Senior Living

Nostalgic Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July with Seniors

Nostalgic Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July with Seniors

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Nothing shouts fun like an American 4th of July, a lovely day to enjoy summer with your favorite senior citizens.

So why not make it nostalgic? Check out these easy ideas.

Frontida Assisted Living Facilities, such as the Kenosha’s Azalea Place, a Senior Living and Mental Health Community, provide you with posts like this one to help you live your best life.

Sing Patriotic Songs

There’s just something about these nationalistic songs that makes you want to belt them.

  • Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • America the Beautiful
  • God Bless America
  • This Land is Your Land
  • Born in the USA
  • Proud to Be an American

So if you don’t already know them by heart—and I’m betting Grandma does—grab your old songbooks or print off the words from Google and start singing.

Bet you can’t get through one verse without smiling!

Watch Nostalgic Movies

Lots of movies claim to be good choices to enjoy on our Independence Day, but nothing can beat Yankee Doodle Dandy, a 1942 black and white about George M. Cohan. This man wrote so many of our patriotic marches, including Over There, You’re a Grand Old Flag, and Stars and Stripes Forever.

Your favorite senior may not be old enough to have watched this classic when it first came out in theaters, but the experience of watching it together now will still make memories.

Make Homemade Ice Cream

Of course you could buy the store-bought stuff, but making your own ice cream is so much fun. And with electric machines, you don’t even have to spend all day cranking the churn. Unless you feel like getting your muscles involved.

You might also want to try making ice cream in a can or a bag. A perfect way to involve Grandpa’s friends at his senior living home. Just roll the can or toss the bag back and forth, and enjoy frozen ice cream in minutes.

Watch a Parade

Marching bands, majorettes, bicycles, floats,… What’s not to love?

Not one in your town? Create one with Grandma’s friends in her assisted living facility. Pass out flags, decorate canes, walkers, and wheelchairs, add a few drums and tamborines, and hit play on the patriotic music.

Have a convertible? Drap Grandma with a fancy sash and give her a ride around the neighborhood, waving like the Ms USA that she is.

Have a Cookout

Is there anything more American than hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill? Help Grandma make her winning potato salad, cole slaw, or apple pie recipe. Maybe finish with a few rootbeer floats (made with your homemade ice cream, of course) to top off the meal.

Attend a Professional Baseball Game—or at least the Local PeeWee Version

Baseball. It’s the American sport! And summer wouldn’t be summer without it.

So snag tickets to Grandpa’s favorite team. Don’t forget a glove to catch those homeruns!

Watch the Fireworks

What better way to end the day’s celebration than with a big bang—or rather thirty colorful minutes of them?

Find the local fireworks display near your grandparents. Give yourselves plenty of time to get there before dark since you often need to park a distance away and walk closer. Better yet, let Grandma save her energy. Drive up as close as you can, drop her off with half your party, and park the car yourself.

Bring along a light sweater (because it will get chilly when the sun goes down), bug spray, a comfy portable chair, lots of water, and Grandma’s favorite summertime snack and drink.

Also be careful with uneven ground. Make sure Grandma has a strong patient arm to hold on to.

Enjoy the Festivities Together without Pain

However you spend the day, be sure nuisances like sunburn and heat exhaustion don’t ruin the day.

  • If Grandpa is the kind of person who is used to serving, not being served, he might not let you know when he’s thirsty or needs to find the “facilities.”
  • Give him plenty of chances for shade, rest, and just the right amount of conversation.
  • Set hearing aids for the level of noise around him.
  • And speak up. 4th of July tends to be a loud celebration. Let him enjoy the whole experience without feeling like he doesn’t know what people are saying.

Fly the Colors High

Independence Day is such a wonderful holiday to celebrate together. Ask Grandpa how he used to spend the day back in his youth and add some of those activities to your day. If he’s a veteran, ask him about his experience keeping us free.

Then set the flag out and prepare to make red, white, and blue memories together.

Thank you to

Check out these other fun activities for Grandma and Grandpa.

Elizabeth Daghfal
• 3 min read

Elizabeth Daghfal is a writer, teacher, speaker, and community volunteer. When she isn't teaching or writing-- Who are we kidding? Her husband and five kids say she's ALWAYS teaching and writing. She has a passion to help people who are struggling and is happy to say her shoulders are drip-dry. Born and raised in the South, she now lives in Wisconsin and loves it--except for the fifteen months of winter. Read more about her at