Ahh, September is a month that I look forward to because it’s the month when Autumn begins and that means beautiful cooler weather!
That means the ability to do more outdoor activities in breathable weather!
Here is our list of activities that family caregivers can do with their senior loved ones while caring for them at home.
U.S. Postage Stamp Day – Many of us use stamps (although maybe not as much as we used to) but we all use them every now and then. There are many stories behind some of these stamps and that may be a hobby worth spending time in.
Outdoor Activity – The Smithsonian has a wonderful National Postal Museum that is certainly worth visiting. Other than that you can look into a local stamp collecting club to join. Simply go to Google and type in “stamp collecting clubs near me”.
Indoor Activity – The Hallmark Channel has a beautiful series called Signed, Sealed, Delivered which you and your senior loved one may enjoy. It’s all about a group of postal detectives who track down the recipients of undeliverable mail and of course, the stories that revolve around that mailing.
World Coconut Day – Having lived in sub-tropical countries I know how wonderful a fresh coconut tastes so celebrate the day by creating treats with this tasty delight.
Outdoor Activity – Get yourself some solar Tiki Torch lights (they’re safer than the fire ones) and decorate the backyard for a wonderful tropical dinner outdoors.
Indoor Activity – Many people think of coconut to be used in dessert recipes but there are many other types of recipes (like these) where coconut is part of a main dish. Making a meal with someone who has dementia can be a great way to spend time together on a meaningful task.
National Doodle Day – Many of us spend many hours in those long boring classes in school just doodling in our notebooks. Well, today is the day to celebrate that activity.
Outdoor Activity – Take your notebook, pad, or doodle tool out to the backyard, the park, the coffee shop, etc. and spend an afternoon creating your very own doodles.
Indoor Activity – Get a stack of blank greeting cards like these and doodle your own set of greeting cards to send throughout the year.
Read A Book Day – Most everyone enjoys some type of reading. Whether it’s fiction, non fiction, science fiction or any other type of writing – today is the day to grab a book and read a bit.
Outdoor Activity – The wonderful thing about books is that you can take one most anywhere. But if you prefer to take your entire library with you wherever you go – I can recommend the Kindle Paperwhite.
Indoor Activity – If you don’t yet have a favorite “reading spot” – why not make one today? A good comfortable chair, good lighting, some place to put a drink, and of course, someplace to put your book. If your loved one with dementia can no longer read, then why not take some time each day for “reading time” and read to them.
International Day Of Charity – There are always so many opportunities to give to charities, any time of the year. Today, consider beginning to give to a new charity anywhere in the world.
Outdoor Activity – Volunteering is a wonderful way for seniors to give back to their communities so if you’re not yet volunteering at a church or organization, consider calling some today or going out to some and asking about their volunteer program.
Indoor Activity – If you can’t get out of the house too easily, or simply prefer to spend time at home, then there are still many ways that you can help out and volunteer from home.
Yard Art Day – With Autumn just around the corner, today would be a good day to begin working on your outdoor spaces to get them ready for autumn flowers and of course, the coming winter.
Outdoor Activity – There are so many wonderful and creative ways to decorate your yard with Yard Art like these. Take advantage of them and make your yard spectacular.
Indoor Activity – Create your own yard art with these Mix and Mold Stepping Stones! You can decorate them most any way you like and then place them out in the yard for all to enjoy.
Grandma Moses Day – How wonderful to have a day to celebrate Anna Mary Robertson Moses (aka Grandma Moses). An American folk artist who began painting at the age of 78 – and the rest is history.
Outdoor Activity – If you can make a visit to the Bennington Museum in Vermont then you can see the original paintings by Grandma Moses. Otherwise, you can look for folk art museums in your area.
Indoor Activity – Spend some time putting together any of these Grandma Moses puzzles.
International Literacy Day – Today is meant to “…remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.” – unesco.org
Outdoor Activity – Consider gathering some of the books in your home that you’ve read and are finished with and donating them to a shelter for women and children.
Indoor Activity – A great little craft idea would be to create your own bookmarks! It could be a fun thing for everyone to do.
National School Picture Day – Oh those school picture days bring back both good and bad memories!
Outdoor Activity – Gather your friends and family for a picnic and picture day!
Indoor Activity – It’s a great day to pull out your old school yearbooks and go through the memories. Maybe even try to contact a few. You can also try the National Yearbook Online.
National TV Dinner Day – The first TV dinners (around 1953) were sold for 98 cents each!
Outdoor Activity – The National Museum of American History has a section dedicated to TV dinners so that might be fun to see. You can also bring a Lasagna TV dinner to a restaurant and compare it’s taste to the one you ordered from the restaurant. Might be a fun project.
Indoor Activity – Of course, pulling up a dinner tray and warming up a TV dinner either in the oven or microwave, turn on your favorite show or movie and celebrate the day.
Libraries Remember Day – Is meant to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 attacks here in the United States.
Outdoor Activity – I know that here in my small town we have a piece of one of the Twin Towers from NYC displayed in one of our local parks. If you have something like that near you, today would be a good day to go visit that and remember the souls we lost that day.
Indoor Activity – You don’t have to have known someone who died in the 9/11 attacks to commemorate others who have passed. Make a special meal or gather with family and friends in honor of lost loved ones.
National Video Game Day – Back in 1958 the first video game came out. It was a Tennis for Two game and I still see it being played in some pizza joints.
Outdoor Activity – A great way for older adults to practice dexterity is to play hand held video games like this one. Take it anywhere, enjoy the fresh air and celebrate today’s holiday.
Indoor Activity – The Wii games and unit are one of the best games for seniors and family members. Today would be a great day to use them!
International Chocolate Day – I think we all know someone (or ourselves) who are just in love with anything chocolate. Well, today is their day to celebrate this passion.
Outdoor Activity – Of course the largest chocolate museum in the world is in Switzerland but there are many other chocolate museums that you can indulge in. If you’re not near one, then consider a visit to a local candy store or fudge store for a delicious treat.
Indoor Activity – There are some wonderful make your own chocolate kits available. Even though they are marketed to kids – I think it’s something that everyone in the family can enjoy.
National Eat A Hoagie Day – The word Hoagie seems odd for a sandwich but the theory is that it came from Italian immigrants who worked in the Hog Island shipyard in Philadelphia during WWI. Their sandwiches were called “hoggies” but have since been renamed to “hoagies”.
Outdoor Activity – The best way to celebrate this holiday is to grab a friend or relative and get out to your favorite sandwich shop for their rendition of a Hoagie.
Indoor Activity – Gather the items from the store and prepare to make an authentic Philly style hoagie by following the instructions in this video.
Google Day – Where would we be without Google? It would be a different world, that’s for certain. Good or bad, Google is here to stay and today is the day to acknowledge that.
Outdoor Activity – Google is famous for their doodles. So, grab a Doodle Pad or any blank type of notebook, a set of markers and get outside to a park, a cafe or just your backyard and get Doodling!
Indoor Activity – Of course you can enjoy doodling indoors too but you can also take a few moments and learn some tricks on how to better search using Google from this video.
Play-doh Day – Many of us “younger” seniors remember playing with Play Doh and many older seniors remember buying it for their children. It came on the market in 1956 and it’s still a favorite amongst children.
Outdoor Activity – You can add glow in the dark paint to Play Doh – add enough until the whole thing is sticky. Put it in a glass jar with a lid, tighten the lid and put it out in the sun. At night time you’ll be able to make glow in the dark shapes.
Indoor Activity – No matter what age you are, you can still have fun with Play Doh! So gather the grandkids or neighborhood kids and make it a fun day celebrating a fun product. Here’s a recipe for homemade play dough if you don’t have the actual stuff.
International Country Music Day – Sometime in the 1950’s this holiday was created to celebrate country music around the world.
Outdoor Activity – You may find that there’s a country music festival nearby or at least a country band playing at a local park or venue.
Indoor Activity – If you enjoy country music – there are movies and music that you can sit back and take in today.
National Clean Up Day – Today is meant to encourage everyone, around the world to take some time and clean up the environment around them.
Outdoor Activity – You could volunteer for a local group that is participating in the holiday. Or, if there isn’t one near you, perhaps you can start one! You can learn more here.
Indoor Activity – Cleanups don’t just have to be outdoors. You can also work on cleaning up and decluttering your own home or your senior parent’s home.
International Talk Like A Pirate Day – Even pirates get their own special holiday! And it’s international no less. This day was created in 1995 by a couple of guys from Albany, Oregon.
Outdoor Activity – Scour your local area because some establishments have give aways today. One is Krispy Kreme where you can get a free donut!
Indoor Activity – Consider a pirate movie or making some pirate snacks like these.
National Fried Rice Day – It seems that almost every food has their own holiday!
Outdoor Activity – Of course, a trip to your local Chinese restaurant or maybe even a Benihana if you have one nearby would be a fun way to celebrate this holiday.
Indoor Activity – I personally make fried rice with leftover rice and I have my own ingredients but here’s a great video showing you how to make this delicious dish.
World Alzheimer’s Day – Is meant to bring awareness to this very horrible disease. The Alzheimer’s Association reports that more than 6 million people in the USA alone are living with Alzheimer’s.
Outdoor Activity – There are many Walks To End Alzheimer’s throughout the year. If there isn’t one in your area – perhaps you can organize one.
Indoor Activity – If you know someone who is caring for another with Alzheimer’s, today would be a wonderful day to help them and give them some respite. Another way is to give your loved one with Alzheimer’s a tool (like these) that they can use to keep themselves occupied – which is a must for anyone with this disease.
Ice Cream Cone Day – Although today is the official first day of autumn, it may still be a bit warm outside so an ice cream cone would seem like a perfect treat.
Outdoor Activity – Of course, a visit to your local ice cream shop would be the fun event of the day. Invite a friend or two, family and/or kids and make it a group activity.
Indoor Activity – Try something new and make your own waffle cones for your ice cream right at home!
National Great American Pot Pie Day – One of my favorite treats for myself is Pot Pie! First created in England, this delicious dish has become an American staple.
Outdoor Activity – There may be a restaurant or two in your area that serves their version of a pot pie, like Paul’s Pot Pies in Georgia. Check them out and see who makes the best one.
Indoor Activity – Now it’s easy enough to go to the store and buy a pot pie, or even a few different ones to see which one is the best! But you can also take the plunge and make your own. Here’s a great video to show you how.
Hug A Vegetarian Day – There seem to be more vegetarians today than ever before. At least, I seem to know more people who are eating plant based diets, so that’s wonderful!
Outdoor Activity – If you have never gone to a vegetarian restaurant – today would be the day to try it out. You’d be surprised how good some of the food truly is.
Indoor Activity – There are so many vegetarian options at the grocery store today, like Beyond Burgers that I would encourage you to give them a try. It’s something new and different and you may just like it!
National Psychotherapy Day – With the world in the grips of Covid for more than 18 months, psychotherapists are in greater demand than ever. We are all doing our best to deal with the anxiety of this pandemic and all the uncertainty it is bringing with it. I encourage everyone to seek the help of a psychotherapist if they feel anxious, depressed, unable to cope, etc.
Outdoor Activity – Psychotherapy is about helping others. Communicating with them and helping them through a crisis. Consider taking someone out and listening to their struggles. Being there for someone is one of the best gifts you could give to anyone.
Indoor Activity – If you’re unable to get out, then think about calling someone and spend time with them on the phone (or on Zoom) and listen. Everyone has struggles and being able to share them with others can lessen the burden significantly.
National Situational Awareness Day – Today is all about personal safety. Being aware of your environment and being on the lookout for any dangerous situations.
Outdoor Activity – Many local police departments offer classes and training on situational awareness. I would encourage you to look them up.
Indoor Activity – Making your home safe is also extremely important, especially if someone in the household has dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Crush A Can Day – This holiday is meant to emphasize the benefits of recycling. Although it’s a serious issue, it doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it.
Outdoor Activity – Getting outdoors for a walk and perhaps collect discarded garbage (maybe even a few cans) may be an activity worth doing today.
Indoor Activity – If you’re really into cans, you can check out the online Can Museum where collectors from around the world display their collections of beverage cans. Otherwise, investing in a can crusher may be a good idea and a good activity for anyone, even someone with dementia.
Confucius Day – Commemorating the birthday of the “first teacher in China”, Confucius can bring out activities of nationality, history and of course, food!
Outdoor Activity – For most of us, an easy lunch or dinner at a Chinese restaurant, or take-out would be the thing to do today.
Indoor Activity – Any type of activity where you can use your hands is usually a very good thing to do with anyone who has dementia. That’s why crafts are so important. Check out some of these crafts with a “Chinese theme”.
VFW Day – Many of our senior loved ones lived through war times. Some were actually in at least one war. Today is the day to honor the very courageous men and women who served their countries.
Outdoor Activity – A visit to a local VFW, maybe even offering to volunteer there could be a good activity today. Or perhaps visiting any museum with war time exhibits may be better suited for you.
Indoor Activity – If you’re into action films you may want to check out the movie VFW. A story about older veterans who find themselves protecting their local VFW from a local gang. Or, if your senior loved one has war time memorabilia, today may be a good day to take those items out and do a bit of reminiscing.
Hot Mulled Cider Day – Autumn is here and in some parts of the world you may feel that cool crisp air so of course, drinking a cup of hot cider seems very appropriate.
Outdoor Activity – If you’re lucky enough to live near an apple farm, then today would be a great day to give them a visit. Otherwise, make some hot mulled cider and put it in a thermos and head out to a local park to enjoy the fresh air and maybe a board game under the trees.
Indoor Activity – Gather the ingredients and get ready to make your very own Hot Mulled Cider. Of course if you have a family recipe, use that! Or, you can just start with an instant pack like this one and then add your own ingredients. If not, here’s a video on how to make this delicious drink. Invite others to join you!