After a sweltering, sticky summer, there’s nothing quite like that first cool day of fall!
Fall is celebrated as a season of harvest and bounty, and it’s one of the most beautiful times of the year, sandwiched between the heat of the summer and the chilly days of winter. Here in Chicagoland, autumn is marked by crisp days bathed in golden sunlight, trees full of gorgeous foliage, and tablescapes loaded with tasty treats, from warm apple cider to pumpkin pie.
Fall is also a prime time to help the senior in your life go out and enjoy themselves! Whether your loved one wants to head to the great outdoors or enjoy their time inside, here are five fun fall activities perfect for older adults:
1.) Go for a Walk Through Nature
If your loved one is up for it, going for a walk is one of the best fall activities there is. Studies have shown that walking is one of the easiest and most effective forms of exercise for older adults. It has been shown to help boost energy and mood, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and muscles, fight chronic disease, and increase overall longevity.
With cool weather settling in, fall is a great time to go for a stroll. You could head to a park or nature preserve to soak in the fall colors, or even marvel at the changing trees in your loved one’s neighborhood. If your senior loved one is a major fan of Halloween, you could also sign up for a local ghost tour. For seniors with more limited mobility, going for an easy drive can also be a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of autumn.
Don’t forget to help your senior dress appropriately! Remember to equip them with comfortable walking shoes, as well as sunglasses and a hat. Encourage them to dress in layers, in order to prepare for the unpredictable fall weather.
2.) Enjoy Fun Seasonal Arts and Crafts
Working on projects can help older adults reduce their stress levels and practice mindfulness, while also slowing cognitive decline and helping manage some of the symptoms of dementia.
Whether you set up an outdoor crafting table or cozy up for a chilly night in, fall is a great time to encourage your loved one to start up a fun art project. There are endless options! For a true seasonal pastime, you could come together to paint pumpkins, and then display them on the front step. You could break out the paint for your loved one to work on a fall landscape, or a self-portrait. There are also seasonal coloring and activity books that can be a lot of fun for people of all ages. Finally, your loved one may be excited to help craft some fall decorations, from seasonal garlands to Halloween masks.
3.) Bake Up Some Tasty Treats
During a steamy summer, the last thing many of us want to do is work over a hot oven. In the colder days of fall, though, there’s nothing quite like settling in for a fun day of baking. The fall season is known for its tasty treats, from apple cider doughnuts, to sweet potato pie, to rich, fudgy Halloween brownies.
Food is a powerful way to bond. Working together in the kitchen is a great conversation starter, and can help bring up wonderful memories, encourage a loved one to pass down a beloved recipe, and create lots of moments for laughter and celebration. It’s a great activity for seniors, caregivers, and grandkids to all enjoy together.
Encourage your loved one to break out their classic recipe book, so you can work on one of their favorite fall treats together. If your loved one’s favorite seasonal recipe is a bit too complicated or time-intensive, you could try a simple kitchen creation, like sugar cookies, caramel-dipped apples, or no-bake cheesecake.
4.) Spend Some Quality Time In the Garden
Is your senior loved one famous for their green thumb? Whether your senior is a master gardener or an enthusiastic beginner, gardening is a fun pastime that can be enjoyed throughout the year. Studies have shown that gardening is powerful stress reliever. In addition to being calming and centering, working in the garden can help decrease your senior loved one’s risk of heart attack and stroke, and help increase their strength and range of motion.
There are plenty of ways to help your loved one get to growing, even in the fall. There are plenty of hearty outdoor plants that love the autumn air, including seasonal favorites like mums. Fall can also be a great time to start preparing the garden for the harsh winter – and rejuvenating spring – that lie ahead. You could also help your loved one set up and care for an indoor garden, full of adorable succulents or tasty herbs.
5.) Host a Fall Movie Night
Here’s one for all of the film buffs out there! Fall is a great time for movies. This is the season when many of the year’s biggest Oscar movies come out, and when the big summer blockbusters become available on home video. It’s also a prime time for horror movies, perfect for all of the Halloween fans in your household! If you’re in the mood for something a little more intimate, how about breaking out old home movies for a fun, nostalgic family film festival?
Whatever you and your loved one choose, cold fall nights are a great time to gather together and watch something great – preferably with a cozy blanket and a healthy snack close at hand.
BONUS: Get Your Senior Loved One Involved In Holiday Celebrations
The fall months are home to some of the year’s biggest celebrations, including Halloween and Thanksgiving! Find ways to help your senior family get involved in these festive affairs, so they feel included and connected. From helping decorate Halloween costumes, to making goodie bags, to creating decorations and centerpieces, to offering guidance for the big Turkey Day meal, there are plenty of simple and creative ways to help your senior loved one feel like they’re an important part of the holiday fun.
Companions for Seniors Can Help You Make the Most of Fall
Looking for support in giving your senior loved one the personalized care they need to truly enjoy the crisp, golden days of fall? Have any questions about helping your loved one stay safe and healthy while remaining independent, all year long? We’re here to help!
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home, by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are trained and bonded and can help provide a variety of services designed to help your loved one remain in the comfort of their own home, including providing assistance with housekeeping, activities of daily living, driving services, companionship services, and more.
If you have any questions about helping your parents enjoy themselves while they age in place, don’t hesitate to reach out to us online or give us a call at 866-910-9020 to get the conversation started. We’re here to offer guidance and provide support, in whatever way we can!