With 2018 in full swing, it’s time to put those New Year’s resolutions into practice and make the most of the fresh, new year. If you have a senior loved one who lives in your home or requires in home assistance, both of you may have goals for a happy, active, and healthy 2018.
Millions of seniors suffer from depression, but staying socially active, physically healthy, and mentally engaged can boost overall health and wellness in seniors. The golden years are the perfect time to let loose, relax, and have some fun! So try some of these exciting activities and ideas in and around Chester County for a year full of fun for the senior citizen in your life.
Local Senior Centers
Local senior centers, like the West Chester Area Senior Center, offer many great programs for seniors that contribute to improving the mental and physical well-being of seniors. Centers offer support groups, day programs, classes, and activities. Not only will seniors enjoy learning new things and getting involved in activities, but they’ll have the chance to socialize with other local seniors. Some of the available education, recreation, and wellness offerings available at the West Chester Area Senior Center include:
- Book clubs
- Language classes (Spanish, German, French)
- Bible studies
- Knitting and crocheting clubs
- Monthly birthday parties
- Craft clubs
- Photo clubs
- Hearing clinics
- Brain aerobics
- Low-impact aerobics
- Tai Chi
- Rhythm of life
- Computer classes
Get Active at the Gym or the Local YMCA
Exercise isn’t just important for the body – it’s also essential for the mind. Senior exercise classes are often available at local gyms or your local YMCA. Dance classes can be a lot of fun for seniors who have enough mobility to dance, and they’re excellent at improving depression symptoms. Arthritis exercise classes, pool aerobics, and other classes specifically for seniors are available at many gyms and YMCAs. Local YMCAs available in the area include:
Plan Family Celebrations and Activities
Staying involved with family members and continuing to build relationships is important for seniors, and it’s especially fun to get the grandkids involved. There’s something about children that can brighten the day of a senior. Plan family celebrations like birthday parties and family activities, such as a family picnic, to keep the family ties strong this year. If your loved one gets tired easily, make sure celebrations and activities are relatively short or have them where seniors can escape and rest a bit if needed.
Get the help you need to stay active
Going out on your own isn’t always easy. Our caregivers can help you keep your daily routine in place.
Volunteer and Make a Difference with RSVP
Volunteering offers a way for your senior to feel like they’re making a difference, and helping others is a great way to boost happiness and mental health. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a nationwide program that allows seniors to use their skills and life skills to help members of the local community.
The Chester County RSVP program recently became the Volunteer Chester County Program, and volunteer opportunities include tutoring, volunteering at schools, and serving at food cupboards. The RSVP Program of Montgomery County also serves parts of Chester County and offers volunteer opportunities in child literacy, mentoring, helping veterans, and online tutoring.
Plan Day Trips
Consider planning some day trips to local attractions, parks, and museums to get your loved one out of the house. It’s important to make sure your loved one gets out to enjoy activities outside the home whenever possible. If your loved one has mobility challenges, make sure you’re prepared to deal with those challenges and consider having the help of a caregiver when you head out. Some great places to visit locally include:
- Brandywine Picnic Park
- American Helicopter Museum & Education Center
- Brandywine River Museum
- Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation
- West Chester Railroad
- Simon Pearce on the Brandywine
- William Briton 1704 House
- Morris Arboretum University of Pennsylvania
Local movie theaters, county and state parks, theaters, and high school and college theater productions can also make great options for an exciting day trip.
Enjoy Some Time with Animals
One idea is to get a pet that you and your senior loved one can care for together. Cats, dogs, fish, birds, and hamsters can all make great companions. Research shows that animal companionship offers both physical and mental health benefits, and many assisted living facilities and nursing homes are starting to bring in pets for this very reason. Local animal shelters, your local Humane Society, or the SPCA can be great places to look for a pet to adopt.
Of course, adopting a pet can be a big job, and if you’re not up to that task, consider other ways that your loved one can interact with animals. Check out a local petting zoo or go to a local zoo. Local farmers may offer unique opportunities for seniors to enjoy being around animals. Dog expos or even just a visit to a pet store can offer some furry fun for your loved one.
In-Home Companions or Caregivers
Whether your senior loved one simply could use a fun companion to help out with activities and to prevent loneliness or they require more advanced care at home, in-home companions or caregivers have a lot to offer. Companions can give seniors someone to play games with, or someone to go out with if you’re busy working or taking care of other important tasks. Caregivers can assist you and your loved ones with personal care tasks, therapy, and other medical needs. Assistance from Medicaid, Medicare, long-term disability, or health insurance may help cover some of the costs associated with in-home companions or caregivers.
Providing care at home offers many benefits, but it also comes with unique challenges. Relative Care is here to help. If your goal is to ensure your senior loved one has a happy, active, and healthy year, we’re here to help. Whether you need respite care, companionship, or more advanced rehab and nursing services, we’re here to meet your needs so both you and your loved one can enjoy the best possible quality of life in 2018. Use the form below or call us at (610) 269-2935.
Let’s talk about our companion services
A more active lifestyle is possible with help. Ask about our caregiver and companion services today.