It’s summer, and the heat is on. We’ve already seen some scorching temperatures and according to weather forecasters, it’s going to be a hotter than average summer across the United States. Not only that, we’re still seeing new Covid-19 cases every day across the nation. With fewer people traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic, most Americans are thinking about how to have a vacation at home this summer. As a caregiver, coming up with ways to have fun and keep your aging loved ones safe is a challenge, but here are 6 creative ideas to help you have fun while staying close to home.
1. Have a backyard pool party without a pool Older adults may not be able to participate in a full-fledged pool party, but why not have a mini-pool party? Most big-box stores carry small hard- or softsided plastic kiddie pools at reasonable prices. These can be a great way to encourage older adults to sit in a chair or wheelchair by the kiddie pool, put their feet in the water and splash around without the danger of falling in.
2. Create a beach getaway at home A kiddie pool can also be used as a temporary beach. Fill it with inexpensive play sand, add some beach toys, and there you go. Older adults can sit in the shade near the sand or wiggle their feet in it. Other family members can build sandcastles with a little water or make sand shapes while everyone enjoys the make-believe beach. Adding tropical themed decorations can make it even more entertaining. Go all out by wearing beach attire, spreading out beach towels, and bringing out coolers packed with refreshments.
3. Travel the world through delicious dishes “Travel” to Italy, Greece, Spain or anywhere in the world to try the amazing local cuisine. Choose a country that your older adult is familiar with or someplace they’ve always wanted to visit. Find some recipes online and give them a try along with your older adult.
4. Explore your city Take your older adult for a drive and go to a local place they’ve never been to but have always wanted to visit like a park, botanical gardens, or other outdoor attraction.
Maybe there’s a lovely park where you can feed the ducks (only real duck food) or sit and watch them splash and swim. Think creatively to find places with interesting views but without large crowds.
5. Start a home garden If you don’t already have a garden, creating one together is a great way to spend a little time outdoors together. You could also ask younger family members to come and help out. Children love to plant and watch things grow into flowers or vegetables and fruit they can eat.
6. Put out bird feeders by a large window for viewing Attracting and identifying different bird species is another great activity to do with your older adult. Place different kinds of bird feeders and water sources to attract different types of birds. You’ll probably be surprised at the number of birds you can identify. Research local birds online or buy bird watching books or videos. Encourage your older adult to write down the different kinds of birds they see.