Older adults have an increased risk of heat-related illnesses, such as dehydration and exhaustion. However, older adults still need to breathe some fresh air, and when talking about summer, it is necessary to have a plan in place to make this time of the year memorable for them.
According to the World Health Organization, active aging consists of the process of making the most of opportunities for physical, psychological and social well-being throughout one’s life. Moreover, it emphasizes that in addition to continuing to be physically active, it is important to remain active socially and mentally.
That is why it is recommended to look for mental challenges and novel situations as often as possible, from interacting with new people to acquiring new knowledge.
The novelty and variety help to keep older adults mentally active and preserve their intellectual capacity. Summer is an ideal time for our seniors to feel included in the family and can generate satisfactory memories that keep them physically and mentally active. We will give you some tips that you should keep in mind for this season of the year.
1. Make your mind travel
Summer is synonymous with travel. Although many older adults are already retired and have free time throughout the year, their children usually take vacations when the heat tightens. For those grandparents who spend this time with their family, it is time to enjoy and have fun, but also to put your brain to the point.
An exciting option is to go back to places where you were when you were young. Remember how the streets were at that time and compare them with their current appearance. This exercise will make your memory work and will awaken beautiful memories perhaps forgotten.
2. Say Goodbye to your Routine
Routine is not a good friend of the brain. For your mind to stay sharp, it needs daily challenges. Doing things differently, with an unusual order, or under new rules, will prevent us from setting the autopilot and will force us to pay close attention to a task that has become routine. Good weather can always encourage you to be more daring and, for example, you can try different routes when you run an errand.
3. Food feeds the brain
Summer is an ideal time to cook at home; it is a fun activity with a satisfying result. You do not have to be a chef. For example, a simple tomato salad, canned tuna, and good olive oil, accompanied by whole-wheat toast and, for dessert, a yogurt with pieces of strawberries and some dried fruit, is a good menu. In the summer diet, you cannot miss foods rich in phosphorus (bluefish, almonds, dairy products), magnesium (whole grains, soy) or potassium (avocado, banana, wheat germ). These are products that will be beneficial to the health of our seniors.
4. Keep older adults hydrated and avoid alcohol
Beers and wines are part of summer for many people. However, alcohol does not get on well with the brain, especially at these ages. A glass of red wine – if the doctor has not said otherwise – is good for cardiovascular health, but too much alcohol is harmful to the mind. For this reason, this summer your social activities should be full of natural juices, infusions, homemade smoothies or, water, the best option to refresh them, keep them hydrated, and avoid having a few extra kilos.
5. Take advantage of the excellent weather to exercise
Physical activity in old age is not only essential to preserve the health of the body, but also mental health. Exercise, for example, helps keep cholesterol levels in the blood in check, preventing it from building up in the walls of the arteries and making it easy for enough blood to reach the brain.
If you are lucky enough to spend your holidays near the beach, take a walk on the seashore, always avoiding the central hours of the day, and using sunscreen or appropriate clothing this activity, apart from improving your physical health It will be a pleasant memory for our seniors at this time of year.
6. Put a book in your suitcase
Many grandparents become the best babysitters or nannies for their grandchildren. The parents are working, and many daycare centers take vacations, which means that they have to spend all day with the youngest of the family. Reading a story is a great way to spend that time together and, also, reading is one of the best ways to keep the brain active.
However, this is not a good habit that only serves to keep children entertained. Read the newspaper every morning or take a space in the afternoon to review the editorial.
Summer for the elderly usually involves much time indoors fleeing the sun in its most dangerous hours, so here are some outdoor and indoor activities that we suggest during the hottest months.
- Aerobic exercises in the water.
- Spend a day at the beach.
- Sit and watch the sunrise or sunset.
- Stroll through a shopping center.
- Use the summer to organize photos and share family memories.
- Plan of exits to local museums and cultural events.
- Join or start a reading club.
Encouraging the older adults to do outdoor activities or at home is essential, but it is always necessary to have specific considerations when you are outdoors or in indoor places. When taking care of an older adult, it is vital to be concerned about the weather, regardless of the weather it’s hot, older adults’ temperature regulation is different, so you should always bring some sweater or appropriate clothes, so they do not go cold, at the same time you should still use sunscreen. Also, be alert to allergies, take the necessary measures so that afterward they do not suffer consequences at the respiratory level. The same with your physical capacity, go with the required implementation according to your condition, if it is necessary to use a cane, always go with it and with comfortable shoes to avoid falls.
Assisted living communities provide a variety of activities for older people to remain physically, mentally and socially active.