The month of July can be hot and uncomfortable for many seniors and family but that does not mean that there aren’t some wonderful activities that you can do with your senior loved one with dementia.
Here are some ideas for an activity calendar for older adults with dementia!
U.S. Postage Stamp Day – Stamp collecting is a rich and rewarding hobby. It can be mentally stimulating. Each stamp has its own story to tell, whether it be the place in which they were made or who used them before you brought new life into your collection by adding them. It’s like opening up time capsule every day with each advance of your collection!
Outdoor Activity – There are multiple “stamp museums” around the world (see a few here). A visit to any one of these can be a fun and educational outing for the family.
Indoor Activity – Whether you have been stamp collecting for years or want to pick it up as a new hobby – there are plenty of accessories that you can use to help make this project special.
World UFO Day – A day to check out the history of UFO’s and have some fun with it.
Outdoor Activity – These great hand operated drones (no remotes needed) are a fun way to spend some time outdoors, especially if the game is between adults and kids!
Indoor Activity – Check out some of those great UFO movies from the 1950’s. The Day The Earth Stood Still, War Of The Worlds and my favorite, Forbidden Planet!
Stay Out Of The Sun Day – The idea here today is that even if you do HAVE to be out in the sun, at least do it with protection. Maybe go shopping for a large brim hat, stock up on sunscreen and buy some clothing that can protect you from the sun.
Outdoor Activity – Enjoy the summer day under a shady tree. If you don’t have any shade in your yard consider planting a tree that can eventually give you the shade you need to stay protected.
Indoor Activity – Stay completely protected indoors and have some fun creating suncatchers for your windows or for gifts!
Independence From Meat Day – The majority of people it seems eat meat every single day. Why not give your digestion (and your health) a break from that and spend the day NOT eating meat!
Outdoor Activity – Instead of barbecuing burgers or hotdogs, try vegetables instead like zucchini, corn, peppers, etc. You can use a grill basket like this to cook them up on the grill.
Indoor Activity – Discover some vegetarian dishes to cook for the day. An omelet with capers, peppers and artichokes for breakfast. Garden burger sandwich with chips for lunch. Pasta with homemade tomato sauce, a salad and garlic bread for dinner!
National Apple Turnover Day – There aren’t many people who do not love a good pastry every now and then and apple turnovers are just one of those great little treats we love!
Outdoor Activity – A trip to a local bakery (or maybe find one you’ve never been to) for an afternoon cup of coffee or tea and of course, an apple turnover! Or at the very least, some kind of apple pastry!
Indoor Activity – Spending time with a senior loved one in the kitchen making something together is a wonderful way to bond and work on a project together. Making an apple turnover either with phyllo dough or Pillsbury Crescents!
Fried Chicken Day – So many people around the world love Fried Chicken and most have their favorite recipe or favorite restaurant that serves them that.
Outdoor Activity – Get in the car and visit your favorite Fried Chicken establishment.
Indoor Activity – Pull out your family’s favorite fried chicken recipe and get cooking. Better yet, invite family and friends to enjoy the feast.
National Father Daughter Take A Walk Day – It’s always a wonderful activity to be able to take a walk every day if you are able and today would be the day to make it a point to take a walk with your father if you are able to.
Outdoor Activity – Finding a great little park or greenway or outdoor shopping area to take a walk today would be a fun thing to do!
Indoor Activity – Walks don’t have to always be outdoors – for really hot days like the ones that are in July, you can go for walks indoors in malls, museums, galleries, etc.
National Freezer Pop Day – Hot July days are perfect for freezer pops! So it makes sense that this day would be celebrated in July.
Outdoor Activity – Spend some time outdoors, either in a park or in your backyard and of course, enjoy your freezer pop!
Indoor Activity – We all know you can buy a freezer pop but why not make your own? It’s so easy! There are many freezer pop kits that you can use and you can use your own juice or fruit concoction!
National Sugar Cookie Day – Sugar cookies are both a treat and a craft! You can decorate them elaborately or just spread some frosting and sprinkles on them. Either way, they are a delicious and fun treat to make.
Outdoor Activity – Whether you make or buy sugar cookies, put them in a few containers like these and share them with your neighbors. It’s a nice little surprise for them and sharing kindness with others will help to make you (and your senior loved one) feel so good!
Indoor Activity – Have some fun making sugar cookies and decorating them with this cookie decorating kit! It literally turns cookie making into a crafts project.
Kitten Day – I have taken care of kittens and there is no doubt that they are really cute and playful and fun but they can be a lot of work for older adults. Also, because they are so small they do tend to dart in and out of everywhere and could cause an older adult to trip and fall so be very careful with kittens.
Outdoor Activity – I have seen the sternest individuals turn to mush around kittens so I know they can bring many people a lot of joy. Consider taking some time today to visit an animal shelter. Many of them have a “kitten room” as well as a “cat room”. It may be nice to bring some food to donate to the shelter when you go.
Indoor Activity – If you want to stay indoors today, then why not celebrate Kitten Day by working on a kitten puzzle like these.
Cheer Up The Lonely Day – Almost 15% of adults around the world live alone. It can be difficult and it can certainly be lonely. If you know someone like this, consider spending the day helping to make their day less lonely.
Outdoor Activity – Make a date with someone you know who lives alone and go out for a meal or a movie or just a cup of coffee and spend some time together.
Indoor Activity – If someone you know who lives alone is not able to get out – then just visiting them for an afternoon would be a lovely treat for both of you. Bring some treats, maybe a game or an activity might be fun too.
Simplicity Day – This day is meant to honor Henry David Thoreau who cherished and believed in the simple things in life. He may be considered a minimalist by today’s standards.
Outdoor Activity – Honor the simple message of the day and spend some time with your senior loved one in a beautiful, quiet setting. It can be by a nearby lake, a park or your backyard.
Indoor Activity – Turn on some meditative, peaceful music and sit back and enjoy the time. For seniors with dementia this can help to calm down racing thoughts and feelings of agitation. You can listen to a wonderful music station called The Meditation Station which I listen to often on any of your Alexa devices.
National French Fries Day – Yes, I know French Fries are not really good for you but I do allow myself to indulge in them once or twice a year. They are just SO GOOD!
Outdoor Activity – Head over to wherever you can purchase your favorite fries and enjoy them as part of your meal or a snack!
Indoor Activity – An air fryer like this one is a great way to make your own fries but keeping it just a bit healthier!
Shark Awareness Day – It seems that ever since the movie Jaws was released back in 1975 there has been a heightened awareness of sharks and more movies, books, fan clubs and entire channels are being devoted to these amazing but dangerous creatures.
Outdoor Activity – If you are near an ocean or aquarium, today would be the day to get out and enjoy some time in these locations and marvel at the fact that sharks have been on this planet for at least 420 million years!
Indoor Activity – There are so many shark related movies that you can spend time binge watching today! Everything from the classic Jaws, to Deep Blue Sea. You can even have some fun with shark movies so bad you have to watch them like Sharknado and Shark Exorcist!
National Give Something Away Day – The idea for today is to share what you have with others who don’t have as much.
Outdoor Activity – A great day to gather some items that you have and to make donations to a local thrift store, a food bank, pet shelter, etc.
Indoor Activity – Today is a perfect day to declutter and get the things that you don’t use anymore out of your home!
National Personal Chef’s Day – Personal chefs come into your home and create a meal or meals for you. It’s a wonderful luxury that many take advantage of, either full time, part time or just occasionally.
Outdoor Activity – Of course you can hire a personal chef to come in and prepare a special meal for you and your family or if your senior loved one is able to – you can take a one time cooking class at a local school or Whole Foods, etc.
Indoor Activity – Of course – even if you’re not ready to hire a personal chef, you can certainly be your own why meal delivery services like Purple Carrot for plant based meals and Freshly. Both of these programs deliver fresh ingredients with recipes for you to make your own meals.
National Hot Dog Day – Whether you enjoy traditional hot dogs or the vegan versions – these treats are just part of our summer days, especially for baseball fans!
Outdoor Activity – Since hot dogs and baseball are intertwined here in America – why not get out and enjoy a baseball game? It can a professional team, local or even a youths team. Or, maybe get out to a sports bar where they may be televising a baseball game.
Indoor Activity – Have a little fun with hot dogs by making them with this hot dog warmer! If the weather is too hot outside, consider having an indoor picnic!
National Ice Cream Day – I don’t know many people (actually none) who don’t love ice cream. And even if you’re lactose intolerant, there are many varieties of ice cream these days that don’t have any dairy. My favorites are coconut based ice creams!
Outdoor Activity – Getting out to your local ice cream shop is the thing to do today!!
Indoor Activity – Ice Cream makers like this one are the complete kit! make your own favorite soft serve ice cream right at home where it’s cool and comfortable.
Words With Friends Day – The game Words With Friends is a popular game that connects friends, families and even strangers in playing a word game! It’s a great app and if you haven’t tried it – give it a go. But for seniors with dementia, a word game may be difficult so make sure to choose a game that can be played.
Outdoor Activity – Any game that can be played outdoors with others like checkers or chess, ring toss, corn hole, bocci and others would be a fun event for the day. The point is to do a game with others.
Indoor Activity – Gathering family and friends or even if it’s just the two of you, playing any indoor game can be a fun activity for the day.
Space Exploration Day – This is a day for science and space nerds! With the possibility of space travel as a “vacation trip” being tested these days – the allure of this exciting adventure is being renewed like it was back in the last 60’s.
Outdoor Activity – A night activity out in the back yard, gazing at the stars with a telescope (or not) can be a wonderful time to spend with your senior loved one. Reminisce with them on their childhood and life.
Indoor Activity – Take a step back to childhood and work together on this solar system model making kit! It’s something that many school children create but who says they should be the only ones that can have fun with this?
National Be Someone Day – Today is all about becoming a better person by doing some good for the planet, for animals and/or for others. Choose your charity and get to work. A purposeful life is very important for everyone.
Outdoor Activity – For seniors with dementia and their caregivers, a support group can be extremely helpful. Not only can they help you, but you can share your insights as well.
Indoor Activity – Facebook groups are an excellent way to “join a support group” if you can’t leave the house for whatever reason. There are also Zoom support groups you may want to look into.
Hammock Day – The idea of relaxing on a hammock on a slow summer day is heaven for many people and why not? It’s a comfortable and easy way to take a nap and enjoy some down time. I would not, however, recommend a hammock for some older adults – it’s just a bit too dangerous to get in and out of safely.
Outdoor Activity – Even if you don’t have a hammock you can still enjoy the pleasure that being in one brings. Sip a refreshing Iced Tea or Cocktail outdoors and listen to the nature around you or your favorite music!
Indoor Activity – Macrame remind me of hammocks so why not work on a simple macrame kit with your senior loved one?
Gorgeous Grandma Day – Most of us love our grandma’s and they are gorgeous to us, of course! If your grandmother is suffering from dementia, today is the day to spend some time with her.
Outdoor Activity – Take her out for a spa day to help her feel as gorgeous on the outside as she is on the inside!
Indoor Activity – If getting out is not possible – then consider any of these spa kits for an at home day of pampering! If you want to go all out you can even invite a hairdresser and/or makeup artist to come in!
National Drive Thru Day – I don’t condone going to fast food restaurants on a regular basis but I do think that every now and then is just fine. Moderation is the key! So, celebrate your favorite fast food drive thru today.
Outdoor Activity – Gather up a couple of friends / family and get in the car to enjoy a meal, an ice cream, whatever at your favorite drive thru! Check with them first because you may be able to get a freebie or discount for the day!
Indoor Activity – Make your own fast food at home and spend the day working on this amazing Fast Food theme puzzle! If it’s too difficult for your loved one with dementia consider simpler puzzles and games like these.
Thread The Needle Day – To thread the needle means to find the middle ground between two opposing views. This is something that many caregivers of dementia patients have to deal with on a daily basis.
Outdoor Activity – If you have a plan on an activity today but your senior loved one is not going for it – don’t push your idea. Either find the middle ground or go with what they want. It’s the day to be flexible and to listen to your loved one with dementia.
Indoor Activity – Keep your activities today, simple and mellow. Listen to what your senior loved one needs and wants and help them to get through today as peacefully as possible.
Aunts and Uncles Day – We have days for parents and grandparents and siblings, so why not aunts and uncles? Take the time today to spend with them, talk to them, write to them or even just reminisce about them.
Outdoor Activity – A family reunion might be a great activity for the day. A picnic or maybe at a restaurant. Anything to get the family together!
Indoor Activity – Many families today live far apart so getting together physically is not always possible. Zoom meetings and phone calls and Facetime are all great ways to get in touch and stay in touch with family (and friends too).
Take Your Pants For A Walk Day – Another day to celebrate the wonderful benefits of walking for all adults, including seniors. Today is just a whimsical way to celebrate this great exercise.
Outdoor Activity – Of course, going on a walk is the outdoor activity of the day! It can be a park, a beach, a greenway or even along the catwalk if you live in an apartment complex. The point is get out, get some fresh air and take some steps.
Indoor Activity – If the weather is not cooperating today or it’s just too hot. Then consider walking indoors at a mall, a box store like Costco, a museum, an art gallery, etc.
National Waterpark Day – Waterparks are ideal for hot summer days for many families. But for many older adults, it’s an activity that is just too difficult. But that does not mean that you can’t still enjoy them.
Outdoor Activity – If you can get to a waterpark, even if you can’t go down the slides, you can still enjoy the excitement of seeing so many others doing that. But you can also get the kids over to the backyard, hook up a water slide like this one – and enjoy watching them slip and slide the afternoon away!
Indoor Activity – It may not be a waterslide – but adding an indoor fountainsound of to your home can be a relaxing feature that can help some seniors with dementia to calm down. It acts as “white noise” which can help to improve agitated behavior in older adults with dementia.
National Chicken Wing Day – I make the very best chicken wings!! At least that’s what my late husband used to say. If you love them – then today is the day to put them on your menu.
Outdoor Activity – Putting together a picnic or BBQ in a park or backyard and cooking up your favorite recipe of chicken wings is the thing to do today. If you’re a vegetarian, know that there are substitutes that you can use (although they are not wings) but are just as tasty.
If you live close enough – you can also visit the Poultry Capital of the World – Gainesville, Georgia.
Indoor Activity – Experiment with a new recipe for chicken wings or try any of the plant based varieties. Who knows, you may end up finding something new that you like!
National Whistleblowers Appreciation Day – We owe a debt of gratitude to whistleblowers. They are brave individuals who are sometimes put in impossible situations but they try to do the right thing – in spite of what it costs them. The National Whistleblower Center works to “…support whistleblowers in their efforts to expose and help prosecute corruption and other wrongdoing around the world.” – whistleblowers.org
Outdoor Activity – Whistleblowers are part of the history of countries around the world. So perhaps a visit to a history museum may be a fun activity for the day.
Indoor Activity – There are so many movies about whistleblowers that you can spend the day watching. Just to name a few: The Insider, Erin Brockovich, The Post and of course, Silkwood. My favorite is The Informant which is more like a dark comedy but it’s a true story.
International Slumber Party Day – So many of us had wonderful slumber parties growing up so who says that only has to be for kids? Consider celebrating with an adult slumber party.
Outdoor Activity – For seniors – a sleepover may be difficult so why not hold a “pajama party” out in the backyard? Complete with games and food!
Indoor Activity – Of course, a pajama party indoors is a fun way to hold the idea of a “slumber party” with friends and family.
I hope that these activities help you to make July a wonderful month as you care for your loved one with dementia.