Guest Blog: Putting the “Win” Back in Winter (at ANY AGE)

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Winter months can be hard to weather (pun slightly intended) regardless of age; often, the days are short and the temperatures are at their lowest.  Thanks to these and various other seasonal factors, staying cooped up indoors is often the answer.  However, with a little bit of planning, this seasonal slump can be trumped.

Craft Fairs

With Christmas making an appearance in the middle of winter, there is usually an abundance of local craft fairs and expos.  Generally, admission to these types of shows is either free or well under $10 (and seniors generally receive a discounted admission CraftFairprice).  Each event hosts numerous booths with a variety of products—from delectable food to handmade Christmas tree ornaments.  Many (if not all!) of the food vendors offer free, delicious samples, and most of the products are locally crafted.  You and your loved one can visit the vendors at your leisure; there is no schedule to follow and no need to rush.  If mobility is a struggle for your elders, fear not!  Most (if not all!) of these setups are ADA friendly, allowing plenty of space for wheelchair access as well as walker-friendly floors.  These events generally occur on the weekend and would be a great way to spend an hour (or more!) with your loved ones while also getting them out of the house.

Tree-Lightings

In keeping with the seasonal theme, local tree-lighting ceremonies usually pop up sometime in December.  These are community based events that involve more than just the tree illumination; there is often music, hot chocolate, and sometimes even Santa TreeLightingswings by!  Though this tradition usually takes place outside, don’t let that completely dissuade you and yours from going.  Since the tree lighting usually happens in town, there will be local businesses around that would love to have you swing in for a cup of coffee or even for an impromptu dinner-date.  Again, the cost for watching the tree-lighting is free; the only expenses incurred would be any dinners/snacks that you purchased from other vendors.  It will be dark and (likely) chilly, so do make sure to dress warm!  The atmosphere and the decorations are worth venturing out for, and it will be a wonderful memory to have for seasons to come.

Volunteer

To help your senior loved ones combat that cabin-fever feeling that can sink in from too many days without social interaction, consider encouraging them to volunteer.  With cold weather imposing ten-fold on the homeless and those in need, more service help is needed. Churches and rescue missions are always accepting help in any capacity; from serving food one day a week to serving two meals a day five days a week.  There truly is a niche for all abilities—no contribution is too minute.  From cooking, to knitting, to organizing donation goods, there is always a need.  Not only will this provide a social outlet, but the gratification that comes from serving others is undeniable.

Though winter can be long (and dark at times!) that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a nice variety of socially-based activities that you and your aging loved ones can enjoy together!  With the right amount of warm clothes and planning, this time of year could soon become a pleasant anticipation.

 



 

Madison Hill spends her time decoupaging snow-globes in Seattle where she cares for her mother. When she’s not spelunking, you can find her writing about home care

Photo Credits –
Christmas Tree: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andycastro/5317827801/
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/andycastro/5317827801/“>andy castro</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/“>cc</a>
 
Craft Fair: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plasticbat/3781487538/
href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/plasticbat/3781487538/“>Plastic_Bat</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com“>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/“>cc</a>

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