Summer is in full swing in Northern California and many people are soaking up the sun. While there are activities for old and young alike, some seniors have mobility issues or health conditions that make it difficult to enjoy summertime activities. With the help of a family or home caregiver, seniors can still get in on the warm weather fun with these creative ideas:
Visit a farmers market. Year-round produce is available in Northern California, and the harvest is especially bountiful during the summer months. Farmers markets are wheelchair accessible and often come with free live music entertainment. Shopping for (or just browsing!) fresh fruits and veggies provides lots of opportunities for conversation, to connect with the community, and to take in the vibrant colors and textures of the season.
Take a hike. Hiking may seem like an activity for the more adventurous type, but California boasts so many trails that there are routes available for every skill level. From beaches to forests to mountains, California has a variety of trails to offer. There are local urban hikes suitable for seniors as well, such as the Panhandle Park in San Francisco which has several blocks of flat pathways to traverse.
Attend a concert. Many cities and towns in Northern California host free summer concert series. Most of these concert series are equipped for wheelchairs and people with disabilities. For example, Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco hosts a free concert or performance every Saturday from May through September. There is the Stern Grove Festival on Sundays in San Francisco, as well. The Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Sonoma County runs a brews and music series and the Beach Boardwalk in Santa Cruz hosts concerts at its amusement park all summer long. Each town and county will have its own offerings, and a caregiver can help look up locations and dates as well as assist with attendance.
Take a dip. Beat the heat with a swim at a public pool. Many public pools have programs tailored to seniors and people with disabilities, such as aqua aerobics classes. Due to the buoyancy of water, aqua aerobics are easier on the joints than many other forms of exercise. A visit to the beach is also a nice way to dip your toes in both the ocean and the sand. Just remember to stay hydrated and to use sunscreen or wear clothing that protects from the sun.
Have a picnic. What summer is complete without at least one picnic on a blanket under a shady tree? The nice thing about picnics is that there are many location options, even if it’s just your own yard. Caregivers can help by preparing the snacks and setting up the area, as well as arranging for friends or family to join.
Enjoy Summer Activities for Seniors and Stay Safe!
It is important to be mindful of safety hazards while enjoying summer activities for seniors. Elderly bodies contain less water than youthful bodies, so seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. Different types of medication can also increase the risk for dehydration and can cause sun sensitivity. Having a family or home caregiver present during activities will reduce the risks for summer safety hazards and can help seniors enjoy themselves in a way that is both safe and fun.
If you are interested in becoming a home caregiver or if you would like to receive information about home care services, please reach out to us at Alegre Home Care. We have been serving seniors in Northern California for over 20 years!