There are few greater causes for celebration than the birthday of our beautiful country. The 4th of July is one of the only holidays unique to the U.S. and is the perfect opportunity to spend time with friends and family, including our elderly loved ones in Independent Living. Although some aspects of traditional Independence Day celebrations may be difficult for some older adults living in retirement communities, with some planning, flexibility, and a few slight modifications, it is possible to have a perfectly patriotic 4th of July the entire family can enjoy and remember for years to come.
Senior-Friendly Menu Modifications
Food is an integral part of every celebration, and the Fourth of July is certainly no exception! From burgers to hot dogs, potato salad, chili, and popsicles, there are many staples that are commonly enjoyed during this holiday. However, as many seniors have certain dietary restrictions, it may be necessary to make modifications to the menu to accommodate their needs. Consider including healthy options, such as a cool fruit salad, fresh vegetable platter, and veggie burgers, and swap out ingredients in your favorite recipes for healthier options. Greek yogurt, for example, makes a wonderful substitute for mayonnaise!
By making these slight adjustments, you’re not only being considerate of your senior loved one’s health concerns, you’re also preparing a healthier meal for the entire family.
Come Prepared for Outdoor Activities
If there’s one thing you can count on to be present every Independence Day, it’s the heat. While many seniors residing in independent and assisted living communities still enjoy time outdoors, it’s important to make sure to come prepared for those high summer temperatures – both for their wellness and comfort. A few items to pack with you are:
- A light jacket or blanket to keep them warm inside air-conditioned facilities,
- A portable chair with enough cushioning to support their back,
- A favorite beverage to encourage them to drink and stay hydrated, or
- A mini, handheld fan for those in particularly warm areas – our Houston retirement community residents will appreciate this!
In addition to the supplies above, be sure to limit direct sun exposure by finding a nice shady area where you can settle in. Also, take regular bathroom breaks to reduce the risk of an accident. For older family members with Alzheimer’s or dementia, limit the size of the group to keep them calm and prevent them from feeling any agitation, anxiety, or anger.
Bring the Party to Your Loved One’s Senior Living Facility
While most Independence Day activities traditionally take place outdoors, many older adults are no longer able to leave home anymore. A good way to be sure that they are not missing out on the family activities is to bring the celebration to them.
Enjoy group activities such as a backyard barbeque at their community, which allows them to enjoy the fun while preventing them from getting tired or overstimulated. You can also have a patriotic sing-along using a karaoke soundtrack of songs like America the Beautiful, This Land is Your Land, and of course – the National Anthem. Independence Day is all about the fireworks, and you can easily find a televised fireworks show to ooh and ahh at together. No matter what indoor activities you plan to do together, encourage everyone to break out their red, white, and blue clothing and decorations to create a festive and patriotic setting!
America is for Everyone, Including Our Independent Living Friends and Family
Whether they’re in a retirement community, assisted living facility, or living with you at home, it’s possible to share our nation’s birthday with the seniors we love. By making slight adjustments where necessary, planning in advance, and making their comfort and health top priority, you can make this Independence Day your family’s best one yet! If you have questions about activities occurring at Holly Hall this season, contact us today to find out about our services and community.