Community Blog

Eight Ways to Include Seniors in Labor Day Weekend Plans

By Debbie Humphrey

You don’t have to be a member of the workforce to love Labor Day weekend, even though it was established in 1894 to celebrate working men and women by giving us all a day to play! The first Monday each September may be the actual Labor Day holiday, but individuals and families use the entire weekend before to close out the summer season with fun activities and excursions.

Since we live in Florida, my husband and I usually choose to “staycation” over Labor Day weekend, and we only travel short distances to dine-out, visit art museums, or take in concerts and theatrical performances. Sometimes, we grill poolside, head to Clearwater Beach, or go boating with friends.

However, in my line of work, I can’t help but think about how we can keep seniors involved and engaged and bring joy to their lives this Labor Day. The following list outlines ten ways to include seniors in Labor Day plans:

*Take a special senior someone in your life to the beach! The ocean and the salt air benefit everyone’s mind, body and spirit, and a beach excursion might actually act as an anti-depressant for a lonely senior! Just remember to bring plenty of snacks, water, and SUNSCREEN! The snacks will boost energy, the water will help the body stay hydrated, and the sunscreen will prevent nasty burns. Always remember to reapply the sunscreen after swimming, perspiring, or after being in the sun. The effectiveness of sunscreens, even those with high Sun Protection Factors (SPF’s), tends to wear-off over time.

*Plan a special outing with a senior friend or family member. Go to a baseball game, a movie, an art gallery, a concert or theatrical performance. Go out to dinner or have a picnic. Unless it is an outdoor setting, venues in Florida are typically air conditioned which will minimize the negative impact of intense summer temps. Most parks have covered picnic areas, too, that provide shade from the sun. There’s just something about getting out of the house and experiencing a change of scenery that quickly boosts a senior’s spirits! If you do travel, make sure to bring any medications or medical devices they may need, and keep plenty of snacks and water for energy and hydration. Also, be prepared to make stops for bathroom breaks and for older travelers to stretch their legs and move their joints. This will help alleviate discomfort and stiffness.

*Bring groceries to a senior and prepare a meal together. Many seniors are, or were, terrific cooks back in the day! Who knows? You might even learn a few helpful hints to make your culinary life easier or more flavorful!

*Pull out the photo albums and picture boxes. It is always a good time to reminisce about the past by looking at old photographs. One can learn a lot about their family tree and the hardships faced by generations past. Fashion, hairstyles, old cars and relatives who have passed usually provide opportunities for sharing memories, laughter, and sometimes, a few tears.

*Put together a family scrapbook. If everyone in the family contributes five photos, or favorite keepsakes like souvenier ticket stubs or programs (you get the idea), it will spark lots of conversation and create a memorable family bonding experience.

*Consider crafting. Setup a craft table with supplies you can use to create holiday cards, gift items, or patriotic flags for safe, harmless fun at home! It doesn’t matter what you make. It’s about much more than the crafts, but more about the time spent in fellowship with a lonely senior.

*Volunteer at a local food pantry, soup kitchen, or animal shelter. This is a great way to give back and get immense levels of personal satisfaction and fulfillment when you’re able to help someone in need, or those less fortunate.

*Visit a local assisted living or convalescent facility. Many seniors are not afforded the “luxury” of living at home when health issues exist that require extra care and attention. A great way to brighten your day and theirs is to visit senior friends, family members and strangers who reside in these facilities. You don’t have to spend your entire day to make a significant difference in their lives! Loneliness and depression run rampant among seniors who have no close relatives or friends to visit them.

These eight ideas are merely suggestions of how you can include seniors in Labor Day weekend plans. If you know a senior who is unable to participate due to health or mobility issues, give me a call. I am happy to offer a FREE in-home consultation to determine if a professional caregiver can provide companion care, assistance with transportation or errands, light housework, meal preparation, and so much more!

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.972.2539