Memorial Day is right around the corner, and that means summer is here. As a caregiver, it’s all too easy to get caught up in day-to-day routines and forget to take some time to smell the roses, so here’s your official reminder! Life is short; tomorrow is not promised – get out there and make some great memories with your loved one.
No Time Like the Present
It’s been almost six months since I said goodbye to my mom, and oh what I would give to have one more afternoon with her. The dishes can wait, the laundry will be there tomorrow, and the world won’t come to an end if you postpone mowing the lawn for another day. Years from now, you’ll look back and realize that in the grand scheme of things, those everyday tasks really weren’t that important.
So, in the spirit of summer fun, here are a few warm weather activities to consider. To really strike a chord and trigger a flood of fond memories, choose things your loved one enjoyed in their younger days. When planning, be cognizant of logistics, weather, and time of day, tailoring the day’s activities to their level of physical and cognitive ability.
Activities for the Mind, Body, and Spirit
- Take me out to the ballgame! While a pro game may be overwhelming or logistically challenging due to mobility issues, a local little league game might fit the bill just perfectly. This is a great way to spend an hour or so soaking up some sunshine and reminiscing about days gone by. Pack a cooler and bring along some Cracker Jacks for a little added nostalgia. Just hearing the sound of children’s cheers and laughter is bound to lift everyone’s spirits.
- Attend an outdoor concert. Many communities host free outdoor concerts throughout the summer, and you may even be able to find one that offers music from your loved one’s era. Check your local paper or city website for options. Throw a couple of chairs in the car, pack some healthy snacks, and you’re set for a relaxing afternoon or evening of entertainment. Music always makes the heart sing!
- Have a picnic! Pack up and head to the park if you’d like, but remember that the point is to enjoy some time together. If it makes things easier, create your perfect picnic right in the backyard. Keep the menu simple and stress free; sandwiches, a side or two, and some ice-cold lemonade will beat the heat and make clean up a breeze. If possible, let your loved one help you shuck some corn or snap fresh beans, something they probably recall helping their own mother with many moons ago. For dessert, bring back fond memories of summers past by roasting marshmallows or making s’mores.
- Plant a garden together. This doesn’t have to be a whopping full-fledged vegetable garden; make it manageable. Container gardening is a low maintenance, inexpensive option that’s often just right for seniors. Grab some colorful pots and a few easy-to-grow plants. Herbs are a wonderful choice, and as a bonus, you’ll have fresh basil and thyme to use in your summertime cooking. Add a flowering plant or two and you’ve got a perfect little garden that your loved one can tend to throughout the season. Playing in the dirt and watching things grow and blossom – it’s good for the soul, regardless of our age.
- Create your own fish story! Grab the poles and head to a nearby fishing hole. Remember it’s not so much about what you catch as it is spending quality time together and enjoying nature. Even if you’re loved one isn’t able to actually fish, just sitting near the water holding the pole is likely to bring back happy memories of years gone by, especially if fishing was once a favorite pastime. Bring a few snacks and some iced tea or lemonade, and you’re ready for a lovely afternoon.
Regardless of the activities you choose this summer, be sure to bring the camera along. Without question, the photos I’ve taken over the years are my most precious possession. Although Mom is no longer here with me, flipping through old pictures reminds me of the many wonderful times and experiences we once shared. Now, seize the moment – go have some fun and create your own beautiful memories.
What other ideas do you have for warm weather activities? Leave a comment below and let us know!