5 Summer Fun Ideas for Seniors

Seniors with limited mobility – whether living at home or in a skilled nursing facility – can still enjoy plenty of outdoor fun in the summer. Summer in Michigan and Ohio is too short to miss out on, no matter your age or activity level.

Following are a few ideas to make the most of the rest of this summer. 


1.    Check out your local senior center

Local senior centers provide a number of benefits for seniors year round, including summer outings and activities. Andrea Kunkel, director of therapeutic recreation at SKLD Bloomfield Hills, Michigan says she always encourages rehab or skilled nursing patients at the time of discharge to check out the amenities at their local senior center.

“Community-based senior centers are a wonderful and often under-used resource for seniors living in the community.”

Recreation therapists at SKLD facilities plan outdoor fun throughout the summer for rehab residents at all levels of mobility.

Recreation therapists at SKLD facilities plan outdoor fun throughout the summer for rehab residents at all levels of mobility.

Seniors have a higher rate of depression than the general population, Andrea says, and a reason for this is isolation. Senior centers offer communal programming to keep local seniors involved with recreational programming and community trips that typically include transportation. Besides entertainment and community, senior centers can also be a source of fitness, healthcare, legal assistance and even food assistance. Kunkel adds that many centers provide transportation not only to and from the senior center, but also to community events, local errands and even doctors’ appointments. 

Also check out your local parks and recreation department. Many parks and recreation departments are starting to add recreation therapists to their teams. Recreation therapists are adding programming for community members with a variety of disabilities, including older adults with limited mobility. 

A recreation therapist at SKLD Zeeland delights a resident with giant bubbles.

A recreation therapist at SKLD Zeeland delights a resident with giant bubbles.

Seniors who participate in group activities are less likely to feel isolated.

2.    Be a tourist

Tourists appreciate all that a city offers, so why can’t seniors who actually live there do the same? Slow walks in a community garden or an afternoon in a beautiful park can provide seniors with exercise and a fun excursion. 

3.    Attend a community event or sports game

Cities and towns have plenty of fun events during summertime. Seniors with limited mobility will enjoy parades, fireworks, farmers markets and outdoor music. Of course, there are plenty of sporting events to enjoy during summer months. Seniors can simply cheer on grandchildren at baseball games, swim meets or tennis matches. And who wouldn’t love watching their hometown professional teams play at large stadiums? Even visiting a local basketball court and watching children savor the sun with their one-on-one pickup games can be a pleasant excursion.

4.    Create or enjoy some art

Local museums, especially art museums, are perfect educational and entertaining opportunities for seniors while also providing plenty of walking in a temperature-controlled environment. Seniors can find nearby parking or take public transportation to the many local museums and spend the day or just a few hours. Many museums offer specific days that are free admission and senior discounts, so be sure to check. 

Art projects appeal to every age and ability. Residents at SKLD Zeeland had a blast creating splatter paint creations with water guns outside one day this summer.  

5.    Enjoy the garden

Gardening can be more challenging for a senior in a skilled nursing facility or at home with limited mobility, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With the right help, seniors who love the outdoors can still enjoy gardening. Raised beds, like the handicapped accessible beds at SKLD Ionia, are perfect for seniors. Residents are able to help with every step, from the planting to the pruning and watering. A little creativity and a willing helper can make gardening a great activity for everyone. 

The advantages for seniors to be outdoors in the summer are limitless. The goal for those older adults with limited mobility is to enjoy summer as much as everyone else. Get out and do summer!

Interested in finding more about SKLD facilities in Ohio and Michigan? Be in touch!

Wendy Margolin