Vero beach

Activities for Seniors in Indian River County

Outdoor Activities in Indian River County for Seniors

Indian River County is known for its laid-back people and beautiful beaches.

If you’re an outdoors person, this community is a great place to go fishing, golfing, water sporting, boating, and relaxing near the ocean.


Since the founding of The Senior Resource Association in 1974, Indian River County has made it easier for seniors to retire in their cities.

Their mission has created seniors to live a healthy active lifestyle while encouraging them to live independently.

They want their seniors to enjoy a life full of serenity, but also let them know they have a tight-knit community they can depend on.

The county also puts a lot of emphasis on wheelchair access at beaches and parks, which makes it easier for seniors with disabilities to enjoy their time with Mother Nature.

The top beach parks we recommend for seniors are Jaycee Park and Humiston Park in Vero Beach.

Beach Boardwalk Near Jaycee Park
Beach Boardwalk Near Jaycee Park

Both of these parks include beautiful walking trails, lifeguards, boat launching ramps, and picnic tables.

Make sure to visit Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge to see endangered sea turtles and West Indian Manatees.

This is a special place in the county because it’s known as the nation’s first national wildlife Refuge.

When you arrive, make sure you go on a wildlife tour. If you love dolphins, go on a boat tour at the Indian River Lagoon and Estuary in Sebastian.

As you spot the friendly fish, you can learn more about one of the most biodiverse environments in North America.

Fun Activities in Indian River County for Seniors

Since the weather is never an issue in Indian River County, it’s always easy to find something to do.

First, stop at the 18-acre tropical beauty McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach.

They have over 100 varieties of water lilies throughout their gardens, and seniors receive a discount upon entry.

Scrape the surface at the 64-acre Environment Learning Center in Vero Beach.

Choose to go on a pontoon ride, rent a canoe, go on guided nature walks, or stand in awe at the 145-gallon aquarium touch-tank.

Become a member and receive tons of discounts and unlimited free visits so you can do it all.

Catch a large Snook at the Sebastian Inlet, and then cook it for a tasty treat.

Snook Fishing
Snook Fishing

Get your headset on at the Florida Cracker Airboat Rides and Guide Service for a fun trip through the marshes.

Shop and save at the Vero Beach Outlets and leave happy with prices you can’t beat.

Practice your golf swing at the nationally acclaimed top public course in the country, Sandridge Municipal Golf Course.

Indian River County has many scenic options for you to explore and enjoy your time while you’re there.

Restaurants and Bars in Broward County for Seniors

Every year many people come to Indian River County to enjoy the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival.

Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival

This three-day event is also known as the “Hamptons of South Florida” because it supports different charities that are focused on the environment, health, education, human services, animals in distress, and children and families.

This philanthropic event involves a lot of chef and wine tastings throughout each day, and it’s a great event to mark on your calendar each year.

Aside from the festival, Indian River County has a mouthwatering amount of delicious dishes.

Savor the flavors at the Treasure Coast Culinary Tour in Vero Beach or Sebastian and enjoy a multi-course meal at different venues in the city.

Vero Beach Farmers Market

It’s hard not to stop by the How Sweet It Is Chocolate Factory either with over 200 varieties of hand-dipped chocolates.

Go in and sample their decadent chocolate, ice cream, Italian ice, or butter fudge.

Don’t forget to shop where the locals go every Saturday at the Famers Market Oceanside in Vero Beach and get fresh produce, meats, and gourmet specialty items; you won’t be disappointed.

Cultural Activities in Broward County for Seniors

Indian River County puts a lot of emphasis into their community’s art, theatre, and museums.

It’s a treasure to visit these places because they’re well maintained and appreciated. Whenever you’re in the area make sure to check these places off your list:

Vero Beach Museum of Art

This indoor-outdoor museum has regional, state, and national exhibits and offers free admission every last Saturday of the month.

The Emerson Center

With the best concerts in town and spectacular special events, there is always something you can plan for in advance. Visit their website and see what events they have coming soon.

Vero Beach Opera

Highlighting community talent, the Opera enhances culture in the county. Sign up for a class or watch a live performance.

Riverside Theatre

This playhouse is known as America’s largest small town professional theatre. It currently puts on 255 live performances a year.

McLarty Treasure Museum

For only 2$ admission, this great local find will show you why Indian River County is called the “treasure coast.” View different artifacts and buried treasure finds in their multiple exhibits.

Hallstrom Farmstead Vero Beach

Walk into the life during the early 20th century and visit the Hallstrom’s Swedish plantation that farmed citrus and pineapples. Built in 1918, the plantation is still perfectly preserved for visitors today.

If you need some help getting around Indian River County or if you're looking for an amazing social experience, visit and request a college student to show you around town.

Best Assisted Living Communities In Florida

Just like people, all assisted living communities are unique. Different levels of care are offered to optimize a better lifestyle for each individual.

There are many reasons why someone needs to live with assisted care.

Here at Papa we looked at the types of assisted living facilities and found the best categories that fit many different needs.

Maybe you enjoy a home-like feel and the outdoors, or you’re in need of memory loss assistance.

From traditional environments to active lifestyles, each community has something to offer you or your loved ones.

Here are the different types of communities and what to expect at each one.

Home-Like Feeling Facilities

Woodlands Village
Woodlands Villages

This type of assisted living community creates a tranquil environment and is designed for seniors who love the outdoors.

Places like Bradenton Senior Living at Woodlands Village in Bradenton Florida and Rustic Retreat Assisted Living Facility in Boynton Beach Florida, both focus on having spacious outdoor areas for their residents and apartment-style living.

Their common areas are welcoming and friendly with great meals.

There are monthly community parties to attend, and activities are scheduled daily for residents.

The average cost to live in either community is $2,850 a month.

Traditional Style Assisted Living

Tuscany Village Naples
Tuscany Village Naples

Looking for a wide range of amenities with a welcoming atmosphere and charm?

If so, traditional style assisted living facilities are for you. Residents will find this type of living located close to shopping centers, entertainment, and downtown.

The Tuscany Villa of Naples in Naples Florida and Savannah Court of Bartow in Bartow Florida are two of the best traditional style assisted living facilities.

Both have an array of amenities for their residents while accommodating them 24 hours a day.

The average cost to live in Tuscany Villa of Naples is $3,400 a month and Savannah Court of Bartow is $3,800 a month.

 Memory Care Facilities

Brookdale North
Brookdale North

When your loved one can no longer take care of themselves due to Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, assisted living communities like Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs in Orlando Florida and Brookdale North in Boynton Beach Florida offer exceptional support for you and your loved ones to ease the difficult transition.

These two facilities have premium safety features in memory care residents’ apartments and offer daily assistance on all activities.

The average cost to live monthly in Grand Villa of Altamonte Springs is $3,500 a month and $4,000 a month for Brookdale North.

Culturally Diverse Facilities

Five Star Premier Residence in Boca Raton
Five Star Premier Residence in Boca Raton

Many assisted living facilities in Florida meet the needs of residents who are religious-based, have dietary needs, or are apart of a certain niche.

For instance, Five Star Premier Residence in Boca Raton Florida is a popular residence for the Jewish community since they serve kosher food, have Shabbat services and celebrate Jewish holidays.

On the other hand, New Smyrna Beach Assisted Living in Florida has a community full of golf enthusiasts.

The average cost to live monthly at Five Star Premier Residence is $4,200 a month and the average cost of living monthly at New Smyrna Beach Assisted Living is $2,800 a month.

If you’re looking for a specific niche or community to live in, find your needs by asking questions about the culture when you’re looking at different facilities.

Active Lifestyle Facilities

The Palace Coral Gables
The Palace Coral Gables

If you know your loved one like to live a luxurious lifestyle, an assisted living facility with five-star amenities located in the hustle and bustle of downtown is the place for them.

The Palace at Coral Gables in Miami Florida and The Atrium at Boca Raton in Florida are both voted the best when it comes to senior living communities.

These facilities have high-end catering, home health services, and daily social hour activities.

The Palace at Coral Gables costs an average of $5,600 a month and The Atrium at Boca Raton costs an average of $4,200 a month.

While you are helping your loved ones find the best community for them, our Papa Pals will give you a helping hand and alleviate any stress you may feel during this time.

Our Pals provide socialization, companionship, and assistance when they are with your loved ones.

Papa Pals give transportation anywhere and they love to hang out with your loved ones at their facilities.


Including Good Health as Part of My Retirement Plan

I was ready to retire. I was growing weary and my health was declining.

After almost 13 years of being the only caregiver for my disabled husband, I realized that it felt like my life force was literally being poured out.

However, I still had much to accomplish in my long and lovely life.

I urgently needed to simplify my life in order to slow the pace and find a balance of my own choices.

So I made drastic but gradual changes, moving to Florida and reducing my living space.

I revised my budget to be sure I was living below my means. People wondered about me, but I was excited.

I asked myself, in the splendid shadow of Thoreau, what I really wanted out of this final volume of my life's book.

My desire was to continue my writing, spend time with friends and family, and work to achieve a more healthy lifestyle.

Eating to Live -- Healthy and Well


Reading and listening to success stories had convinced me that I needed to aim for little goals and tiny tweaks to my daily habits.

So the first rule I adopted for myself was to spend at least 10 minutes in the produce aisle each time I shopped for groceries.

Pure boredom brings about taking a longer look at possible food choices.

This reminded me of my love for yellow crookneck squash, and I gradually began to experiment with eating a wider variety of foods.

stir frySince retirement allowed me much more time to cook, I valiantly resisted filling my schedule with busyness.

It seemed necessary to prioritize food first as I worked to revise my habits of cooking and eating.

I started fixing homemade soups, making it easier for us to increase our intake of veggies.

Sometimes I used a prepared soup as a base, then chopping four or five fresh veggies to sauté and add. Soups became a glorious expression of creativity and adventure.

Then I added the joy of stir-fry cooking!

Half of the time we had a breakfast of oatmeal with Greek yogurt, honey and blueberries all stirred in for fun and health.

A banana became a mid-morning snack.

Smaller Portions For Supper

I faced the fact that in our middle-aged working years we had gotten into the habit of eating our biggest meal of the day at night.

Also, much of our social life involved food in the evening.

As we made new social connections I kept two issues in mind. One was driving at night held decreasing appeal as my eyes aged, and the second one, finding social activities which didn't involve eating at night was now possible, and in fact vital for my plans.

I had known for years the value of eating more during the day and less in the evening meal, but the pull of work and social obligations made it a challenging task and easy to avoid.

So in my new life plans, I decided we would not eat anything after supper!

I eventually pushed that time to the 5 p.m. hour, with a goal of closing the kitchen at 6 nightly.

My husband and I went through a bit of withdrawal but eventually adjusted, even not feeling hunger after that time -- due to attending to protein needs throughout the day and at supper.

Afternoon snacks of nuts, fruit, and popcorn helped keep blood sugar level while providing a fiber and protein balance.

I placed special emphasis on whole grains along with better and fewer carbs.

There were very few no-nos other than smaller dishes and no eating after supper.

I tried to concentrate on what to do,  instead of what not to do!  So I poured my heart and soul into devising meals and snacks, taking time to savor eating.

If someone gave me a treat like brownies, I saved it for the next morning.

Then I could relish it with a cup of coffee or tea upon waking since I would have all day to use up those luxurious calories.

I allowed myself to indulge about once a week. We had lunch with friends on the weekends, and I enjoyed a small ice cream then. So I didn't crave anything since there were no taboos.

Moving Them Bones


Everyone knows moving is vital for a healthy body. But how to weave this wisdom into habits?

We started with a 30-minute walk each evening. Since we were on a budget, taking a walk helped substitute for shopping (a habit many of us know all so well!)

Sometimes we added a mid-morning stroll. I've continued short 5-minute walking sprints of a couple of blocks several times a day.

I find that allows me to enjoy nature while taking stock of my day, providing much-needed pause to reflect or just "be".

When a local hospital offered a class on balance and later healthy lifestyle, we took the classes, each lasting several weeks.

This is when I started using ice and/or heat to ease daily aches and pains--preferring it to medications when possible.

A Date with the Dreaded Scales

standing on scaleFinally, I must address the buzz word -- weight!

For me, weighing each morning upon awakening helped me focus on my goal.

I know many prefer weekly or monthly weigh-ins, but this became a meditative practice to help me focus on patience and hope.

If I weigh too much, I simply am reminded to stay on course; if I have a good number, I'm encouraged to stay on course also.

However, when I didn't get around to the weigh-in, I somehow gave myself permission to stray from my goal.

I don't set big goals since I've seen that fail so often, I set 1-5 pound goals and celebrated even at 1/2 lb. losses.

I recognized staying the same as a kind of victory also.

My main goal all along was health. I considered myself a "senior in training" as I tried new combinations and broadened my horizons with more variety, spices, and the ever-fun reading of labels!

I made up new recipes as well as consulting Google and magazines for more workable ideas.

Workable for me means easy, using what I have in my pantry, and staying within my limited budget.

After over several years, I took time to reflect and realized I had lost over 50 pounds!

My family noticed a huge difference in pictures from then and now. I lost around a pound a month and continued to keep my goals quite low, aiming either for the next pound down or to hold my own without gaining.

Since I'd seen friends yo-yo with their weight, I wasn't interested in fast weight loss, so I concentrated mostly on health and not gaining.

Health is the Bonus of Living Well


But the real bonus is that I am no longer pre-diabetic. Although my knees and hips are not cured, they are behaving better, providing pain reduction and increased mobility.

I have had tough times, as we all do, yet I seem to be holding my own. In hard weeks I don't pressure myself to improve; I work to hold my own and continue to have faith in the process.

When my morning weigh-in shows a rise, I keep that in mind, not starving, but remembering not to eat more than I need.

Sometimes I have chosen cottage cheese and salad or fruit for supper, reducing my quantity but maintaining my level of protein and variety of nutrition.

If I never lose another ounce I'll be OK. But I'll keep the weigh-in ritual because it reminds me that I live in my body and helps me focus on my health, making life better all around.

Even though I had taught that lesson to students for many years, it was time for me to renew my subscription to that vital reality!

Notice I never believed in diets. I strive for a healthy lifestyle where I enjoy food while keeping in mind its effects on my body and my life.

Didja hear me say I enjoy my food? On weekends I allow myself to fall off the wagon a bit and have a piece of cake or ice cream (chocolate please), then reducing my quantity at supper.

So I don't feel I have to give up things--just cherishing them judiciously:-)

Yup -- Smiling Helps

To top it all off, I've hung onto my sense of humor.

I tried to stand in my own truth while enjoying the humor of the medication marketplace where there were "experts" everywhere who knew exactly what I should do--give them all my money, ha.

And of course, they speak very quickly when they mention the side-effects including "a fatal event!"

Take That Body to the Doctor

I knew it was working after the first few weeks. Yet I also knew that my body was in a constant state of evolving toward old age.

You see, I had figured out that retirement is when you make a calling out of growing old!

So I kept regular medical appointments, even when I had no serious symptoms.

Got my cataracts fixed, started glaucoma meds (which could have made me blind had I not had that checkup), began to plan a colonoscopy (yuk), and did regular blood work.

Arggh, I even show up on time for the shot in the eye I have regularly.


The data obtained from these sources also informed my daily living by reminding me to keep my blood sugar in check while maintaining low cholesterol.

I even keep my dental appointments since I want a healthy heart and good breath.

Besides, the time spent with my dentist reminds me to keep my daily habits strong to prevent the spread of inflammation, which I understand affects one's whole body.

So that is the take of my journey from being at risk health-wise to being ready to face the world in good shape and fine health.

And yes, I will have a slice of my birthday cake, as long as it's early in the day and my birthday comes only once a year.

OK, I confess, my friends and family have birthdays too; I"ll have just a small slice.


Senior community

Best Senior Communities in South Florida

In today’s upbeat and energetic society 55 is the new 25. That’s why the top senior communities in South Florida are created for the active ager.

In Southeast Florida, there are currently 92 communities to choose from.

At Papa, we looked at which communities out of these 92 had the best safety and resort style amenities.

Seniors who live in some of these communities were interviewed and they said they started feeling more like themselves again when they moved here and they also improved their relationships with their families.


The communities that made our list all have age restriction, gated entry, clubhouses, fitness centers, golf courses, outdoor and indoor pools, restaurants on site, an aerobics and dance studio, an arts and craft studio, bocce ball courts, community transit, a ceramics studio, a sewing studio, a lapidary studio, educational classes, a stained glass studio, a ballroom, a performance and movie theatre, a woodworking shop, tennis and pickleball courts, a photography studio, and R.V/boat parking.

Now seniors have a place where they can live and play while feeling safe right outside the steps of their homes.

Here are the top senior communities in Southeast Florida

Century Village

century village pembbroke pines

Century Village Communities are located in Deerfield, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach.

These locations are all top rated for their consistency, landscaping, high-end clubhouses, and golf courses.

Kings Point

With two locations in Delray Beach and Tamarac, this senior community has amenities aimed at keeping their homeowners socially and physically active.

Wynmoor Village


Located in Coconut Creek, the Wynmoor has a 50,000+ square foot clubhouse with daily activities offered to its residents to keep you entertained.

One of their specialties here is they have an on-site restaurant and pharmacy.

Aberdeen Golf and Country Club

Just 8 miles from the ocean in West Boynton Beach, Aberdeen Golf and Country Club is recognized as a Gold Distinguished Club by Boardroom Magazine for its excellent member experience.

Whisper Walk

Only a 9-mile drive from Boca’s downtown Mizner, the Whisper Walk community is loved for its serene landscaping and peaceful neighbors.

Palm Isles Boynton Beach

Palm Isles

The amenities at Palm Isles are aimed to keep neighbors social and connected.

This community has a mix of activities to do to please any type of lifestyle.

Huntington Lakes

Located in Delray Beach 7 miles away from the ocean. This community is great for people who enjoy laying by the pool or swimming in the water.

The Huntington Lakes community has an indoor and outdoor Olympic sized swimming pools and 4 smaller pools scattered throughout the neighborhood.

It also has a great selection of books at their library, which makes it easy to lay out at the pool and read.

Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Club Pembroke Pines

Holybrook Golf and Tennis Club

This community is known for its free golf membership. It offers an 18-hole PGA championship course and an 18-hole executive course.

Hollybrook Pembroke Pines is also pet-friendly and has a varied range of activities to expand your creative mind and exercise your body.

Indian Spring Country Club

Located in Boynton Beach, this senior community has a 52,000 square foot clubhouse and state-of-the-art spa and fitness center.

In Indian Spring Country Club, you can enjoy the outdoors on the golf course or on their 26 Har-Tru™ tennis courts.

Lakes of Delray

Lakes of Delray

Very close to the main attractions in downtown, Lakes of Delray has many activities for people who want to embrace their creative side.

You can take a ceramics class and then relax in the library, or enjoy the outdoors on the tennis or basketball courts.

Need Senior Services?

Go to to find college students ready and able to keep you company while assisting with errands, or even a day trip to a local attraction.

It’s important to have a company like Papa that matches to your active lifestyle.