Enjoying a morning coffee on a beautiful outdoor deck or taking an evening stroll narrated by birdsong are some of summer’s simple pleasures.

But for seniors with chronic health issues, enjoying the warmer months can be difficult. Elevating the home environment can help aging adults who struggle to get outside to experience the joy of summer.

What Barriers Prevent Seniors from Enjoying Summer?

Thirty-five percent of seniors over 70 and ‘the majority’ of those over 85 have mobility limitations, and these difficulties are becoming increasingly common.¹ But it’s not just mobility issues that prevent seniors in retirement from getting outside and enjoying the summer sunshine.

According to the World Health Organization, heat can also aggravate many common chronic health conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and asthma.² With temperatures soaring to over 100°F, summer in Southern Arizona can sometimes be intense.

How Can Decor Help Seniors Get in the Summer Spirit?

Research shows a person’s environment can have a significant impact on their mental health. For example, a review conducted in 2020 noted that being able to view things like nature, indoor plants, and landscape paintings has been linked to better mental health.³

Specific summery colors can also evoke a positive mood. For example, yellow is associated with joy, green with balance and serenity, and sky blue with peace and calmness.4
By curating a bright, airy, and nature-focused environment, you can help your senior loved one enjoy the summer months, even if they cannot get outdoors daily.

Summer Decor Ideas for Seniors in Retirement

Arts and Crafts

Seniors with a passion for the arts might enjoy creating their paintings, collages, or crafts to adorn their space for summer. Not only can this provide some lovely, meaningful summer decorations, but it’s also a great activity. 

Various studies have shown that engaging in art therapy has social, self-esteem, motivational, and confidence-boosting benefits for seniors.5
It’s no coincidence that senior living communities often provide arts-based activities for residents.

Here are some great arts and crafts ideas focused on summer decorations:

    • Make a bright summer collage from photographs and cutouts
    • Paint a sun-drenched landscape
    • Craft paper flowers6
    • Paint rocks with colorful summer scenes6
    • Create fabric-covered pots for indoor plants6
    • Craft wind chimes out of seashells and beads7 

Bring the Outdoors in With Plants and Flowers

This is an excellent option for seniors who enjoy gardening and nature. Summer is the perfect time to spruce the home with fresh plants and fragrant flowers. Something as simple as displaying a bouquet in their kitchen could do the trick. Alternatively, installing potted indoor plants for your relative to nurture could not only elevate their space but also help them continue enjoying their favorite hobby.

Many herbs, flowers, and green plants, including Aloe Vera, Parlor Palm, and Philodendron, are ideally suited to be grown indoors. Orchids are perhaps the perfect summer flower to add an air of peace and tranquility to any room.8 Some plants can even be used to maintain air purity, including Queen Fern, Rubber Trees, and Peace Lillies.9

Create an Indoor Summer Sanctuary

If your loved one enjoys sitting in the sunshine but cannot get outdoors, creating an inviting seating area by a window could help them enjoy the natural light in maximum comfort and safety. Keep in mind that if they like to sit in the sunshine, they will still need to wear adequate sun protection, such as SPF, sunglasses, and a cap.

Great things to add to enhance the home include:

  • Comfortable chair
  • Cushions
  • Bookshelf (to create a reading nook)
  • Coffee table
  • Some of their favorite artwork or ornaments
  • Grab bars (if required to help them transfer in and out of their chair)
  • Board games or playing cards
  • Hobby supplies (e.g., an easel for painting)
  • Indoor plants
  • A window box or birdfeeder outside the window

Can Seniors Decorate Their Space in Assisted Living?

In senior living, residents typically have access to their own space. Some communities provide private or semi-private bedrooms, and others offer individual apartments. The right choice for your loved one will depend on their unique needs and preferences, and you can get a feel for what’s best by visiting communities with a range of layouts. 

Either way, many assisted living communities grant residents a lot of freedom to personalize their space, whether with artwork, plants, flowers, or even some favorite pieces of furniture from their homes.

Summer at Saguaro Ranch Senior Living

Our charming ranch house in Tucson is the perfect place to enjoy the famous Arizona summer. Our assisted living residents can personalize their ample space with private ensuite rooms. They add touches like vibrant artwork and lush green indoor plants during the summer. 

Sitting at the foot of the Tortolita Mountains, our assisted living home also offers spectacular views. Breathtaking summer sunrises and sunsets can be viewed from an open window or our inviting patio area.

Our senior care residents also have 24/7 support from highly trained, compassionate caregivers. With attentive, round-the-clock activities of daily living (ADL) care, residents feel empowered to enjoy the summer months in whatever way suits them best.

To experience our truly special Tucson assisted living community in summer and to find out how we can create a personalized senior care plan for your loved one, schedule a guided tour today.

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Freiberger E, Sieber CC, Kob R. Mobility in older community-dwelling persons: A narrative review. Front Physiol. 2020;11:881. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00881.
  2. World Health Organization. Heat and health. Published May 28, 2024. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-heat-and-health.
  3. Riva A, Rebecchi A, Capolongo S, Gola M. Can homes affect well-being? A scoping review of housing conditions, indoor environmental quality, and mental health outcomes. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(23):15975. doi: 10.3390/ijerph192315975.
  4. Mental Health America. How do colors in my home change my mood? Color psychology explained. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://mhanational.org/surroundings/color-psychology-explained.
  5. Galassi F, Merizzi A, D’Amen B, Santini S. Creativity and art therapies to promote healthy aging: A scoping review. Front Psychol. 2022;13:906191. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.906191.
  6. Lake Seminole Square. Summer crafts for seniors. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://lakeseminoleseniorliving.com/blog/summer-crafts-for-seniors/.
  7. Freedom Pointe at the Villages. Summer crafts for seniors with dementia. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://freedompointefl.com/blog/dementia-friendly-summer-crafts/.
  8. Valeris M, Gautieri A. 24 best indoor plants to brighten up every room. Good Housekeeping. Updated May 28, 2024. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/advice/g1285/hard-to-kill-plants/.
  9. Garrity A, Gautieri A. 20 best air-purifying plants to infuse greenery into the home. Good Housekeeping. Updated April 21, 2023. Accessed June 21, 2024. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a32552/houseplants-that-purify-air/.