4th of July Activities for Seniors
The 4th of July is always a fun day for Americans nationwide as we celebrate our Independence with picnics, parades and fireworks. Be sure to involve your senior loved ones in your celebrations, but also be aware of any event where there will be heat, bugs, noise, smoke and possibly rambunctious children.
Here are some suggestions to celebrate July 4th with seniors in mind:
1. Fireworks from Afar: Fireworks shows are a staple of July 4th, but they usually involve large crowds, lots of noise and heavy traffic. Do some scouting ahead of time to find a good spot to watch the show with your senior loved one, without being directly in the middle of action. Perhaps it’s a hill away from the crowd, a boat in the lake or river, or even your own balcony. Wherever you end up, don’t forget to bring a light jacket or blanket for your loved one in case it gets chilly at night.
2. Backyard BBQ: Throw a barbecue and invite family and friends over to enjoy the day. Enlist your senior loved one to help pick the party music or make a fruit salad to help them feel engaged. Make sure seniors have plenty of shade, a comfortable place to sit and access to food that fits their dietary needs. If your attendees enjoy a good sing along, direct everyone in rousing renditions of tunes, such as America the Beautiful.
3. Parade Watching: Everyone loves a good old fashioned parade. Stake out a shady location early to make sure to have a comfortable place for your loved one to sit. Remember to wear lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing which is best for comfort and air circulation. Make sure your senior loved one is properly hydrated throughout the day and be sure to know ahead of time where the bathrooms are located. Lastly, don’t forget the sunscreen!
4. Picnic in the Park: Pack up the whole family and head to a local park for a scenic picnic. Be sure to bring a comfortable chair for seniors or get there early to find an open picnic table. Some parks allow you to reserve pavilions with shade and tables ahead of time for a small fee. Don’t forget the fishing poles, kites and Frisbees — plan easy activities that seniors can engage in.
5. Baseball Game: Going to a baseball game is another great 4th of July activity for senior citizens. Some hot dogs, beers and a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is a great way to celebrate America. Try to find seats in the shaded part of the stadium and don’t forget to stay hydrated. If you don’t live in a city with a major league team, find the closest minor league ball park. Minor league games are lively and get you closer to the action for less cost.
We understand that sometimes outdoor activities aren’t the best options for some seniors. Here are a few suggestions for indoor 4th of July activities.
6. Red, White & Blue Crafts: Gather supplies at your local craft store and plan a couple hours with your senior loved one to make Independence Day crafts that he/she can enjoy. Some 4th of July crafts for seniors include paint pots, wine glasses, or candles with festive July 4th themes and colors. This is also a great way to have the children spend quality time with Grandma or Grandpa.
7. Luminaries: This easy, patriotic craft requires luminary bags, paint, a hole punch and candles, and will brighten up a beautiful Independence Day evening. Get creative with some red, white and blue designs and punch several holes for the tea lights to breathe. You can even opt for citronella candles to keep the bugs at bay.
8. Fruit Skewers: This is the perfect refreshing snack for a barbecue or pool party. Have your loved one load skewers with strawberries, banana slices and blueberries for a festive treat.
9. Tie dye: All you need for this fun craft is something white, a tie dye kit and rubber bands. Use just the red and blue paints and dye anything - beach towels, shirts, socks, etc. This is a great craft for seniors and grandchildren to get a little messy together.
10. TV Fireworks: If venturing out to an organized community fireworks show isn’t in the cards, turn on your TV and watch the national fireworks display broadcast from Washington D.C. Depending on where you live, watching local fireworks on television may be an option as well.
11. Trivia Contest: After a good meal, challenge your loved ones to a little bit of history trivia. Compile facts about U.S. history and divide guests into teams. The winners get to be the first to the dessert table!
12. Catch a Movie: Invite your senior loved one to join you at the movie theater to see the latest release. Or watch a movie from the comfort of your own home that has you chanting “USA!” Classic war movies are a great way to celebrate our nation’s independence.
Social activities for seniors are important for maintaining their physical and mental health. Regardless of what you do this Independence Day, sharing the experience with the seniors in your life can make this holiday a great day for everyone. Have a happy July 4th!