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From the Neighborhood Press

Springtime Activities for Seniors

As spring arrives here in Arvada, it brings along with it warmer weather, blooming flowers, and a great opportunity to connect with your elderly loved ones. It’s the perfect time of year to ensure that seniors are getting out in nature, basking in the sunshine and staying connected with family. Colorado offers a whole host of outdoor opportunities. If you’re wondering how to plan your next visit, here are some activity ideas to inspire you and your senior.

A stroll outdoors. Spending time outdoors surrounded by nature can be a wonderful experience for seniors. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine while enjoying the beauty of the natural world. While some seniors may need a bit of encouragement to venture outside, short walks or sitting in a wheelchair can still be enjoyable for them. Many retirement communities offer outdoor areas for their residents, such as walking paths or patios with benches for resting. If your senior is able to handle longer outings, consider taking them to a nearby park or nature reserve. It’s important to remember to pack appropriate clothing and accessories, such as light jackets, blankets, and cushions, to ensure their comfort during the outing. With a little bit of planning, being out in nature with a senior can be a delightful experience for both of you.

Brunch in the sunshine.

Having brunch outdoors with a senior can be a wonderful way to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine while sharing a delicious meal. It provides an opportunity to connect with your loved one in a relaxed and comfortable environment, surrounded by the beauty of nature. Consider finding a restaurant with an outdoor patio or even bringing a picnic to a park or lake. Make sure to bring any necessary items, such as a cushion or blanket to ensure your senior’s comfort. It’s important to find some shade so your senior isn’t in the direct sun for long periods of time. Eating a meal or having coffee outdoors can be pleasant experience for the senses, but it also helps to promote healthy eating habits and socialization, which are both important for a senior’s overall well-being.

Exercise. Engaging in physical activities can be beneficial for seniors who are unable to take walks or enjoy outdoor activities. It is important to communicate with the caregivers about the daily exercises they have been doing with your loved one. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia in a memory care program or those requiring specialized nursing care may benefit from smaller activities that can help increase their strength. Collaborate with care providers to establish goals and identify ways in which you can assist. Spending time with your loved one can be motivating, especially when they can demonstrate progress. Consider bringing your loved one a favorite snack to celebrate each small accomplishment.

Engaging in community activities. During your next visit to see Uncle Ray, make sure to obtain a schedule for the upcoming month from the activities center. Assisted living or senior communities typically offer residents daily, weekly, or monthly activities as well as special events to take part in. Encourage your loved one to participate and inquire if there are any events in which you could also join. While family members are often welcome, there may be restrictions due to Covid or other seasonal precautions. Take time to talk with your senior about past events and their favorite experiences.

Bringing spring to them. Living in anticipation and hope can be a wonderful experience. Bright and cheerful colors, as well as seasonal decorations, can bring joy to seniors within the comfort of their own homes, starting from the moment they wake up each morning. Consider treating Grandma to a pedicure in a bright pink shade or presenting her with a bouquet of sunshine yellow tulips. A basket of Easter chocolates wrapped in vibrant foil is not only enjoyable but also delicious! For those residing in memory care or assisted living, a set of brightly colored crayons or markers with an adult coloring book can be a fun and relaxing activity. Caregivers can provide guidance and help identify activities that would be beneficial for your senior loved one this season.

There are numerous small but meaningful ways to bring happiness and positivity into the life of your senior loved one. This spring, it is important to ensure that they feel valued and cherished. Although they may be receiving excellent care in an assisted living or nursing home, family always holds a special place in their heart and life. A little bit of extra effort such as visiting them, making a phone call, or writing a heartfelt note can significantly brighten up their day. Just a little effort can help make spring a time of brightness and warmth for our cherished seniors!

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