If you and your elderly loved one are looking for something fun to do this summer, you’re in luck! The Central New York region has plenty of senior friendly activities to choose from, whether you want to spend some time outside, or escape the heat indoors. Below we’ve listed a sampling of activities you can find in the area, as well as some heat safety tips so you can have a safe and successful outing.


Heat Safety Tips

The elderly can be especially sensitive to the heat, and are more at risk for heat stroke and exhaustion. Taking the following precautions can greatly reduce the risk of heat related illnesses so you and your elderly loved one can safely enjoy all the senior friendly activities the CNY region offers.


1)    Stay hydrated

Make sure you’re both drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re taking your adventure outside. Heat can cause you to get dehydrated more quickly, and seniors are especially susceptible to dehydration.


2)    Use sunscreen

Another must if you’ll be outside? Sunscreen. You’ll want to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 or higher. Be sure to remind your loved one to wear sunscreen before going outside, and help them apply it if needed to make sure they’re fully protected.


3)    Dress appropriately

Wearing the right type of clothing can help your body regulate its temperature so you can stay cool, and provide additional protection from the sun. Lightweight, loose fitting clothing will help promote air circulation. It’s also best to stick with light colors that won’t absorb the sunlight.


A broad brimmed hat can provide extra protection from the sun. To help protect you and your loved one’s vision, sunglasses are also a must for those especially sunny days. If you’ll be inside in an air-conditioned area, you may also want to bring an extra layer in the form of a light sweater or cardigan so your loved one doesn’t get chilled.


4)    Stay in the shade

If you’re taking your activities outdoors, it’s best to avoid direct sunlight whenever possible. Prolonged sun exposure is one of the most common causes of heat related illnesses. Seek out shady areas to help you both stay cool and protected. Avoid planning outside activities for midday, when temperatures are likely to be at their highest.


You’ll want to pay attention to the temperature as well as the heat index, which factors in both the outside temperature and the humidity in the air. The higher the humidity, the harder it is for your body to regulate its temperature—which can already be challenging for seniors. If temperatures are predicted to be high, it’s best to take your activities inside and seek out air conditioned spaces.


5)    Take it slow

You’ve likely heard the old idiom, “slow and steady wins the race.” Whether you’re inside or outside, it’s important advice to follow. Don’t rush your elderly loved one around—they may not be able to walk as far or fast as you, so it’s important to let them set the pace. Be sure to take regular rest breaks too so your loved one doesn’t get over-tired.


Summer Activities in CNY

Now that you know how to keep your loved one safe in the hot summer weather, you can start planning some outings to make the most of the season! Below we’ve listed a few indoor and outdoor activities in the Central New York region that will keep your elderly loved one entertained. While these activities are considered senior friendly, every senior is different, and their individual needs and restrictions should be taken into consideration. If you have any doubts, be sure to talk to their doctor first.


  • Go to the zoo

The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse provide great options for an all-day adventure! Both places offer Senior discounts, and are wheelchair accessible.


  • See a Syracuse Chief’s Game

There are plenty of home games left this summer so you and your elderly loved one can get out to enjoy a good old fashioned ball game. On July 22nd Loretto will be presenting Wall of Fame Day, inducting former Chiefs into the Syracuse Chiefs Wall of Fame, and a Throwback to SkyChiefs Day to honor a historic era in Syracuse baseball history.


  • Take a Trip to Destiny USA

Escape the heat with a trip to Destiny USA in Syracuse, where you can find shopping, dining, and entertainment all under one roof! Destiny is wheelchair accessible, and provides wheelchair rentals if your loved one isn’t capable of walking longer distances.


  • Go to the movies

Another way to beat the heat? Go see a movie! Check out the movie theater at Destiny USA, or experience dinner and a movie at the Movie Tavern in Camillus. If you and your loved one are looking for a little more adventure and a fun throwback, you could also check out one of the few surviving drive-in movie theaters in and around CNY.


  • Visit a museum

We’re never too old to learn new things, or revisit the past. Central New York is home to plenty of museums that are both educational and entertaining. Visit iloveny.com to find one that matches your elderly loved one’s interests.


  • Plan a trip to the Great New York State Fair

Mark your calendars—the State Fair starts on August 22nd and runs until September 3rd. On August 22nd and August 28th all seniors 60 years and over are admitted for free! There are both outdoor and indoor attractions so you can get out of the sun when needed, and accessible parking and wheelchair rentals are also available.


At Loretto, we pride ourselves in providing our residents with activities and events all year around. You can learn more about our upcoming events here, or follow us on Facebook! We’re a leader in comprehensive healthcare services in Central New York, with 19 locations that deliver extraordinary care to nearly 10,000 people of all ages, income levels, and care needs. For more information about our services and facilities, visit us at lorettocny.org.

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