Focus on Seniors: Summer outings don’t have to be a distant memory

Let the sunshine and fresh air caress your body

Summer outings don’t have to be a distant memory for our seniors.

The odd cloudy day may make you think that summer is just about over but there is still lots of sunny, warm weather left.

With school starting, this is the best time to take your senior loved one out to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. Venues should be quieter during the day.

“Sun exposure generates vitamin D, which is necessary for a healthy brain, bones and muscles” says Dr. Michael Raab, a geriatrician in Fort Myers, Fla.

Getting out enables seniors to socialize with new people and gives them the opportunity to interact with children and animals. It will put spring in their step again.

Start with focusing on hobbies and interests they used to enjoy and get creative with options.

Attending a grandchild’s soccer or baseball game might reconnect them to one of their favorite pastimes.

If they had a love for fishing, check with the tourism office to find out about accessible fishing locations. A rod can be cast from a dock or pier, too.

If you are visiting a city on the west coast, a city tour on local transit works well. Consider taking a water taxi or boat tour to offer something new.

You don’t have to walk, a Sunday drive around town can also interest seniors to find out what’s new in their community. If a walk is possible, start slow, bring a walker or wheelchair if needed. This will give your loved one an opportunity to rest along the way.

READ MORE: Barbecues provide a great chance for seniors to socialize

For animal lovers, a visit to a zoo or dog park might be of interest. Another fun idea might be to ‘go fly a kite’. We all have a ‘big kid’ inside of us, so get a kite soaring and let the elderly individual take control, then join in with the smiles and laughter.

Picnics are wonderful for enjoying a relaxing meal, people watching and breathing in the beauty of nature.

Attending community events is a great way to run into people you might know. Our Oceanside area is a star in this department, we have everything from fairs and markets to parades and fireworks.

Just have a look in the Parksville Qualicum Beach News to check community events.

Most seniors have a favourite treat or restaurant that will pick their spirits right up. You don’t need a special occasion for a good ice cream or a coffee and pastry. Make an outing out of doing it – just because. Sit on the patio whenever possible.

Let the sunshine and fresh air caress your body so you both can feel healthier and happier.

Karla Reinhard lives in Qualicum Beach, where she explores seniors’ issues and personalities in the area. For story tips or questions, she can be reached at karlainpqb@gmail.com

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