This year, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on many summer vacation and travel plans. To help you enjoy the summer months, Rebecca Rushing, BSN, RN, from FirstLight Home Care shares 6 creative ways to have vacation fun without traveling far from home.
It’s summer, and the heat is on. We’ve already seen some scorching temperatures and according to weather forecasters, it’s going to be a hotter than average summer across the United States.
Not only that, we’re still seeing new Covid-19 cases every day across the nation.
With fewer people traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic, most Americans are thinking about how to have a vacation at home this summer.
As a caregiver, coming up with ways to have fun and keep your aging loved ones safe is a challenge, but here are 6 creative ideas to help you have fun while staying close to home.
As always, if you decide to venture out, be sure to follow all recommended safety protocols to reduce Covid-19 exposure.
1. Have a backyard pool party without a pool
Older adults may not be able to participate in a full-fledged pool party, but why not have a mini-pool party?
Most big-box stores carry small hard- or soft-sided plastic kiddie pools at reasonable prices.
These can be a great way to encourage older adults to sit in a chair or wheelchair by the kiddie pool, put their feet in the water and splash around without the danger of falling in.
If other family members are able to safely visit, younger kids can play near their older family members so they feel like part of the fun, too.
Add a few pool toys and a sprinkler for even more enjoyment!
2. Create a beach getaway at home
A kiddie pool can also be used as a temporary beach. Fill it with inexpensive play sand, add some beach toys, and there you go.
Older adults can sit in the shade near the sand or wiggle their feet in it.
Other family members can build sandcastles with a little water or make sand shapes while everyone enjoys the make-believe beach.
Adding tropical themed decorations can make it even more entertaining. Go all out by wearing beach attire, spreading out beach towels, and bringing out coolers packed with refreshments.
3. Travel the world through delicious dishes
“Travel” to Italy, Greece, Spain or anywhere in the world to try the amazing local cuisine.
Choose a country that your older adult is familiar with or someplace they’ve always wanted to visit.
If you know someone who enjoys cooking or who’s native to that country, ask them if they could make some dishes from that country for your older adult. To keep everyone safer, they could drop off the dishes on the doorstep.
Or, find some recipes online and give them a try along with your older adult.
To get even more festive, decorate the table with items from that country, like a printed-out flag, the colors of the flag, or printed-out photos of some famous sights.
And if it’s safe to do so, include other family members in the cooking, preparations, or meal so it can be a fun little party.
4. Explore your city
Take your older adult for a drive and go to a local place they’ve never been to but have always wanted to visit like a park, botanical gardens, or other outdoor attraction.
Maybe there’s a lovely park where you can feed the ducks (only real duck food) or sit and watch them splash and swim.
Or maybe you could visit a pier or dock and watch the boats as they come and go.
Think creatively to find places with interesting views but without large crowds.
5. Start a home garden
If you don’t already have a garden, creating one together is a great way to spend a little time outdoors together.
You could also ask younger family members to come and help out. Children love to plant and watch things grow into flowers or vegetables and fruit they can eat.
Older adults could unpot seedlings, sketch the garden layout, choose what to plant, or be in charge of the watering schedule.
If there isn’t enough space outside for a garden, you could also start a small container garden indoors in a sunny spot near a window.
6. Put out bird feeders by a large window for viewing
Attracting and identifying different bird species is another great activity to do with your older adult.
Place different kinds of bird feeders and water sources to attract different types of birds. You’ll probably be surprised at the number of birds you can identify.
Research local birds online or buy bird watching books or videos. Encourage your older adult to write down the different kinds of birds they see.
You might make it a fun contest to see how many birds can be spotted from how many different species. Everyone can join in!
Recommended for you:
- 8 Shelter-in-Place Coronavirus Tips for Senior Care in Your Home
- Nursing Home Lockdown: 6 Ways to Stay Connected with Seniors During a Coronavirus Scare
- Tips for Seniors and Caregivers to Safely Resume Activities in the “New Normal” of Coronavirus
Guest contributor: Rebecca Rushing, BSN, RN, is director of Client Care Services for FirstLight Home Care. Nurse Beckie is a certified dementia practitioner, an Ageless Grace brain health educator, and a Positive Approach® to Care Independent Trainer. Beckie has more than 30 years of nursing experience and a passion for the well-being of older adults.
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