It seems that for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, August can signal the end of summer! For some (like me) that’s great news! For others who love summertime, it can bring a tinge of sadness. But don’t despair. September tends to bring some lingering summer days too!
As we do each month, we’re providing a list of great activities that you can celebrate with your senior loved ones and family throughout the month of August.
National Mahjong Day – If you haven’t ever played Mahjong or maybe it’s been a long time since you have – today is the day to do it! An old game that can be a lot of fun with others. Remember to modify the rules to make it easier for someone with dementia.
Outdoor Activity – Since the game Mahjong is played with tiles on a flat surface, it can be played most anywhere as long as you have a flat surface! Take it to the park and enjoy the fresh air (as long as the weather is not too hot).
Indoor Activity – Having a dedicated table or corner of a room or even an entire room just for games can be a great way to easily set up a game and play. Games are a wonderful way to spend time together.
National Coloring Book Day – These days, coloring books are not just for children anymore. My elderly mother loved coloring books and she was actually very, very good at creating beautiful images with them. These are a perfect activity for seniors with dementia.
Outdoor Activity – Easy enough to take a coloring book or two outside in your screened in porch, under a veranda or a tree and spend a few hours, like an artist, enjoying the fresh air and creating.
Indoor Activity – The beautiful thing about coloring books is that most anyone can do them. Even if they don’t stay within the lines of the image on the paper, it does not matter. They are creating, they are engaging and they are doing something that they enjoy.
Watermelon Day – There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than Watermelon! At least most people think so. So, celebrate the day with a slice of this juicy sweet fruit.
Outdoor Activity – If you’re into gardening, you may have begun trying your hand at growing your own watermelon. Even if you haven’t done that this year, plan to grow it for next summer’s harvest.
Indoor Activity – There are some fun tools that you can use to help carve and cut watermelon – see them here. It makes eating this great fruit just a bit more fun.
National Chocolate Chip Day – There aren’t many people (I think) who don’t like chocolate chips so today would be a great to make some, go get some and of course, enjoy some!
Outdoor Activity – If you are nearby Whitman, Massachusetts you can take a visit to the Toll House Inn and restaurant. It’s where the chocolate chip cookie was first created.
Indoor Activity – There are many different kinds of chocolate chip cookie kits these days – take your pick and have a fun afternoon making some wonderful chocolate chip cookies. Share them with friends and neighbors! Remember to be safe in the kitchen when cooking with someone who has dementia.
National Underwear Day – There seems to be a day for everything so why not an Underwear day! Celebrate the day by going out and getting yourself a brand new pair of the most comfortable underwear possible.
Outdoor Activity – Take some time on a hot August day to get to the mall or a local store to shop for some brand new and maybe some fun underwear today.
Indoor Activity – Sort through your underwear drawer and finally get rid of those pieces of underwear that have holes or the band is broken or showing! Or, if you are a handy seamstress, maybe you can repair those old pieces of underwear so they can last just a bit longer.
Wiggle Your Toes Day – A fun day to give some attention to those toes on your feet!
Outdoor Activity – Get out and enjoy a pedicure for those beautiful toes or maybe shop for new sandals to show them off!
Indoor Activity – There’s a wonderful little kit called Salon Step that allows you (or someone else) to give you a pedicure in your own home.
National Lighthouse Day – Back in the day lighthouses were the source of safety and security for vessels out at sea. Lighthouse keepers saved many lives and lived hard lives through storms and dangerous situations. Today is the day to honor them.
Outdoor Activity – There are many lighthouse museums throughout the country – as you can see here. If you are fortunate enough to live nearby any of them, take a road trip and visit them.
National Fried Chicken & Waffles Day – So many people love fried chicken and waffles! Enough so that a national holiday was created just for them.
Outdoor Activity – Take a trip to your favorite restaurant that serves fried chicken and waffles and take some friends with you!
Indoor Activity – Spend the day reading the murder mystery book Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles by A.L. Herbert. It’s a fun read.
Book Lovers Day – My friends who are avid book lovers – this is YOUR day! Reach out to anyone you know who loves to read books and let them know this is the day to celebrate.
Outdoor Activity – If you’re near Portland, Oregon you can visit the largest independent book store in the country, Powell’s City of Books and believe me, it is a CITY of books! There are so many to choose from in there! Otherwise, visit your local book store, your library – wherever you can indulge in your love of books.
Indoor Activity – Pick up a favorite book, maybe one you’re reading now or one you’ve been meaning to read or re-read and spend the day engrossed in the story! But if you want to treat yourself or a book loving friend – consider gifting them any of these book lover gifts.
Skyscraper Appreciation Day – Today is meant to honor the architect William Can Alen who was the mastermind of the Chrysler Building – a very famous skyscraper.
Outdoor Activity – If you are near a city, take a road trip and admire the amazing skyscrapers that you see. They are, in fact, an engineering marvel.
Indoor Activity – Lego has a wonderful Dubai architecture kit where you can create some of the most iconic skyscrapers in the city of Dubai. Legos can be a great activity for seniors with dementia, just don’t expect them to always follow the rules!
Son and Daughter Day – Today is a family day – carve out some time today to spend with your children, your grandchildren, nephews and/or nieces.
Outdoor Activity – Spend some time doing what the kids want to do. It could be a picnic, a game, a movie, anything that they want to do with you!
Indoor Activity – But if the weather won’t permit – then any kind of indoor game, board game, video game or even just a movie marathon!
Vinyl Record Day – Baby boomers and older folks remember vinyl records and some of us had stacks and stacks of them. But did you know that the younger generation is very much in love with vinyl records these days! Yep, it’s a thing.
Outdoor Activity – If you’re near W. Berlin, NJ you can take a trip and visit the Record Museum! They buy, sell and trade all kinds of vinyl records. If not, check your local area to see if there is a store nearby where they sell and buy vinyl records. Most college towns have at least one.
Indoor Activity – If you want to begin collecting vinyl records again then consider purchasing a turntable and once again – begin listening to those wonderful records you grew up with. (And some new ones too!)
Left Hander’s Day – It’s estimated that there are 708 million left handed people in the world and today is YOUR day!
Outdoor Activity – Yes, there is a store just for left handed folks. It’s in San Francisco California and if you’re nearby – you can make a day trip out of it. There’s even a museum in Loutolim, Goa in India known as the World Famous Left Hander Museum!
Indoor Activity – Today would be a good day to call your left handed friends and just connect or better yet, gift them with a left handed tool or product like these.
National Creamsicle Day – Ahh, perfect for a hot day in August. The sweet taste of a creamsicle and a reminder of those wonderful visits by the neighborhood ice cream truck.
Outdoor Activity – Take some time to get out and visit your local ice cream shop. Even if you don’t get a creamsicle, treat yourself to your favorite ice cream.
Indoor Activity – Make your own ice cream or frozen yogurt with this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker.
National Relaxation Day – We all need a day of relaxation every now and then so why not make it today? Enjoy the day by yourself, reading, napping, watching movies, etc. Or, spend the day relaxing with friends or family.
Outdoor Activity – A relaxing day at the beach or by the lake or at a park may be just in store as long as it’s not too hot.
Indoor Activity – If you need to be indoors, consider visiting a museum or any place that is quiet, peaceful and relaxing.
National Roller Coaster Day – These days, roller coasters are much smoother and scarier than they were when we were younger. But if you really love the old wooden roller coasters you may still be able to find a park or two that still uses them.
Outdoor Activity – Even if you aren’t going to ride a roller coaster – it’s worth a trip to an amusement park to see your grandkids scream their way on one of these rides.
Indoor Activity – Lego to the rescue with their amazing award winning roller coaster model! What a wonderful way to spend time with family or friends putting this together.
Black Cat Appreciation Day – Black cats have a bad reputation and for no good reason. Did you know that black cats are the most euthanized in shelters? Very sad.
Outdoor Activity – A visit to an animal shelter to simply spend time with the cats can be a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Of course, don’t shy away from one just because it’s black.
National Fajita Day – Fajitas have been around since the 1930s and millions of people love them!
Outdoor Activity – Of course, the best way to get outdoors and celebrate National Fajita Day is to gt out to your favorite Mexican restaurant and indulge in this delicious treat.
Indoor Activity – Making Fajitas at home can be something the whole family can be involved in. There are a lot of vegetables and meats that require chopping. This great Fajita pan can make it easier to cook it all.
Coco Chanel Day – Coco Chanel was and still is a very famous and influential designer. She has inspired many beautiful classical designs.
Outdoor Activity – A trip to Paris would be the ideal way to celebrate Coco Chanel Day. You can visit several locations that showcase the history that she created.
National Radio Day – Celebrate the invention of the radio today. Although it may not be as popular as it used to be, the radio is still part of many lives.
Outdoor Activity – There are so many radio museums around the world that you can go visit. Just take a look here and hopefully there will be one near you.
Indoor Activity – Get into the Ham Radio hobby with this great ham radio kit.
Poet’s Day – Pay tribute to poet’s today. Almost everyone has been touched by poetry one way or the other.
Outdoor Activity – Spend a little time at a book store today. Especially one of those with coffee shops. Grab a book of poetry, sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the day.
Indoor Activity – Enjoy Haiku and create your own poetry.
Be An Angel Day – This is the day to think about what you can do for someone else. If you know a senior who lives alone, pay them a visit. Give to others, spread kindness and love and be their angel.
Outdoor Activity – It’s very easy for older adults to sit and wallow in their own sorrows so today would be a great day to spend some time at a shelter, giving out food or clothing (especially socks) to the homeless and anything that you can do to get out and help others who are less fortunate.
Indoor Activity – If you can’t get out and about or the day is just too hot for you then consider picking a charity to make a donation to. Take it a step further and pick up the phone and call some of your friends and relatives and ask them to donate as well!
Valentino Day – Today commemorates the day that the famous Rudolph Valentino died in 1926 at the age of 31. Many older seniors may remember him and this would be a great day to celebrate his work.
Outdoor Activity – There is a museum dedicated to Valentino in his hometown of Castellaneta, Italy. Of course, the Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, California also has an exhibit dedicated to him as well.
International Strange Music Day – Today is all about exposing yourself to music that you’ve never heard before. The idea is to explore different genres of music that you may have never thought of listening to. Who knows, you may just end up liking it!
Outdoor Activity – If there is an outdoor music festival coming up then you may want to attend, even if it’s a genre you’re not familiar with. Or, visiting a local music store and purchasing a CD or Vinyl Record of a new artist that you may have found on Youtube!
Indoor Activity – One thing that I like to do is to find different artists singing familiar songs. I sometimes love the song but not the singer so I look for “covers”. This is how I found Pentatonix. I searched for “covers of hallelujah” and I found this amazing group. It’s hard to believe they are acapella.
National Second Hand Wardrobe Day– The idea behind today is to re-use and re-purpose our stuff instead of always buying something new.
Outdoor Activity – A hot summer day is a perfect time to visit your local thrift store.
Indoor Activity – Go ahead and clean out some of your stuff, declutter and donate to the shelter and then do some shopping!
National Dog Day – I love dogs so for me, every day is national dog day! But hey, why not make today just a bit special and give your dog (if you have one) a special treat. If you don’t have a dog, consider gifting a treat to someone else’s dog.
Outdoor Activity – Many cities and town have dog parks that your dog may just love to go to (if they get along with other dogs). Otherwise, maybe taking them for a nice walk or stroll in their own stroller around a park. Today may be a good day to help a senior who has a dog by asking if you can take their dog out for a walk.
Indoor Activity – A new dog toy is always appreciated by most dogs but so are dog beds. If you are caring for a senior with dementia, you may want to consider a robotic dog. They can make wonderful companions for some with advanced Alzheimer’s or dementia.
National Just Because Day – Today is the day to do what you want, “just because” you want to do it. Make it a fun day to celebrate with your senior loved ones and family and friends.
Outdoor Activity – Go to your local mall or park, grab some ice cream and people watch.
Indoor Activity – Have ice cream for breakfast, spend the day in your pajamas, watch a movie or TV show marathon and relax, just because you can. Call in someone to help care for a senior loved one and take some time away, just because you deserve it.
Stuffed Green Bell Peppers Day – I love red peppers, much more than green peppers so for I would personally make stuffed red peppers today! But hey, there are tons of recipes on what you can do with stuffed peppers, no matter what color they are.
Outdoor Activity – Since today is Saturday, a visit to your local Farmers Market may be a good thing to do. Not only to buy some green peppers but other goodies as well.
Indoor Activity – When I make stuffed peppers, I put them in a cupcake pan to bake. It’s the easiest way to keep the peppers up straight so they cook well.
More Herbs Less Salt Day – On average, Americans eat 3,400 mg of sodium per day. But the ideal healthy amount should be less than 2,300 mg per day. By the way, 2,300 mg is 1 teaspoon of salt!
Outdoor Activity – Planning an herb garden is a wonderful way to get started on using more herbs in your cooking and your diet. For seniors, I recommend a raised garden bed like this one to make it easier to tend to.
Indoor Activity – If you can’t do an outdoor garden, then consider one of these indoor herb gardens!
National Frankenstein Day – If you love the old horror movies then today is YOUR day! Today is the birthday of the author of Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.
Outdoor Activity – Yes, there really is a Castle Frankenstein in Muhltal, Germany. A visit to this historic place is a must for any Frankenstein aficionado. Here in America, you can visit the House of Frankenstein Wax Museum in Lake George, NY.
National Trail Mix Day – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love some kind of trail mix! So today is a great day to celebrate this fun snack.
Outdoor Activity – If you have a store nearby where they sell nuts, pretzels, candy and dried fruit in barrels – today would be a great day to visit that store and make your very own trail mix!
Indoor Activity – Invite a few friends and family over and ask them to bring their own version of their favorite trail mix! Enjoy the day in the backyard or indoors with a movie or playing a game.
Having an idea of activities to do each day can help to keep you busy with activities, especially if you are home caring for a senior loved one.
I do hope that these ideas inspire you to have a wonderful August!