Planning Activities for Senior Programs
The limited mobility common among seniors can often make it difficult for them to get out of the house and participate in fun activities with friends.
Senior programs are an easy way to go on safe excursions at a low cost. Senior programs can be a great way for an elderly couple to spend time together and experience a new activity.
Senior programs often include a bus trip with a group of other seniors. This is an excellent way to make friends and take trips without having to drive long distances. Oftentimes senior living homes will organize senior programs, but even if a senior does not belong to a group home it is possible to join local senior programs.
However, it can often be difficult for senior program organizers to come up with new ideas for senior programs. Organizers must consider those with physical and mental handicaps when planning senior programs, which can limit options for trip locations.
The following article from eHow will assist in helping you plan successful senior programs, whether you are a caretaker or a senior yourself.
How to Plan a Program for Senior Activities
Planning activities for senior programs can be challenging, as you may be dealing with participants who are less than enthusiastic, but were encouraged to attend by well-meaning relatives or social workers. Others may have serious mental or physical limitations, or widely varying interests and desires for their time spent at your program. In order to attempt to deal with these obstacles, activities for senior programs should hold broad appeal and be viable for your participants to engage in (you can also have different groupings for different ability levels).
- Brainstorm with your staff. Your staff are your best resource for developing activities that are of interest and beneficial to senior citizens. They may be attuned to the fact that a number of participants have requested to go for walks in recent weeks, or that they particularly enjoyed an arts and crafts project that was completed a few days ago. With their recommendations, build on ideas from previously successful activities.
- Bring in specialists. Add some extra knowledge and new blood by bringing in an outside expert for a particular activity. For example, bring a biologist with an education background to go on an outdoor walk through a local park, or a yoga teacher to lead your physically capable seniors through a basic introductory yoga class. This is a great opportunity for staff to engage in the activities also, and just have fun and bond with the seniors, as the instruction will rest primarily with the visiting expert.
- Plan with the seasons. Encourage your senior participants to be excited about upcoming seasons and/or holidays by planning activities that are centered around these special times. Emphasizing what is exciting about the present and future can help to keep your seniors’ spirits up year-round. Creating timely seasonal or holiday decorations can also help to brighten the center where your senior program takes place and/or individual rooms if the program is held at a senior residential center.
- Keep health in mind. Health is an important consideration for most senior citizens. Though they might not be able to do all that they used to, they should work towards maintaining the best possible physical and mental function they can. Senior programs can play a crucial role in this by planning fun and frequent activities that incorporate physical fitness, such as the nature walks and yoga classes described above. Physical activities can help your seniors to be happier, sleep better, and feel more capable and independent.
These ideas can be useful for a caretaker or a senior. The elderly do not need an organizer to arrange senior programs; it can often be as simple as finding group rate activities and renting a bus.
As the fall season rolls around, looking at foliage or partaking in seasonal cuisine are just two of many autumn activities that would make excellent senior programs. The article above encourages event planners to focus on what is exciting about the present in order to improve morale, and celebrating the season is one great way to achieve this.
Consider choosing a Motor Coach Tour as one of your senior programs. Salem Cross Inn is a popular destination for senior programs. We would be happy to create a personalized itinerary depending on your senior program’s needs. We also offer group grates to keep your senior programs cost-efficient.
Start your trip with some local area highlights such as a drive through fall foliage or a visit to one of the many museums in Western Massachusetts. Then end the day with some local food and a historical tour of Salem Cross Inn. Interested in learning more about our senior programs? Contact us!