Memorable Memorial Day Activities for Seniors

May 27, 2016
Good ole’ Memorial day; the unofficial start to summer and a great holiday to honor and celebrate those who served our country. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to make memories with your family while enjoying the warmer weather?

Spending this day with your senior loved ones may take some planning, particularly if there are mobility issues, but we guarantee that our Memorial Day activities for seniors will bring a smile to your loved one’s face. It’s important to remember that seniors need a change of scenery and thrive when they’re active and having fun. 

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Grab your outdoor blankets and chairs and head outdoors to soak up the sun and breathe fresh air. Studies prove that being outdoors improves your outlook - this can be particularly helpful for your senior loved ones who may have been indoors much of the winter. 

If you do take your loved one outdoors and the sun is shining bright, make sure to bring along sunglasses, a hat or perhaps an umbrella. Don’t forget the sunscreen, preferably SPF 15 or higher. 

Lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing is best for comfort and air circulation. Make sure your senior is properly hydrated. Bottled water is the best bet. Encourage them to drink water before going out and every 15 to 20 minutes. If you can, make certain beforehand that bathroom facilities are available.

If a loved one has a chronic medical condition, talk with their nurse or doctor about any additional precautions to prevent heat related illness and overexposure to the sun. Keep in mind, the sun can react with some medications which could put them at risk.

Here are five outdoor activities to consider:

  1. Head to your favorite park and enjoy a picnic, look for a park that has a bench and table making it easier to sit and enjoy all the delicious food. 
  2. Watch a parade. It’s Memorial Day and parades are everywhere. Bring comfortable chairs, enjoy the bands and admire the floats. Other traditions include raising the American flag to half-staff from dawn until noon and observing the National Moment of Remembrance at 3 PM local time.
  3. Take a boat ride. A pontoon boat with a ramp makes it easy to get seniors in wheelchairs onboard. Don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen, and bring lots of fun snacks and cool beverages.
  4. Work in the garden. According to the National Gardening Association (NGA), working with plants helps relieve stress, promotes relaxation and may lessen pain.
  5. Go birding or visit a local zoo. Everyone loves to watch animals and listen to their unique sounds. Make it a game to try and identify the birds you see and hear.
Take the Party Indoors
Memorial Day doesn’t always guarantee great weather, so bring the party indoors! There are plenty of activities to consider. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Have an indoor picnic. Serve food that is red, white and blue, decorate the table with small American flags and have patriotic music playing in the background. Don’t forget to watch the Indy 500, a true Memorial Day event.
  2. Enjoy an ice cream social, get all the fixings for ice cream sundaes; ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, nuts, and cherries. It’s a fun, tasty activity for the whole family.
  3. Start a craft project. DIY projects are healthy for body, mind and spirit. 
  4. Games are always fun and a good way to keep your loved one’s mind active and focused. Board games, dominos and chess are just a few. 
  5. Bake some bread or perhaps a cherry pie. Working with dough is soothing to the soul. 
Social activities for seniors are important for maintaining their physical and mental health. Indoors or outdoors, let the Memorial Day festivities and fun summer memories begin!