5 Easy Places to Visit with Your Caregiver

If there’s one thing seniors cherish, it’s driving. Today’s seniors lived through the age of cheap gasoline and enjoyed road trips. Driving holds a strong positive association with our senior population and losing the ability to drive is correlated with senior depression. Giving up your keys doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. Mobility is still possible by traveling with your caregiver.

If you’re sick of doing crossword puzzles at home, talk to your caregiver about going out instead. Traveling with your caregiver goes well beyond errands and doctor’s appointments. Traveling with your caregiver is a great way to get out and about while still receiving the care you need. If you love the freedom of driving on your own schedule, an in-home caregiver can help!

In many cases, caregivers related to the patient can drive their elderly relative around for a change of scenery and to get some fresh air. If that is not an easy option, there are many transportation services such as access-a-ride which is subsidized and private services like Uber and Lyft which are easy, affordable options.

Let’s take a look at some places you and your caregiver can visit. Elderly and family at a church service

Visiting Your Relatives

When you stop driving, it becomes more difficult to see your relatives without relying on them to visit you. However, talk to your caregiver. If you enjoy visiting nearby friends and relations, your caregiver can accompany you. Once you have planned a time that works for everyone, you and your caregiver can make all the arrangements. You can even ask them to help you bake a little gift to bring along.

Meeting Friends in the Senior Center

Senior centers have been an integral part of any senior communities for many decades. These large halls provide plenty of room for events, catered lunches, and card games. Whether you’re there for a special occasion, meeting a group of friends, or want to spend some time with people your own age, there’s plenty for you and your caregiver to do at a senior center.

Attend Church or Community Activities

Many seniors are deeply involved in their communities and churches. The loss of mobility does not need to affect this involvement! Your caregiver can help you reclaim these activities and volunteer opportunities. Plan with your caregiver to ensure that the events you want to attend are within your daily schedule.

Join a Club or Class

One of the best ways to keep your mind active is to continue learning. Pick up a hobby that keeps your mind, and hands occupied. Hobby classes and craft classes are readily available at senior centers and throughout the community. Build birdhouses, knit a sweater, or learn the art of scrapbooking! There’s a wide range of crafts in which to participate, and your caregiver can easily shuttle you to and from classes.

Enjoy a Drive

Finally, there is a simple joy in “taking a drive.” Now that you’re the passenger, you have the freedom to look out any window you please. Ask your caregiver if she’s amenable to a relaxing country drive and engage in some leisurely recreational driving. Enjoy a quiet opportunity to listen to the radio, talk, or enjoy the view.

Professional Caregiving From David York Agency

Just because you don’t drive anymore doesn’t mean you have to stop going out. Just because you shouldn’t be behind the wheel doesn’t mean you have to give up on the freedom of travel. Escorting you is one of the core services of senior caregiving, and your caregiver should be glad to help you stay active and engaged in your community with a few car trips.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.

 

Arts and the Elderly: An Important Connection for Healthy Aging

arts and the elderly

In 2006, Gene D. Cohen, MD, Ph.D. conducted a study, titled The Creativity and Aging Study, that measured “the impact of professionally conducted community-based cultural programs on the general health, mental health, and social activities of older persons, age 65 and older.” The conclusion was that community-based art programs, run by professional artists, had “powerful positive intervention effects” that included disease prevention, health promotion, increased independence, and reduced need for long-term care. In other words, they are great ways to promote healthy aging. 

The study showed an important connection between arts and the elderly that prompted Maura O’Malley and Ed Friedman to co-found the nonprofit arts service organization Lifetime Arts. As reported by Linda Bernstein in her article “How Library Classes in the Arts Are Changing Aging,” O’Malley and Friedman found that programs for older adults were severely lacking. In response, they decided to create skills-based arts programs open to adults 55 and up. Furthermore, these would be taught by teaching artists in the one cultural center available in most U.S. communities—libraries.

The programs range from dance classes to crafts to theater, and each eight-session program concludes with an exhibit or performance. No experience or background in the art form is necessary to participate. Besides exercising mind and/or body, the participants form communities and usually come away with new local friendships. To make sure each community is provided with the type of programs area adults would be interested in, library patrons and other residents are given a survey.

So far, twenty nationally recognized “creative aging” programs are available in thirteen states. Here’s a look at two of them in New York.

Brooklyn, New York – Brooklyn Public Library, Sunset Park

The results of the survey given to patrons of the Brooklyn Public Library and residents of Sunset Park came in. They showed that adults were most interested in learning the tango. Taught by Walter Perez, an artist/instructor from Argentina, lessons begin with a warm-up and dance steps are practiced both with partners and in circles, so that participants who use walkers or canes can be supported by those on either side of them.

No one is left out. Perez gives individual attention to each person, making everyone feel special. Besides fostering permanent friendships and a sense of community, seniors are exercising their muscles and minds by learning something new.

Montrose, New York – Hendrick Hudson Free Library

Performance art is the program of choice here. Expanding on a quarterly play reading program already in place, the Lifetime Arts program allows things to go to the next natural level—performing an actual play before an audience. Everyone who signed up got a performing or understudy role, and the plays chosen are geared toward the physical abilities of the participants.

Not only are the plays successful in drawing audiences, but the morale of participants increased and such strong bonds were formed that the actors began meeting for lunch on a regular basis, even after the show was over.

Socializing, learning, and staying active are extremely important parts of healthy aging. If your loved one needs assistance, the David York Agency can provide the help they need at home. They can even arrange for the transportation required to get to community programs like these.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate home caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. Our aim is to provide you and your loved one with the assistance you need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.