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From the Community Press

Planning a Summertime Party

It’s summertime! Everyone has memories of get togethers with family or friends. A July 4 cookout. A picnic down by the river. Or a backyard BBQ. Splashing in the pool with friends on a hot summer day. The summer months just call for activity and fun with loved ones, especially in New Mexico where blue summer skies seem endless. Perhaps you are planning a party with friends right now. Here are some ideas to get you motivated and inspired to get into the swing of summer!

The guest list. If you live in a retirement community, you are surrounded by friends. You might also have grandchildren in the area who adore visiting grandma and grandpa. Everyone loves a good summer party! Don’t be worried about keeping the party small. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! If you plan on inviting several friends, consider getting them involved. They can help prepare some good finger food or bring a game to share.

Choose a theme

Of course, Independence Day is right around the corner, so it may be stars and stripes for you – all American. It’s not hard to have fun while enjoying good American food from burgers to apple pie and ice cream. Or you might consider a pool party complete with ice cold drinks enjoyed in the pool. You might even keep it as simple as planning your own ice cream social with the neighbors!

Plan some fun activities. Even if you can’t make it to a fireworks show, you can plan to watch a 4th of July celebration on TV while passing around the drinks. If you’re planning a birthday party at the park, consider bringing a good outdoor game for everyone to participate in. Seniors and children alike can enjoy a game of croquet. It can be fun to have at least one or two activities planned for everyone to participate in.

Food and drinks. No party is complete without great food. Many senior communities offer beautiful home choices complete with kitchens. If you enjoy cooking every now and then, this is the perfect time to make some favorite desserts or luncheon foods. If your theme is Mexican Fiesta night, you might consider making some delicious fresh guacamole to go with the chips and margaritas. When serving drinks in the pool area, check to make sure you follow the community rules on bringing food and drink. Plastic wear is often preferred so no glass splinter end up in the pool. You might opt for fashionable pool glasses to add some summer flare while serving your drinks. And don’t be afraid to make it a potluck and ask everyone to bring something! This can be fun and very helpful. Of course living in Albuquerque means there is a good likelihood someone will bring the green chile!

Participate in a planned party. Want to participate in a party without planning one? If you live in a retirement or 55 plus community, you may find that many social events and activities are planned for all residents to enjoy. This is a great way to make friends and just enjoy life. Connecting with others through planned events and parties creates a relaxed atmosphere. You don’t have to plan or make sure all your guests are comfortable! Keep a schedule of community events handy so you don’t miss out on anything!

For those with loved ones in assisted living or a nursing home, consider bringing summer to them. Bring them a plate piled full of good food from the 4th of July party you enjoyed with your family. A bouquet of red, white and blue flowers. Or take them for a little stroll outdoors and bring along some chilled lemonade to drink as you sit on a bench in the shade. Talk with your loved one’s care providers to make sure your summer activity plan isn’t too strenuous or stressful for them. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may require special considerations.

Planning or participating in a summer party can be so much fun for all. So next time you are relaxing at your senior community’s pool, bring along a pen and some paper and get to planning! Or tuck your community activity and event schedule into your beach bag so you can look over it. Summer is the time to enjoy the outdoors and some sunshine with friends and family. Happy summer party planning!

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