After a long winter here in Ontario, we can’t be the only ones looking forward to some sunshine and warm weather. If you’re ready to get out there this summer, you’re in the right place.
As the top provider of home care in Toronto and Mississauga, Integracare helps Seniors in the GTA age in place joyfully. That’s why we’ve collected 12 summer activities for Seniors that you can enjoy with your loved ones.
Keep scrolling to find inspiration for the season. And remember, whatever you do, pack some sunscreen!
1. Take a Walk Outside
The summer is the perfect time to lace up your walking shoes and get outside. One of our Personal Support Workers (PSWs) or Live-In Caregivers can join you on these strolls any time you would like some company or help getting around.
Walking is a great physical activity for Seniors. It’s low impact, so it’s easy on your joints, and you can you set your own pace. Plus, it can help build stamina and strength as you walk more.
Here in the GTA, we also have an expansive system of municipal parks that provide a splash of green in the city. Many of them have paved or manicured walkways, so you can visit these parks even if you rely on mobility devices like walkers, canes, or wheelchairs.
If you plan on sticking close to home, be sure to take in all the beautiful flowers blooming on your block.
If you’re fit and feeling more adventurous, you can also take a walk through the woods with friends or family. We’re so close to the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, but there are plenty more trails, conservation areas, and provincial parks to explore.
2. Go for a Swim
It may take a while for summer to arrive in the GTA, but once it does, it gets hot. On those sweltering days with heat warnings and high humidity, there’s nothing better than taking a dip in a refreshing pool.
Swimming is an easy way to keep cool, and you’ll feel like a kid again as you dive, paddle around, or relax on a floatie.
Besides being a fun way to cool off, it’s also a fantastic form of exercise, especially if you suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia. Your buoyancy in water means you’ll bear zero weight on your joints as you workout. That’s why swimming is one of our favourite safe hobbies for Seniors at any time of the year.
Take advantage of the GTA’s many Seniors swimming programs offered by local community centres and municipal pools. You can sign up for aquafit, water therapy, lane swimming, and even underwater yoga.
3. Grow a Garden
Gardening is one of the best summer activities for Seniors, and it’s not just because of all the flowers and vegetables you’ll proudly grow. This outdoor hobby comes with a long list of impressive benefits, not least of which is what it does to boost mental health.
Gardening has been proven to keep depression and anxiety at bay. After all, your garden can become your little place of Zen wherever you live — whether you have a large backyard or just enough space for a few pots on a balcony.
It’s also an opportunity to soak up some vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating moods and preventing depression. Plus, some soil has a microbiome that may double as an antidepressant, so getting your hands dirty will make you happier — literally!
Here are some of our favourite gardening tips for Seniors:
- Use raised beds and planters to reduce how often you have to bend down
- Try container gardening if you’re short on space
- Sit down while weeding and tending to your plants, using assistive devices when appropriate
- Garden with a buddy, an Integracare PSW, or your grandkids so you aren’t alone
- Invest in lightweight and ergonomic tools to reduce stress on your joints
- Break up big tasks over a couple days, taking multiple breaks in between
- Look after your plot in the morning or afternoon to avoid the midday heat
- Remember to wear sun protection, including a hat, long-sleeves, and sun block
4. Go for a Country Drive with Family
While your mobility may not be what it used to be, you don’t have to hang around the house all summer long. A scenic drive through the countryside with friends or family is a pleasant way to change the scenery without relying too much on walking. It’s also one of our preferred summer activities for Seniors with Dementia.
You can see where the road takes you on the day or plan your route around a place you’ve been meaning to visit. We’re lucky to live in the Golden Horseshoe, home of the Green Belt and some of the most fertile areas in the country. Take advantage of our location and organize a road trip to the Green Belt’s many cideries, farmer’s markets, and vineyards.
5. Book a Massage
Make this the summer you invest in self care and schedule a massage with one of our Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs). Our RMTs offer the best in-home massage Toronto and Mississauga have to offer, with tailored services to help you feel better.
Seniors who enjoy the comforts of home care appreciate Massage Therapy for its stress and pain relief. Whether you’re suffering from persistent fatigue and muscle aches or a more serious condition, massage therapy has been proven to release tension, improve circulation, and reduce pain.
Best of all, you won’t have to leave your home or visit a crowded massage clinic — our RMTs come to you as part of our home care in Mississauga and Toronto.
If you’re dealing with pain following an accident, injury, or surgery, Massage and Physiotherapy are the perfect summertime companions. One of our Physiotherapist can share Physiotherapy exercises that quicken your rehabilitation. Our talented Physiotherapists can also share simple movements that ease chronic pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome and musculoskeletal conditions.
6. Indulge in a Sweet Treat
Nothing says summer like the lick of an ice cream cone. With the GTA’s ice cream parlours back open for the season, you’ll have your pick of flavours. Organize a trip with a friend or family member, snagging a table by the window or taking your cone to go.
Don’t worry if there aren’t many options where you live, or you don’t feel comfortable visiting a busy ice cream shop just yet. Consider buying all the things you need to make an ice cream sundae bar at home and invite your friends or family over for a sweet treat.
7. Visit the Beach
Being so close to Lake Ontario, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful sandy beaches — many of them near Mississauga and Toronto! If you can manage a short drive north or south, you’ll have even more options, with the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Huron within a few hours of us.
First and foremost, a trip to the beach is one of the many fun summer activities for Seniors. But science shows a little bit of surf and sand comes with significant mental health benefits. Your time at the beach can boost your mood, reduce stress, and help you relax.
If you don’t like to swim, don’t worry — a beach is a great place to sit and relax, fish, have a picnic, build sandcastles with your grandkids, walk, enjoy the view, and much, much more.
8. Join a Tai Chi Class
Tai chi is one of our favourite activities for Seniors at home because it’s a slow and gentle practice that works on your physical and mental health simultaneously.
While you master moves like crane takes flight or playing the lute, you’ll improve your flexibility, strength, and balance. Meanwhile, tai chi’s belief in mindful movements paired with deep breathing reduces stress and anxiety.
You can easily find an online tai chi class designed for Seniors to follow along with at home, or you can sign up for an outdoor class to make the most of the summer. Senior’s groups, community centres, and municipal services regularly run these classes outside when weather permits.
If you aren’t sure if your balance is ready for tai chi, get in touch with us here at Integracare. One of our PSWs, Physiotherapists, or Live-In Caregivers can assist you at every class, providing guidance and support when you need it.
9. Enjoy a Coffee Outside
Patio weather may have started a season earlier in Toronto, but it really kicks into high gear during the summer. This will mark the third year in a row when cafés, restaurants, and bars can spill out onto roads and sidewalks in Toronto. With more room outdoors, patios are the perfect place to grab a coffee with loved ones and enjoy an afternoon in the sun.
Whether you prefer a black drip coffee or a sweet latte with foam art, a morning coffee in the sun can also be a personal moment of mindfulness. Indulge in this private moment to breathe and meditate. It can help you start the day centred and calm for whatever comes your way.
10. Read in the Sun
This summer, why don’t you curl up with a good book and slip away to another world. Whether you enjoy a good old-fashioned mystery or a sci-fi romp, reading is an excellent way to unwind and reduce stress.
Studies have also shown reading prevents age-related cognitive decline and reduces your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Dementia. That’s because reading requires concentration and use of your imagination, and together, they can strengthen your brain and improve your memory.
Reading isn’t just a preventative tool for those hoping to stay sharp as they age. It’s also one of the best summer activities for Seniors with Dementia and other cognitive impairments. According to a UK-based charity, reading aloud to people with Dementia can help stimulate memories and imagination in ways that they can’t on their own.
Group activities such as reading and playing games are crucial when providing Dementia Care at home in the GTA. These enriching activities dramatically improve the quality of life for people living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, entertaining them in ways that can do wonders for their mood.
With our goal of providing the best Dementia Care Mississauga and Toronto have to offer, Integracare Caregivers balance our Clients’ physical needs with their emotional needs. In addition to offering assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), our PSWs keep our Clients engaged with stimulating games that keep their minds active and their days fun.
11. Pick up a New Hobby
Reading isn’t the only hobby to sharpen the mind. Any task that requires concentration, conceptual visualization, and memory can give your brain a good workout.
Here are some fun summer activities for Seniors:
- Baking and Cooking
- Cognitive Games
- Creative Writing
- Learning a New Language
- Playing an Instrument
- Playing video games
Check your local community centre, older adult association, or Lions Club to see if they offer any of these summer activities for Seniors. Bring a friend or join on your own to meet new people in the neighbourhood.
12. Host a Game Night
Hosting a game night is the last of our favourite summer activities for Seniors. Whether you play outside in the warm breeze or in an air-conditioned space away from the heat, game nights bring friends and family together over some fun competition.
As long as you have a deck of cards, you’re ready to host a Euchre or Bridge tournament. Alternatively, you can break out board games like Scrabble or Monopoly.
Don’t own a lot of board games? While you can buy them for your game night, you don’t have to shell out for something you might not play again. Many libraries in the GTA now have board games you can rent with your membership, giving you a chance to try out a game before you invest in it.
Unlike some of the summer activities for Seniors on our list, a game night could be the start of a tradition that long outlasts the summer. Cozy game nights during the colder months can help fill up the long nights and beat the winter blues.
What Will You Do This Summer?
Are you going to start a garden or join a tai chi class? Integracare Caregivers are here to support you this summer whatever your plans may be. Whether you book a massage with one of our RMTs or go for a stroll with a PSW, we’re here to help.
If you have questions about any of our services that we didn’t discuss in this guide, such as palliative care, get in touch with us today. One of our Toronto palliative care specialists will answer any of your questions.
Otherwise, we hope you have fun this summer. Let us know if you tried any of the activities we shared today.