A Senior Center (Activity Center) is one of the most widely used services among older adults. A Senior Center typically has a variety of activities for seniors from meal and nutrition programs; general information and assistance; health, fitness, and wellness programs; transportation services; employment assistance; volunteer and community activities; social and entertainment activities; and educational and arts programs. A senior activity center also provides the perfect social forum for establishing great friendships. Seniors who participate in senior center programs often learn to manage and deal with chronic disease better and show improvements in their overall well-being. Search the National database to find the senior center nearest to you: http://www.seniorcenterdirectory.com/
Many communities have clubs that share in mutually enjoyable hobbies. Bridge, bingo, needle work, model trains, chess/checkers, book review, Men’s Clubs (i.e. Elk’s Lodge) are a few hobbies common among seniors. But there are many other hobbies as well. Check with your local senior center and/or church for clubs that share common hobbies and meet in your community.
The majority of the movies released for older audiences are smart, funny, and moving. Seniors tend to flock towards the front to be closer to the screen so the battle for the best seat is not typically a problem and since most seniors are retired, the crowds are even lower. And best of all, you can get senior discounts from many theaters. Discounts are also available for AARP members for select theaters. Going to a matinee and grabbing a bite to eat makes the perfect date with a partner, friend or family member, adds a little laughter and entertainment to your day, and keeps you active and entertained.
Local Tourist Attraction
Most communities have some type of local attraction whether advertised as such or not. The typical kind of local attraction seniors often enjoy are museum’s, historical sites, and botanical gardens. But a tourist attraction can include many other type of activities, i.e.: for older cities – taking a walk around the older homes, visiting an old railroad station, going to the library (many have large print and audio books), feeding the ducks or birds at a community park, go to a flea market (can find some inexpensive item as a special keepsake) or farmer’s market (find some healthy, fresh food for your next meal), find a park bench next to a waterway and watch the boats, fishermen or children playing, take a trolley ride on a nice day, go to a brush and brownie event (many communities have studios that offer a casual group painting instruction class with snacks and beverages), and many more. These are just a few tourist attraction ideas. Ask around, look up key words in your local directory, such as hobby, tours, historical, parks, classes. You can also check with your local visitors center for specific tourist attraction activities that meet your personal interests, limitations, or for general activities and attractions designed for everyone. Your local senior center may even put together a group activity based on your inquiry!
Loneliness can be an issue for a senior who has lost their partner and finds themselves living alone for the first time in many years. You may have success finding a friend through the senior center or other forum where mingling takes place. If not, there is a growing trend to find a friend on line. Be careful with the information you provide. You do not want to compromise your safety and open yourself to scammers.
More and more seniors are realizing that going where their family members are going, makes it easier to connect and keep up with what is going on. So the first reason social media more and more seniors are active in social media is to stay closer to family. You can also enjoy videos and photographs real-time when you cannot attend events in person or to watch young ones reach new milestones.
With the majority of the population transitioning to electronic means of communications and information exchange, many coupons and discount opportunities are now delivered and available electronically. You can also save money by using a cell phone or other electronic communications device by keeping long distance calling to a minimum..
The importance of socializing and maintaining status as an active member of the community cannot be overstated. This is especially true for seniors who may have mobility limitations and find themselves more isolated. Social networking provides the opportunity to find and share with a friend, to congregate as a group and share common interests without leaving home, and basically never feel alone even when you are the only one in the house.
Senior Relationship/Dating Networks
Should you decide to meet someone you met online, it is suggested that the meeting take place in a public area. Having said that, many enjoyable relationships have been formed through online social networks. See below for highly rated site(s) for seniors.
Health and Wellness
Low Impact Exercise Program
Staying healthy is important for everyone. And as you age, that does not change. But how you exercise may. If you have gotten out of shape or have physical limitations that make it difficult, you can start with chair exercises, and may then be able to move on to low impact exercises such as balances exercises and even yogo. If you want to get exercise at home, Sit and Be Fit-Senior Chair Exercise Workout is a great senior exercise video focusing on core strengthening, flexibility, balance, agility, circulation and range of motion created especially for seniors. In some instances, such as following an illness or procedure, where a graduated exercise program can help you regain strength and balance. Three other highly rated options are Exercise videos for Seniors are Easy Does It Getting Started, Stronger Seniors, and Chair Yoga.
If you are interested in joining a gym and/or pool, check with your local YMCA. While each city has different programs, many offer discounts to seniors. Check with your local YMCA at http://www.ymca.net/ to find out if they occur a discount.
High impact exercises such as running and jumping can be hard on the bones and joints and cause fractures and injuries. It is also much more difficult for seniors who may have arthritis. Because swimming does not put stress on those areas, it is a great way to get in shape without joint stress. For those who suffer from a disease such as osteoarthritis, where the cartilage wears down between the joints and causes pain, swimming can also be the easiest exercise for them.
Other health and wellness benefits from swimming include:
Walking is a great activity for senior citizens. It’s cheap, it’s simple, almost anybody can do it. Walking also has a multitude of health benefits for everyone. It helps you maintain mobility and independence. Studies are showing that sedentary lifestyles can result in muscle loss and significantly lowered aerobic capacity. Research has also shown exercise is good for the mind.
Other health benefits from regular physical activity such as walking include:
And why not enjoy yourself while getting exercise. Shop until you drop takes on a whole new meaning when you have the products needed to help you carry those cumbersome and sometimes heavy package. A perfect product for yourself or even a gift for someone else is a rolling shopping cart.
Are you bored and want to find a full or part time job? Try http://www.seniorjobbank.org/ for job opportunities for seniors in your area.
There are countless volunteer opportunities. And many of them are perfect for those who are looking for a meaningful part time activity and may have some personal limitations. In general, retirees have the time and certainly the life experience to help others. You many already have a favorite non-profit organization located in your area. And non-profit typically means volunteer are welcome. Animal shelters, food banks, salvation army, your local church, and homeless shelters are just a few that most can find nearby. If you are not sure the best option for you, a great source for the top 10 volunteer opportunities for seniors can be found at http://money.howstuffworks.com/economics/volunteer/retired-volunteer-programs/10-best-volunteer-activities-in-retirement.htm#page=0
There are so many places located within the United States that are perfect vacation destinations. Whether you enjoy winter activities, the beach, the mountains, quiet get-aways, historical sites, action packed fun, or national parks. Finding the best destination for you within cost, physical demand and general itinerary can be easy.
If you have limited funding but love to travel, you might consider putting together a trip for a group of others in your age bracket through a local senior center which may provide you with discounted or free travel. My parents did this several times for European trips and not only received free airfare and hotel stays but had the time of their lives.
Seniors Who Seek Adventure
Anything can happen at any time. And when least expected, it probably will. So protect yourself. If for any reason your long awaited trip has to be cancelled or delayed, don’t lose money. Get inexpensive travel cancellation insurance. A dream to Las Vegas was a fiftieth anniversary present to my parents. Knowing my father had been experiencing medical issues, we decided to get cancellation insurance. And it was a blessing. The trip was delayed but my parents did not have to lose their dream trip because we had the insurance to protect our investment.
Travel insurance is a great item to have when you leave home. Should a health issue arise during your trip, insurance will cover eligible doctor visits, eligible hospitalization and even ambulance rides for covered injuries. Beyond immediate medical care, seniors travel insurance will reimburse eligible medication costs and provide physical therapy if necessary. Travel agents sometimes sell overpriced policies as you are something of a captive audience. However, if you have a “pre-existing condition” you need covered and for some insurers within 2-3 days, others within 10-14 days of first booking (not final purchase of) the travel. Otherwise, between the booking and departure date or anytime during travel, if you are injured, become ill or have other reason disallowing or cutting short your travel, you’re out of luck. Most policies list the specific risks they cover. Insurers may offer a variety of policies for different levels of coverage. Or particularly expensive risks may be offered under extra-cost options. Be sure to consider your particular needs. Some providers of travel insurance are listed below:
Books, eBooks and Reading for Seniors
Keeping the brain occupied late in life appears to have positive outcomes. The brain benefits from a good workout every now and then. An active brain is even better equipped to resist disease. Reading requires a great deal of concentration, which pulls your intelligence to action. You must follow a specific line of thought to follow a story, and this activates your imagination.
Reading a book or playing games that require mental exercise have shown to actually help seniors preserve the structural and functional integrity of their brains. Several areas throughout the brain, including those important for cognition, seem to show higher structural integrity with more frequent cognitive activity into your golden years.
Reading is more demanding at the neurological level than vision or speech. The increased blood flow from both physical and mental exercise improves connectivity among nerve cells. It can also provide a greater amount of stress relief than listening to someone else’s voice or to music. According to UF Health researchers with the Advanced Cognitive Training for Independent and Vital Elderly, or ACTIVE, study Older adults who received as few as 10 sessions of mental (cognitive) training showed improvements in reasoning ability and speed-of-processing when compared with untrained controls participants as long as 10 years after the intervention. So when you are looking for the perfect gift to give your senior friend or loved one, you might consider a good book.
But what if you or your loved one is no longer able to read themselves because of age related ailments such as poor eyesight, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dyslexia, and other medical conditions? Reading aloud can still provide a tremendous amount of benefit. Apart from the simple enjoyment of hearing a good book read aloud, the activity will generate conversation and stimulate memory, both of which can be pleasing and provide general wellbeing. It too, can provide a great pastime to the boredom that often accompanies the increased isolation and depression that many seniors feel as they are more physical limited. Having someone read to you can even be perceived as a touch since sensory perceptions are triggered. And for seniors to be touched may provide the greatest comfort they receive all day. There was no way to determine whether a story will be a favorite book for the senior you can use popularity and familiarity with their areas of interest to help in the selection process. Enthusiasm of the reader will likely add to the overall enjoyment. If you read in a monotone fashion, the story may not provide the greatest amount of enjoyment. On the other hand, if you read in a stimulating and exciting voice, the experience will likely be a great successful.
Reading options are endless. Whether you are six or sixty, finding the right option for you can be made easier. And when you decide if a hard copy or electronic book narrows selections even further. Books and reading that may interest senior citizens can extend across all domains. Based on statistics, commons selected books by senior are books about seniors, written by seniors, and written for seniors can be found at the following filtered link to Amazon.
With many people transitioning to electronic books, you can find a large selection to download at eBooks.com. With use of tablets font size can typically be increased for those who have difficulties with their visions.
Books and reading for older adults may be inspirational, found on top seller lists, informative or just entertaining. Some are written for, by or about seniors while others are just popular reading for adults in general.
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