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Marissa Salvesen

By: Marissa Salvesen on June 26th, 2024

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6 Summer Activities For Seniors and Their Families

assisted living  |  Senior Living Communities CT  |  senior health  |  senior health tips  |  Independent Senior Living  |  healthy living  |  independent living in ct  |  aging well

Did you know? July is Family Reunion Month! With the grandkids home from school, and grown children taking vacation time off from work, the months of summer are the perfect time for families to gather and visit older relatives. Read on for six great bonding opportunities for families to share with senior loved ones.


1. Go Out for Ice Cream

Ice cream and summer days go together like peanut butter and jelly. While it may appear simple, this tasty treat can make for a great family experience. Make memories with your grandkids or young grand-nieces and grand-nephews, who are sure to love this frozen sweet. Capture the moment of baby’s first taste of ice cream — and perhaps watch in awe as they don’t spill a drop of it.
Pop by a local ice cream shop and grab a tasty cone (or cup!) of your favorite flavor. Pro tip: look for a spot that can cater to any dietary needs or restrictions that your senior loved ones, and anyone else in your family, may have.

2. Have a Beach Day

Planning a family trip to the beach is another classic summer option. Take a quick drive to your closest coastline and enjoy the shore!
Whether you prefer the Western beaches, Eastern beaches, or Central beaches of the Connecticut shoreline, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy. Pack a picnic basket, sandcastle supplies, or just a few beach towels to sit and watch the waves. In addition to being fun for the whole family, spending time at the beach can come with health benefits, including increased feelings of relaxation and vitamin D absorption.
Be mindful of your senior family member’s health; certain medications and conditions may make them more prone to overheating and sunburn. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your beach plans, such as having an early morning beach adventure to avoid the midday heat. Try to look for beaches that are accessible and have areas of shade for your older family members to utilize if the sun is too much.
3. Plan a Movie Night
As much as summer is a time for The Great Outdoors, sometimes the perfect summer night is a night in. Rent your senior loved one’s favorite movie for a multigenerational movie night. For extra fun, pick up some traditional movie snacks to enjoy or try out some healthy but delicious alternatives.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous and your aging loved one would enjoy it, see if there are any local outdoor movie nights for an evening of cinema under the stars. Make sure to confirm the location is easily accessible and check the weather before you go.
Drive-in movie theaters, such as the Mansfield Drive-In and Southington Drive-In, are another great option for family movie nights and can bring the added bonus of nostalgia for your loved one (along with a “cool” factor for the younger generation).
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4. Enjoy a Good Book
Who says summer can’t be spent reading a good book indoors? Encourage the senior in your life to rediscover the joys of reading by joining a book club, rereading a favorite novel, making a short “summer reading list” to finish before September, or taking a trip to a book shop or local library.
Get the whole family involved by creating a family book club or asking your older relatives if they would like to read aloud to the kids in your family. Reading is known to be beneficial for both children and senior citizens alike and sharing this love for literature can not only establish a common bond but can also help ease the reading difficulties aging adults may face.
For older adults with vision loss, dexterity challenges, or other conditions that impact their ability to read, consider adaptive tools such as e-reading devices, large print books, reading lights, magnifiers, book holders, and audiobooks.
5. Start or Add to a Garden
Gardening is great fun for all ages. Green spaces encourage less stress and a greater appreciation of the world around you. Plus, the homegrown fruit and vegetables at the end of the season are nutritious and taste delicious!
No matter what size space you’re working with, there’s always a way to grow some beautiful blossoms or seasonal plants. Community gardens, large backyards, or gardening clubs at senior living communities offer the space to take on sprawling melons and squash. Alternatively, small patios, porches, or indoor areas are ideal sites for container gardening, vertical gardens, and windowsill herb gardens.
Follow the old gardening advice of planting what you like to eat and working with what you have to bring maximum success.
6. Visit Local Attractions
If you’re searching for fun and affordable summer activities, look local for the perfect  family “stay-cation.” If your aging loved one lives in a senior living community, see if they offer trips your loved one can enjoy.
From berry picking to river cruises to rose gardens, Connecticut has a lot to offer. Prices can range from free to under $100 for a bonding experience the whole family will never forget.
Summer is often a time of reunion and reconnection for seniors and their families. Take advantage of the warm and sunny days to enjoy outdoor ventures like beach days, ice cream trips, and gardening. In addition to bonding time, these activities offer the advantage of vitamin D and enjoying calming blue and green spaces.
If staying in is more your family’s vibe, make memories by sharing beloved media together via a family book club or intergenerational movie night. These activities bring the advantage of protection from the summer heat as well as greater accessibility for seniors who need the activities to be brought to them.

To find out how United Methodist Homes provides a wealth of offerings and opportunities to support the health and well-being of our residents, contact us today or schedule a complimentary visit now.
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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.