoy some fresh air. Here are some activities that you can safely do with your loved one this summer.
Please discuss with a doctor in advance to make sure your loved one is cleared for these activities.
Gardening: Gardening is a wonderful activity for all ages. Depending on your loved one’s mobility, they can help by picking out flowers to plant, watering potted plants and pulling weeds. If your parent enjoys gardening, consider planting a container garden by a large window.
Kids Sports Games: Do you have children who play on baseball teams? Nieces and nephews who are involved in football or soccer? Bring your loved one to these games and let them share in this part of your life. There are usually open spaces where your loved one can sit comfortably.
Outdoor Movies: Check and see if your community offers movie nights in the park during the summer. Many communities offer events like these, and families are welcome to bring snacks and a blanket to sit on. This family-friendly activity is something that your loved one can enjoy, and it will tire them out before bed.
Picnic Lunches: Sometimes, it feels great to go out and eat. But, if Mom or Dad doesn’t care to sit in a crowded restaurant, try a quaint picnic by the park. Bring healthy snacks and bottled water and let the kids play while you enjoy one-on-one time with your parent.
Fishing: Even if your loved one is wheelchair bound, they can still take part in a quiet afternoon fishing by a lake or river. Plus, there is something about fishing that makes it low-key and relaxing for all ages.
Swimming: If your loved one is able to swim, don’t hesitate to get them out to the pool. Some pools offer special swimming times for lap swimmers, so check out what accommodations your community pool offers. Low-impact water aerobics are beneficial for elders and may reduce pain.
Photography: Take your loved one for a stroll in a new location each week. Maybe it’s the place where they grew up or a new place they’ve been wanting to see. Ask your loved one to look for certain things, such as bird species, tree species or small mammals. Take pictures of what you see and make a photo album. This activity will keep Mom or Dad’s memory sharp and give them something to look forward to each week.