The Insider’s Guide to 4th of July Activities for Seniors in 2019
4th of July is a wonderful holiday filled with traditions that people of all ages look forward to. When seniors are invited to join in on these fun activities they feel connected with their families while being engaged in life.
Whether you are yourself a senior or you are simply a caregiver for an elderly loved one, you can adapt many of your favorite Independence Day celebrations for those 65 and older.
4th of July Activities for Seniors
4th of July activities for seniors brings to mind barbecues at a good friend’s or family member’s house, parades, and fireworks displays.
All of these activities can be enjoyed by all ages. These events just need a little pre-planning when a senior is included.
Limit the amount of direct sunlight your senior will be exposed to. The hot 4th of July sun can wear anyone out as well as run the risk of burns.
Many elderly people take medications that don’t react well when mixed with sun exposure either. Provide seating in a shady spot where the temperature is cooler.
Choose to have gatherings in parks with pavilions or set up a party tent if activities are in your backyard.
Seniors can become chilled quicker than others. Don’t forget to bring along a blanket and jacket for evening events like the local fireworks display. Always have a comfortable seating option on hand as well.
This could be as simple as carrying a cushion with you or maybe you’ll need a lawn chair or wheelchair.
Dehydration is always a risk on hot summer days. Bring along your senior’s favorite beverages. Encourage them to drink frequently by joining them for ice cold lemonade. Work regular bathroom breaks into the day to avoid accidents.
Those with Dementia or Alzheimer’s should not be excluded from holiday activities. Instead, let them join in on the fun, but limit their time to reduce the chance of them becoming anxious, agitated, or angry.
Bring the 4th of July Activities to Them
Many older individuals either can’t leave their homes or are just plain more comfortable in their own place. This doesn’t mean they want to be left out of your family’s fun. Try bringing the activities to them so that everyone can participate.
Have the annual barbecue in their backyard. By bringing the party to them, they can join in when they feel like it, take a much-needed rest from time to time, or just sit back and people watch.
This way they get to enjoy the wonderful food, visit with friends and family, and feel like a real part of the 4th of July celebrations.
If a barbecue sounds like it would be too much, bring the 4th inside. Have a sing-along that includes patriotic favorites like Yankee Doodle, America the Beautiful, or This Land is Your Land.
You can also watch a classic movie on TV or play a card game that gets everyone involved. In the evening you can all watch the network broadcast of the fireworks shows together.
Keep the Food Fun Where Ever You Celebrate
Everyone wants to feel needed and involved. 4th of July provides the perfect opportunity to allow seniors to take part in the preparations for the holiday. Let them help cook as much as they want to or can handle.
Keep the menu simple and traditional. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and potato salad are all Independence Day favorites that are inexpensive and easy to make. Use a patriotic theme for the desserts.
Colorful fruit dishes or Jell-O recipes allow you to incorporate the red, white, and blue 4th of July colors. Seniors can help cut fruit or stir ingredients together.
You could also put together an ice cream social to celebrate the day. Create a sundae bar with a variety of sauces and sweet toppings. Invite their neighbors, family members, and friends. It is an excellent excuse to bring them all together.
Games for Seniors to Enjoy on the 4th of July
No celebration is complete without the games. Choose ones that are well suited to the group you are working with.
Whether it’s all seniors at a care facility, a mix of old and young at a family gathering, or your elderly relatives and their friends of the same age. Check out these four 4th of July activities for seniors.
Keep the teams small with only two or three people on each side.
Group those with similar abilities together in the same game.
Play it as a tournament where winning teams play against one another to determine a champion.
Adapt your competition to the holiday with red, white, and blue volleyballs or patriotic decorations.
Trivia games can be enjoyed in mixed groups that include all ages. Gear the questions towards American themes like geography, the presidents, or historical events.
This puts everyone’s memory to the test, and it provides seniors a way to educate the younger crowd with their stories and memories of these places, people, and events.
Go Fly a Kite
Who doesn’t love to fly a kite? Make a competition out of who decorates theirs in the most patriotic way. Continue the game with a challenge to see which kites go the highest and which ones stay up the longest.
This activity suits everyone from the youngest child to the oldest grandparent.
Bingo is Timeless
Bingo is a timeless game that all ages enjoy. Play a patriotic bingo with cards that get filled in according to the names of patriotic songs. Play music from a patriotic CD for all to hear.
Players need to recognize the song and find the title on their card. This also makes a wonderful “Name That Tune” game.