Between concerts, cook outs, and pool parities, there always seems to be something to do in the summer time. However, finding something to keep your aging loved one entertained AND cool can be a different story. But don’t worry. There is plenty of cool summer fun to be had by all.

Some say summer is best spent outdoors while others wish they could hibernate until cooler weather blows back. Keep in mind that everyone is different so the first thing you want to do it ask your senior what weather they prefer. Then it’s time to start planning. Here’s a little jump start to your planning:

Fishing-Anything involving water over the summer is time well spent. This way you can enjoy the sun, but also be close to water in case you need a cool down. Fishing is especially nice for relaxing and relieving stress. Find a local lake that permits fishing, and take your aging loved one for the day.

Gardening – Help your senior plant a flower or vegetable garden in their backyard. This is a great excuse to get them outside every day. Gardening also allows for short trips outdoors rather than spending hours at a time in the sun.

Reading outside – To avoid direct sunlight, try reading to your aging loved one or have them enjoy a book or magazine outside. You can set up a lawn chair under a tree or on the front porch. Make sure you keep ice water on hand!

If you and your loved one enjoy fishing in the summertime, then you are very lucky to be living here in central New Jersey. There are many places to fish - both from a boat or from the shore. In Monmouth County try the pond at Holmdel Park, the lake at Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold or the Manasquan Reservoir in Howell. If you live in the Middlesex County area be sure to stop by Brainard Lake in Cranbury or the East Brunswick Park Lake. These are all good choices because there quite a bit of shade in all these parks. Remember, it is very important to protect your loved one from too much sun or heat.

Gardening is another wonderful activity to share with a senior. Look online or find a book at your local library to help you get started. If your loved one enjoys gardening, but can't take the heat, try doing some indoor planting. Plant an herb garden or create some beautiful indoor pots.

Need something less active? Reading books or listening to them on audiotape is a great idea. Create a comfortable spot with plenty of shade in the yard to relax and read with your mom or dad or find a nice shady spot in a local park. Whatever activity you choose to do outdoors with your aging loved one, remember to find shade, bring plenty of water and watch for any signs of heat exhaustion.

Finally, if it's too hot outside or your loved one can't take the heat, look for indoor options. Go to a movie, visit a museum or buy tickets to a show or concert at your local theater. Stay cool and enjoy the summer.

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