10 ways for seniors to keep busy
Regardless of your interests, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your days this summer. Here are 10 suggestions to get you started.
1. Get back to nature
The thing about the outdoors is that there are many ways to enjoy it. Birdwatch in your backyard, stroll through the woods or bike around the countryside. Alternatively, enjoy a picnic in the park or pack your fishing rod and spend a weekend camping by the lake.
2. Host a game night
Your options are as numerous as they are varied. Keep your mind sharp as you roll the dice, shuffle the cards or test your trivia knowledge. You can teach your grandchildren a game that’s new to them or organize a regular board game night with friends.
3. Move your body
From golfing to gardening, opportunities to engage in physical activity during the summer are plentiful. You can also join a walking club or sign up for a yoga, tai chi or water aerobics class. Often, these group courses are offered outside when the weather’s nice and can be adapted if you have reduced mobility.
4. Plan a cultural outing
Treat yourself to a night out at the theater or take in a concert. If you want to spend an afternoon with your grandkids, head to the movies or visit a museum. Remember, summer is a prime time for all sorts of festivals and local events.
5. Explore your artistic side
Whether you prefer painting, photography, knitting, or playing a musical instrument, there are numerous ways to get creative. Activities like scrapbooking and sculpting sandcastles allow you to combine creativity and spending time with your family.
6. Play outdoor games
If you enjoy activities that allow you to socialize and take advantage of a sunny day, there are many backyard games to choose from including horseshoes, bocce ball, ladder toss and croquet.
7. Enjoy your own company
Spending quiet time alone can be the perfect way to recharge. Curl up on the couch with a crossword puzzle, retreat to the porch swing with a good book or simply relax while listening to music. On a rainy day, try your hand at a jigsaw puzzle or catch up on your favorite TV shows.
8. Indulge in local fare
Take advantage of the summer weather to discover new flavors in your region. Sample the menu at a local bistro, savor a cone at the ice cream parlor or enjoy a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. If you don’t feel like going out, you can teach your grandchildren a family recipe or host a potluck with loved ones.
9. Test your luck
There’s no harm in playing games of chance on occasion, so try your luck at bingo or head to the casino for an evening of fun and excitement.
10. Go shopping
Support independent retailers and local artisans, or check out a few garage sales in your area. If you just want to window shop at the mall, this activity is suitable in all types of weather.
Have you heard of genealogy tourism?
Are you retired or close to retirement and want to plan a memorable trip where every stop along the way has significance? Genealogy tourism, also known as roots tourism, might appeal to you.
What is it?
Genealogy tourism involves choosing a holiday location linked to your generational past. For example, you could visit a town or country where your ancestors lived before emigrating to your birthplace. The aim is to admire places where former family members lived to learn more about your origins and yourself.
Genealogy tourism is a chance to discover the home country of your ancestors. It’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about the experiences of certain relatives who lived during difficult or historically significant times.
How to plan a trip
Planning a genealogical trip is more complex than planning a traditional holiday. For example, you may need to meet with a local historian or genealogy expert recommended by your hotel. You can also contact a travel agency to create a personalized trip or use a company that develops themed group trips.
If you prefer going on an unforgettable trip rather than sifting through historical documents to discover your heritage, genealogy tourism is for you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when planning your trip to the past.
3 easy-to-grow indoor plants for seniors
Do you live in a retirement home and want to add some greenery to your environment? Here are three easy-to-care-for houseplants that’ll thrive in your space.
Often referred to as the snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue because of its shape, the sansevieria doesn’t need much light. It also doesn’t need to be watered frequently; therefore, it’s the perfect plant for forgetful folk.
Commonly known as the jade plant, the crassula requires a lot of sunlight. It needs very little water and grows slowly, making it ideal for small spaces.
Usually called the spider plant, chlorophytum can be placed on a piece of furniture or shelf to trail down. It’s esthetically pleasing and easy to maintain. As a bonus, chlorophytum plants often produce pups, so you can create new plants to give to others.
Besides being decorative, houseplants are soothing and generate a sense of well-being. Don’t hesitate to embellish your home with one or more species that grow well indoors.
4 ways to maintain your self-esteem in retirement
While retirement has plenty of perks, it can also cause a decline in self-confidence. This change can be brought on by a shift in your social status, a decrease in your physical abilities, or a feeling of no longer being beneficial to society. Here are four ways to help you regain your self-esteem and improve your psychological and physical health.
1. Have a positive view of old age. Society tends to put a negative spin on old age. Make sure you create your own positive view of aging.
2. Try new things. Instead of complaining about what you can no longer do, improve your self-confidence by trying new things. You’re still capable of taking on exciting challenges.
3. Give back. Research shows that social participation has a substantial impact on self-esteem. Developing relationships with others can give your life meaning and make you feel useful, recognized, and valued.
4. Move your body daily. Being physically active helps you maintain your independence, which promotes self-esteem. Never stop learning and get out of your comfort zone whenever possible, as long as it’s safe to do so.
Have you developed a negative view of yourself since retiring and found it challenging to regain confidence? Talk to a healthcare professional.
What to do after a fall
Although fall prevention measures can help minimize the risk of older adults taking a tumble, they cannot prevent them 100 percent of the time. Here’s what you should do if you fall in your home and are unable to get up:
• Keep calm, stay still, and determine if you feel pain in any part of your body. Don’t try to stand up if you think doing so will aggravate your injury.
• Before moving, look around to ensure there aren’t any broken objects like knick-knacks or glass that could hurt you if you try to move.
• If you live with someone else, try to call them for help.
• If you’re alone, try to get the attention of a neighbor. You can try banging on a wall, tapping the floor, or using an object like a remote control, book, or cane to make noise. If possible, move closer to a door or window to make yourself heard.
• If your neighbors aren’t home or far away, gently crawl toward a telephone. Take breaks if needed to avoid exhaustion. When you reach the phone, contact someone close to you for help.
• While waiting for someone to come, find a comfortable position. For example, you can place a cushion or piece of clothing under your head for support. Remember to move your joints regularly to avoid stiffness.
Fall detection devices and emergency buttons are readily available for older adults. Find out what options are available to get help more quickly if you fall.
Have you thought about getting an electrically assisted bicycle?
Electrically assisted bicycles (EABs) are becoming increasingly popular, especially among older adults. They have a powerful battery that can cover long distances, battle the wind and climb steep slopes much better than a traditional bike.
What you need to know
Various EAB models may suit your needs depending on how you plan to use them. You can find mountain, road, hybrid, and fat bikes with electric assist. Remember that hybrid models are ideal for city riding.
The bike’s battery power determines how far it can travel on a single charge. The greater the battery capacity, the greater the distance the bike can travel without you having to pedal. The range for most electrically assisted bikes is between 19 and 112 miles. Maintaining an EAB is like caring for a regular bicycle, except you may need to have an expert check the electrical system from time to time.
Electric bikes are often more expensive than their conventional counterparts. While some are more affordable, it’s essential to research the most reliable brands before making a choice.
Look for a model with the motor in the crankset for even weight distribution and a smooth ride. This also makes the rear wheel easy to change if you get a flat.
Some electric bicycles are specially designed for older people and include an ergonomic frame, seat, and handlebars.
Visit your local store to find your new electric bike.
Understanding different types of dementia
Dementia is an umbrella term that describes the loss of neurons in the brain, a condition that worsens over time. Here are the four main types.
1. Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease occurs when abnormal clusters of protein fragments slowly destroy memory and the ability to think. Common symptoms include getting lost, repeating questions, and not recognizing friends and family. In the late stages of the disease, patients can’t communicate or perform simple tasks and must depend on others for care.
2. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
FTD describes a condition in which neurons are damaged in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Symptoms include trouble communicating, impaired judgment, and decreased self-awareness. FTD is rare, and symptoms start younger than other types of dementia.
3. Lewy body dementia (LBD)
One of the most common forms of dementia, LBD, describes abnormal protein deposits that affect brain chemicals. Symptoms include trouble thinking, muscle control and mobility loss, mood swings, and visual hallucinations.
4. Vascular dementia
Vascular dementia occurs when changes in blood vessels disrupt blood and oxygen flow to the brain, affecting thinking and memory. Symptoms can occur gradually or appear suddenly and resemble those of Alzheimer’s.
Some people have more than one type of dementia, making diagnosis difficult. Moreover, individual symptoms can vary. There’s no cure for these types of dementia. However, treatments are available. See your doctor if you or someone you know shows signs of dementia.
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