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From the Neighborhood Press

Summer Fun: with your senior

Summertime has finally arrived in Arvada. It’s a wonderful time of year in Colorado. For many families, it’s the time to enjoy pool parties, backyard BBQ’s and fun vacations. And if you have a senior in an assisted living or nursing home, the warm breezes and sunshine likely will remind them of past memories with their family. So as you enjoy the season, remember to spend some time with your senior loved ones. They’ll be so thankful. Here are some ideas to help your senior enjoy this summer.

A visit. Many senior communities offer activities and social events for their residents. Stop by one morning after they’ve had breakfast and look over the community events schedule together. Talk about upcoming events and encourage them to attend. They’ll likely tell you about their friends and activities they’ve enjoyed in the past. Help them look forward to a fun summer! See if you can attend one of the events with them. Many retirement communities encourage family involvement, but with Covid-19 causing some restrictions based on current risk factors, it’s a good idea to check with the hospitality desk and see how you can be involved.

Brunch

If your loved one is capable of short car rides, consider getting the whole family involved in preparing a special brunch or luncheon for them at your house. It could be out on the patio, or indoors with windows wide open to let the breeze in. Make sure to provide them with a comfortable chair and plenty of shade. Find a summery table cloth and add some flowers to make the table cheerful and bright. It will mean so much to them that you made the effort to do something special for them!

Celebrate. It’s almost Independence Day. Help them celebrate the season by bringing by a bouquet of red, white and blue flowers, some tiny flags and a slice of apple pie! You can help your senior celebrate the summertime anytime. Cut some fragrant garden roses to bring to them or find a fun beachy picture to hang on their wall. A few summery items will help brighten their day and bring them joy for days!

Food. Grandma may have a favorite pie or dessert she especially enjoys in the summertime. It may a specific kind of ice cream or strawberry shortcake. Surprise your loved one with something homemade, just for them! You can also share your family favorites with them. And next time you have a family cookout, make up a plate for them complete with BBQ chicken, potato salad, baked beans and a slice of pie!

Plan a fun activity. Bring summer to your senior by sharing a fun activity to do with them at their assisted living home. For example, you could help them with a pedicure using fun summer shades for them to choose from. Or watch a movie with summertime themes. Work on a puzzle together with a bright beach picture. You may need to get creative especially if your senior is no longer very mobile.

For those in memory care with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s important to speak with caregivers to find out how you can help brighten up their summer. Your senior may not be able to venture out far, or may require special accommodations. Find out the things that are enjoyable for them. If your senior enjoys looking at pictures, bring an iPad and share pictures of the family vacation to the beach with them. Your senior’s caregiver may also share some activity ideas or exercises you could help out with. Spending time with your loved one is so important, regardless of whether or not you have to adjust your plans a bit.

Summertime is busy and fun. Many seniors are no longer mobile or able to get out and about to enjoy seasonal activities. If your loved one lives in an adult community where they receive supportive care, they will likely have access to planned activities, holiday celebrations, a fitness program and social events. You can also share summer with them and help bring some sunshine into their life! And they will be so happy you thought of them.

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