Home Adventures: Spring Staycation Ideas for Seniors

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Planning a staycation can be the perfect way to refresh and recharge without breaking the bank. Even something small like a virtual trip with family can positively affect older adults’ mental health.

While spring is usually a time for vacations and visiting family, this year’s plans may still look different, as home remains one of the safer places for older adults who have yet to receive the vaccine. Whether you’re staying close to home or thinking of ways to enjoy the warm weather, there are many ways for older adults to make the most of this season.

As one of the more disproportionately impacted populations, seniors have sheltered safely at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. And while many older adults found silver linings during this time – like learning a new skill, mastering technology or even perfecting their favorite recipe – being isolated from neighbors and family has had an immense impact on older adults’ mental well-being.

In fact, according to a report from the AARP Foundation and United Health Foundation, more than six in 10 adults age 50 and older reported experiencing social isolation since the pandemic began.

“We’ve all spent more time at home than anywhere else this year and could use a mental getaway to help cope with life’s stressors,” says Lakelyn Hogan, Ph.D., gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead. “But as we continue taking the necessary safety measures, staying close to home this season can be just as enjoyable as any trip, allowing you to safely spend quality time with loved ones.”

Planning a staycation can be the perfect way to refresh and recharge without breaking the bank. Even something small like a virtual trip with family can positively affect older adults’ mental health. Hogan shares a few activities for seniors to plan with their families this spring:

  • Bring the vacation to you. Through the wonders of technology, you can travel the world from your own living room by taking virtual tours of museums, national parks, and zoos. Take a remote trip one step further by immersing yourself in a new culture and re-creating a getaway experience in your home through food, music, decorations and more.
  • Be a tourist in your community. Explore your own town and the great places in your neighborhood by visiting tourist attractions with a friend. Sometimes it’s easy to forget your city’s hidden gems, so now is a chance to discover something new and help support the local economy. Remember to take precautions like wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.
  • Share your favorite vacation memories with loved ones. Take a trip down memory lane and share your favorite vacation memories with family and friends. Putting together a virtual scrap book is also a great conversation starter and way to reminisce about these exciting and happy times. Swapping stories with others may even result in new ideas for vacation plans of your own in the future.
  • Take advantage of the warmer weather. Getting outside has many mental and physical health advantages, even just sitting outdoors and soaking up vitamin D can be beneficial. Plan a day at the park or take a stroll around the neighborhood to spend some much-needed time outdoors. If walks or trips to attractions aren’t possible because of mobility issues, a visit to the porch or patio can be a great alternative. You can even get the whole family involved by pitching a tent in your backyard for a night under the stars.
  • Plan for future trips. Take the time to plan a future trip and consider places and destinations to visit when it is safer and more feasible. Planning a vacation can help lift your spirits and add something to the calendar that the whole family can look forward to.

While following safety precautions remains necessary, seniors can and should still make plans this spring to give themselves a chance to relax and reconnect. Whether it be a trip to the park or enjoying virtual adventures from the comfort of their couch, older adults can plan fun activities that help maintain good mental and emotional health.

For more information on staycation ideas and social activities for seniors, visit: http://www.caregiverstress.com/senior-activities/social-activities/.

ABOUT HOME INSTEAD
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, the Home Instead® franchise network provides personalized care, support and education to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, the network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for older adults, with more than 1,200 independently owned and operated franchises that provide more than 90 million hours of care annually throughout the United States and 14 other countries. Local Home Instead offices employ approximately 90,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services that enable older adults to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. Home Instead franchise owners partner with clients and their family members to help meet varied individual needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. Visit HomeInstead.com. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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