Team CareLinx is always looking to celebrate, so once again we welcome Connie Chow’s ideas for celebrating Independence Day with seniors. Just a reminder: if your seniors have pets, please keep the animals safe from the often terrifying sounds of fireworks. The Humane Society warns us to keep pets indoors or on a leash so they won’t run away and get lost.
Adapt 4th of July activities for seniors
Including seniors in holiday activities helps them feel engaged in life and connected with family and friends. Across the country, Independence Day is often celebrated with barbecues and pool parties. We’ve rounded up a bunch of ideas for adapting traditional activities so older adults can join in the fun.
Activities for seniors who enjoy going out
Many seniors still enjoy traditional celebrations like going to a relative or friend’s house for a lively barbecue. Others love to see live fireworks in the evening.
To make these activities more senior-friendly, make sure they stay cool in the shade (or stay warm at night), have a comfortable seat, stay hydrated, and take plenty of bathroom breaks.
If you go out to watch fireworks, consider bringing a wheelchair or a portable chair so your older adult won’t get tired from too much standing.
Activities for seniors who prefer to stay in
Many older adults aren’t able to leave their house, but still want to participate in holiday celebrations. A great way to enjoy the 4th of July is to bring the festivities to them!
Great group activities
- Throw a backyard barbecue at their house. Your senior can participate when they want or just people-watch. This lets them join the fun, but keeps them from getting overtired or overstimulated.
- Have a patriotic sing-a-long! Play a karaoke soundtrack from your computer or mobile device — try America the Beautiful, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, This Land is Your Land, or Yankee Doodle Boy
- Ooh and ahh together while watching fireworks on TV.
- Watch a fun, lighthearted movie classic — like Singin’ in the Rain.
- Play card or board games.
Have fun with food
- Have traditional foods like hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and coleslaw.
- Make a simple patriotic dessert — try one of these Jello recipes or these colorful fruit skewers.
- Involve them in fruit or veggie preparation or ask them to put all the prepared salad ingredients in a big bowl.
- Have an ice cream social. You could even make it a sundae bar by including a variety of toppings.
- Create paper flags and other decorations, like this star wreath.
- Decorate a table with stars and stripes (picnic dishes, table cloth, nicknacks) from your attic or holiday closet.
There are many ways to adapt 4th of July activities to meet your senior’s needs. The most important thing is to stay relaxed and go with the flow. The goal is to help older adults feel included and create positive memories.