Even though the warmth of the summer sun has subsided and been replaced by cooler weather, falling leaves and snowy days ahead, there are plenty of ways for senior citizens to maintain their vim and vigor, remain engaged and enthusiastic about the world around them.
According to June Stern, outreach coordinator at the Jewish Family Services of Middlesex County in Monroe Township, discovering new hobbies, attending classes at local libraries or recreation centers, or even doing volunteer work are some options for seniors to pursue during the fall and winter months.
Stern also advises staying plugged in to the lives of family members and friends by using the internet and telephone. Making plans for the warmer months also gives you something to look forward to and plan for.
At the Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living, the new recreation coordinator Michael Chuntz knows why it is important for seniors to pursue exercise and activities on a daily basis.
“I believe that no matter how young or old you are, it is important to engage in exercise and different activities. Exercise is extremely beneficial no matter how old you are,” he recently advised. “Exercise alone is a great way to stay active and even to meet new friends. Activities are just as important because it gets residents out of their rooms and introduces them to new people and experiences.”
Chuntz believes that exercising the body and the mind are equally crucial, which is why Zumba Gold, Tai Chi, Yoga & Strength, and Mobility and Balance classes are also available at the Stein Assisted Living. An exercise physiologist is also on hand twice per week to lead the Strength, Mobility and Balance classes.
A handy checklist featuring other ways that seniors might beat the winter blues has been compiled by the Wilf Campus. These represent just a handful of opportunities to stay active and fulfilled:
- Challenge yourself with a large jigsaw puzzle and host a party to bring it to completion with a group of friends. Not only are friendships strengthened, but it is a wonderful way to share stories, new recipes, and keep your mind focused and sharp!
- Love to cook and want to try a new recipe or cuisine? Think about sharing your new creation with a group of friends during a dinner party or with your family during a holiday;
- Consider taking an exercise class offered on television, DVD or on-demand through your cable provider.
- Are new tunes from the past or present music to your ears? Put on your dancing shoes and sing out a song from the radio, dust off an instrument that you have always enjoyed playing and consider sharing that talent with a friend or two.
- Be a sun-seeker. Scientists and experts in seasonal disorder believe that looking toward the warmth of the sun – even if it means sitting by a sunny window – brightens ones’ outlook
- Keep your hands active and busy by crocheting or knitting a blanket or other handcrafted item for a family member, friend or charity. Find a charity in your area that would love to have your handcrafted item.
- Taking a warm bath, sipping a cup of hot cocoa or enjoying a scented candle is a wonderful way to stimulate your senses.
- Gather up your favorite photos, objects, letters, inspirational quotes, poems and other mementos and create a memory book. There are countless scrapbooking materials in local craft stores that make cheerful embellishments to your new creation.
- Laughter is the best medicine, so watch your favorite funny movie or television show, read a comical book, or chat with a friend who has a great sense of humor.
- Visit your favorite library to check out the latest bestsellers or to participate in a library-sponsored program that interests you.
- Take in the wonders of the changing season by going on a nature walk, peering up at the night sky, watching the sun set or children playing in the park. By savoring the sights and sounds in the world around you, it is a wonderful way to stay connected.
- Go shopping. Several stores now offer home delivery service. Groceries and other items can be ordered online and sent right to your front door. Stock up your pantry for the cold winter months and keep emergency items handy in case of inclement weather.
Have an activity in mind? Leave us a comment below!