By Brenda Diaz
During the hot summer months, many seniors choose to stay at home and retreat by watching television and reading to avoid the heat. Living on a fixed income or tight budget may also contribute to staying at home. However, studies show staying active is the key to maintaining physical and mental agility. There are economical activities that allow you to stay fit, active and enjoy the summer months.
Join a senior center: Senior centers provide a robust calendar of activities daily. They offer day trips to local beaches, casinos, theatre events and other daytime events that may be enjoyed with peers. Senior centers typically have a nicely landscaped outdoor space where games such mahjong, scrabble and cards can be played. They may also provide a tai chi class or walking club in which seniors may participate.
Visit your local library: The library is a great resource for free events within the community. Most libraries have a community board that allows non-profits and local companies to post their events.
Your local community: Many towns offer free concerts and movies in a park setting. Tell a friend or two, bring a lawn chair, some treats and drinks and enjoy.
Eat Out: Many restaurants offer senior discounts. State and local parks may have a community grill that can be used for a get-together cookout.
Learn a new hobby: Many local crafts stores offer free monthly classes. Check for a local Michael’s store or A.C. Moore location for a calendar of dates and classes being offered. Classes allow you to participate alone or with a friend.
Take a dip: Nothing beats a hot summer day than taking a dip in a pool. Local YMCA’s, hotels or community pools will offer day passes, senior discounts or special times seniors can reap the benefits of aquatic exercise. Not only is the pool refreshing, but also provides gentle support that helps with balance, stress and improves the mental state of participants.
Morning stroll: Start the day with a walk in the park or walking trail. Don’t forget your water bottle, hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
Volunteer: Today’s economy has created several volunteering opportunities. A simple phone call may be able to place a senior with the right organization. Most churches, civic organizations and non-profits are always seeking volunteers.
Brenda Diaz is the director of community relations at Wingate Healthcare. She can be reached at Wingate of Needham or Wingate of Sudbury, 781-707-6106. Visit their website at www.wingatehealthcare.com and .wingatehealthcare.com/location_needham. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read on fiftyplusadvocate.com.