People have the same basic needs at every stage of life. They want to explore, learn, have fun, and keep broadening their horizon. And when it comes to senior citizens, the same remains true. Senior centers that cater to this demographic have realized this, which has led to their transformation. They don’t have to offer card games only but a variety of activities that have been designed while taking the needs and limitations of older adults into consideration.
The senior center staff does a lot for their residents to make them feel at home. They ensure that the residents don’t miss the homes they come from. Following is a list of activities that senior centers offer today.
1. Classes and Workshops
One never stops to learn. You can always learn a new skill and find an original purpose. Senior centers offer workshops and classes on painting, sign language, computer, foreign languages, and more.
Drama groups, choirs, and standup comedy are other major hits at independent living communities. If one doesn’t enjoy singing or dancing, they can participate in putting up a dog show for dog lovers.
Exercise is essential for elderly folks. They require some physical stimulation to live a healthy life. However, seniors tend to avoid or dislike it. Luckily, exercise becomes fun at senior centers because it is done with friends. Yoga, Zumba, and Tai Chi are now quite popular forms of exercises that senior centers offer.
5. Field Trips
Field trips are another popular form of the activities provided at senior centers. The residents enjoy trips to concerts, sports events, museums, and more.
There is no such thing as lousy singing. If you are fond of singing, then sing your heart out at the karaoke nights that take place at independent living communities. Some even stage their singing competitions with an elaborate setup like the one in American Idol.
7. Outdoor Excursions
People of all ages enjoy breathing in the fresh air, walking among greenery, and smelling wildflowers. Weekly or monthly picnics are arranged at a senior center, allowing the residents to enjoy nature.
8. Special Events
Events like bake sales, carnivals, and car shows are held for senior residents. Such events take place on and off the senior center, depending on what the residents demand.
9. Virtual Bowling
Most residents enjoy playing video games on Nintendo consoles. They prefer moving their body over clicking buttons on a joystick. Games like Wii bowling and tennis are more practical for elderly folks than the real thing.
These are just some of the many activities offered at senior centers. These activities clearly show how such communities have moved beyond card games.
As adults move into their golden years, it’s often difficult to make new friends. Senior Connections fade as old friends move or pass away, family members get busy with their lives, and a quiet retirement replaces workplace camaraderie. If seniors aren’t careful, these years can become very solitary. Loneliness can cause depression and other serious health risks – especially if they aren’t living in a senior community that focuses on their needs. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active and connected. Here are just a few.
You’re Not Alone
Believe it or not, you’re not the only person hoping to make new friends! Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself; others may be waiting for you to talk first.
Go Back to Work
If you have the energy or interest, consider looking for a part-time job. Even a few hours a week will get you out in the community meeting people. Retirees are “un-retiring” in record numbers – chances are you’ll meet fellow workers in your age group.
If the thought of punching a clock again makes you dizzy, consider volunteering with a nonprofit organization. Choose something close to your heart – a museum, library, animal shelter, etc. – and spend some time giving back. The hours are usually flexible, and others who share your passion will surround you. Nonprofits rarely turn down volunteers, so give one a call.
Take a Class or Join a Group
Is there a subject you’ve always wanted to learn? Do you have a hobby like gardening, cooking, or reading? A great way to make connections is to take a class or join a group. Check with your area YMCA, senior center, or local college to find book clubs, exercise classes, sewing circles, continuing education classes, and more. It’s more comfortable getting to know people when you have something in common.
Most churches and synagogues offer groups of similar age and experience. These groups are ways to meet through Bible study classes, fellowship after services, widows and widowers’ groups, coffee groups, etc. And if you love to sing, consider joining the choir – it’s not only a great way to meet people, it’s also good aerobic exercise!
If you prefer to be a homebody, get a computer, and create a Facebook page. Facebook makes it easier to stay connected to family and friends. Look up your old college roommate or that guy you used to work with. It’s also the perfect way to organize get-togethers and make plans to do something fun together.
Also, you can facetime with others (think grandkids) on your computer. Watch them grow up, laugh at their Halloween costumes, see them do a cartwheel, or be proud of the “A” on their test. It’s the next best thing to being there.
There are dozens of travel and touring companies that are tailored to seniors’ needs and interests. If you enjoy “hitting the road,” you’ll meet interesting people along the way and may even make lifelong friends. Check with the local senior center, college alumni associations, or the cruise lines. They can direct you to the perfect vacation. Bon, voyage!
Villa St. Francis
At Villa St. Francis, our residents enjoy active and enriching social lives. We offer book clubs, craft classes, lectures, guest musicians, and more, on-site. For those who love excursions, groups go to performing arts performances, shopping, and on sight-seeing trips around the area. Other fun activities include card games, bird watching, fitness classes, an on-site library, and computers.
Change can be scary, especially when it means moving into a new home. Leaving the comfort of the familiar, even if the reason is a positive one, usually includes some anxiety. This may be especially so for an adult moving to a senior apartment Milwaukee or an assisted living facility. When elderly loved ones make the choice of a senior community and want to move, they can still begin to feel unsure the closer it gets to moving day.
However, once the transition is complete, most residents wonder why they waited so long! To help your mom adjust to a change in her living situation, here are a few things of which to remind her.
Lonely No More
Loneliness is linked to severe health problems and depression for many seniors. But communities focused on the needs of elderly adults offer a healthy social life with fitness and music classes, planned outings, card games, and so much more. Also, a communal dining room means no one must eat alone unless they choose to. Your mom will make lots of new friends!
No Dinner Worries
Many older people, especially those living alone, become overwhelmed with the tasks of planning meals, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up. This leads to eating fast food or convenience foods with the lack of proper nutrition so crucial to good health. In an assisted living community, there are full-service meal programs with fresh ingredients and quality food. Mom won’t have to worry about what to make for dinner!
An Active and Healthy Brain
Staying mentally active can prevent or slow down cognitive impairment or dementia, for seniors. Assisted living facilities provide a wide array of opportunities for learning that many elderly loved ones would have difficulty accessing by themselves. This includes computer classes, music and art lessons, book clubs, and lectures, among others. The facilities also offer transportation to concerts, plays, presentations, and more. Your mom will feel like she’s back in school!
A Safe Place
Many times, staying in their own home will require a senior citizen to hire in-home healthcare, make home modifications (grab bars, ramps, etc.) or expect a family member to move in. This can all be expensive, cumbersome, and inconvenient. Assisted living communities are specifically designed to provide residents with autonomy and independence but in the safest possible way. Staff is always on hand to keep an eye on the residents. Your mom will always be safe!
No Home Maintenance
For an elderly loved one on a fixed income, keeping up with home maintenance can be physically challenging, financially draining, and mentally exhausting. However, most assisted living communities have amenities such as housekeeping, laundry, and make all repairs in the apartments and living areas. No more vacuuming or climbing on a step stool for Mom!
If your mother or a loved one is still feeling hesitant or anxious? Encourage them to visit Villa St. Francis as many times as she’d like, to get comfortable. She’ll meet our amazing staff, see the happy residents, and realize this is the right place to be. Contact us today to set up a tour. We’ll show you all the apartment options, the beautiful grounds, and answer all your questions.