How to Motivate Seniors to Participate in Activities

Getting seniors more active and involved is one of the most impactful services Papa can provide. There are endless benefits to physical and social activities for the elderly including: more confidence, reduced risk of heart disease, longer life, and more. 

Often, we find that finding an activity suitable for a senior comes with ease and motivating them to participate can be the bigger challenge. Seniors can sometimes feel embarrassed to participate in any physical activity because of their age or shape. The longer they spend without exercising, the more compounded these feelings become. 

That’s why it is important for Papa Pals to quickly work on getting their elderly companions involved. It’s never too late to try and get your loved ones involved, but the sooner the better! Below are some tips on how to help make it happen!

Find Something They’re Passionate About

We all find it much more enjoyable to spend time doing things we care about. Seniors are the same way. Not everyone is naturally inclined towards typical exercise like aerobics or swimming. Some seniors may prefer golf, or even dancing for example. There are plenty of ways to exercise, so don’t feel as though your options are limited. The most important part is getting seniors to do something outside of their house that involves movement! We want to make sure seniors aren't feeling lonely. The easiest way to accomplish that is to figure out what they enjoy doing or used to enjoy doing.  

Try talking to your loved ones about what they did as child growing up. Maybe they used to go biking with their family or played tennis with their friends. Conversations are the portal to finding out what people care about. If you can find their passion, it will be much easier to get them up and active!

Set Smaller Goals

Accomplishment is a wonderful source of motivation. Often, we make big plans, set ambitious goals, and can feel a sense of failure if we don’t meet them. You should take an approach that creates small accomplishments when planning activities with our beloved seniors. Setting up your loved ones for success is a strategy we should utilize. 

By setting small, achievable goals you cultivate feelings of success, confidence, and momentum. Make your first goal something simple like, “Signing up for one yoga class”. If that particular activity sticks, you can start thinking bigger and build upon your success. Momentum is a powerful tool and that’s exactly what you create by keeping your goals in the form of small, achievable steps!

Cultivate a Social Environment

Positive reinforcement from friends and colleagues help create motivation and confidence. Group settings are a great way to help nudge seniors to participate in more physical activities. Social interaction also creates an entirely independent benefit outside of the physical component. Developing a network of friends with common interests is a huge contributor to happiness, regardless of your age!

Most senior centers offer group classes for a plethora of difference activities. You should encourage your loved ones to begin with a group class, and as they develop a social network, they will have more compulsion to continue. Papa provides transportation to-and-from for seniors to nourish new relationships. Accountability, companionship, social engagement, and overall enjoyment will all improve by focusing on physical activities that simultaneously cultivate a social environment. 

Inform them of the Benefits

This advice sounds simple but can be extremely effective. There are plenty of major benefits to physical activity for seniors. Sometimes laying them out in black and white can motivate seniors to create these positive habits in their lives. It also shows that you care about their well-being and aren’t simply trying to get them preoccupied with “senior activities”. 

Demonstrating compassion and concern for well-being is a great way to motivate your loved ones to at least give physical exercise a chance. That’s the hardest part. Once they’ve found something enjoyable, and create the habit for themselves, it often continues all on its own. Sit down and have a heart to heart conversation with your elderly loved ones and I’m sure you’ll find your concern well-received. 

The Papa Purpose

Here at Papa we are committed to improving the lives of seniors across the country. Caring for our elderly requires a different approach, and an understanding that their needs are different from our own. 

Some of those needs are not always easily met. They can be met with resistance, or flat out rejection. Utilizing these techniques can help create a healthier life for your loved ones. Physical activities can improve confidence, physical health, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life. That’s what Papa is all about!

 


Activities for Seniors in Chicago

Outdoor Activities in Chicago for Seniors

Whether you’re near Lake Michigan or downtown, Chicago is packed with parks, tours, and recreational activities. Since the start of the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, it is easier for senior citizens to get around and have a good time. This service as well as the Discovery center offers seniors trips and tours. Explore the city on a cruise and listen to a guided architecture tour. Ride on the double decker bus and sight see different places such as SkyDeck, Michigan Avenue Bridge, the Navy Pier, Magnificent Mile, and so much more! Make sure you take a bike ride through Lakefront Trail. Take a picture at the Bean in Millennium Park. Visit the animals at Lincoln Park Zoo. Have a picnic at Grant Park in Lake Michigan. The outdoors are endless in Chicago whether you want to be on foot or not.

Fun Activities in Chicago for Seniors

The best part about the Windy City is you will always find something to do. With over 16 senior centers in Chicago, play games with friends or take a Tai Chi class. Walk along the river and admire the building’s soaring over you. Enjoy Chicago Botanical Gardens with 385 acres of landscaped gardens. Check out the oldest and largest museum in the United States, The Art Institute of Chicago. Because Chicago is the third largest city in America, you have the ability to stay active or have a relaxing day.  

Restaurants and Bars in Chicago for Seniors

Since Chicago is so big, there are many different pockets you can eat at. If you consider yourself a “foodie” make sure you go to West Loop. You will find a variety of food choices that will hit the spot! On Sundays go and visit Maxwell Street Market. They have many different food vendors and live entertainment. Enjoy an elegant steak in the River North area. If you like craft beers and eclectic food walk around Logan Square and find a nice bite to eat. Don’t forget to visit Lincoln Park for some casual dining and amazing cocktails! Whichever part of Chicago you roam to, you can always find the best deep-dish pizza.

Cultural Activities in Chicago for Seniors

“Full of culture” is a phrase that describes Chicago very well. It is a city that is full of life and passion. You will find so much culture in the streets, architecture, museums, and neighborhoods. Here are some places you need to check off your list when you arrive:   

Broadway in Chicago

See Emmy winning performances in the Chicago Broadway district.  You will be in awe with top talent and fall in love with live action.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Founded in 1857 by the Chicago Academy of Sciences, the museum has an extensive butterfly garden, nature trails, and many exhibits that change.

Field Museum of Natural History

One of the largest museums in the world, this gallery has exhibitions that show ancient cultures to the latest scientific discoveries. This museum is a place that you can come back to multiple times and always learn something new.

Chicago Cultural Center

Drawn by its beauty and the fabulous free public events, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to the Chicago Cultural Center every year, making it one of the most visited attractions in Chicago. The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, as well as free music, dance and theater events, films, lectures, art exhibitions and family events.

Adler Planetarium

This public museum is dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. Visit the stunning terrace views and unique sculptures and learn about the mysteries of our Universe.

We want you to visit Chicago!


Activities for Seniors in Knoxville

Outdoor Activities for Seniors in Knoxville

Knoxville is too often the forgotten city of Tennessee. A little-known fact is that Knoxville was actually the original capital of the state. Now it’s home to over 180,000 people and the center of the greater metro area that touts a population of over 850,000.

Knoxville is best known for being a nature-oriented city and serving as the gateway to the Smoky Mountains. More recently Knoxville was ranked by Forbes as one of the best communities to retire in part due to its affordability. Knoxville offers a small-town feel with all the amenities of a major city. This combination is particularly well-suited for seniors and offers them a plethora of enjoyable activities with a pinch of downtown fun.

If you’re looking for a place to start, we always recommend checking out the local senior centers. There you can see what types of events are planned and get some additional guidance on how best to spend your time in Knoxville.  

Knox County Senior Services  is one of Knoxville's well-equipped senior center. It's committed to providing wonderful services, education, and overall care to their elderly population. Their government works hand in hand with the Office on Aging to provide thorough attention to all facets of the senior residents.

The Office on Aging is a “Community Action Committee” that was founded in 1975. It is made up of a wonderful group of people and functions as a non-profit. They provide a wide range of practical services to seniors including employment assistance, meals on wheels, advice on medication pricing, and more. The Office on Aging also provides the more enjoyment-themed classes such as cooking, dancing, and fitness.

If you’re looking to schedule your own activities, I recommend considering some of the most popular stops in Knoxville, many of which I’ve listed below.  

Smoky Mountains National Park

This National Park is the single most popular National Park in the country, and for good reason. There is enough to see in this park to keep you and your elderly company busy for weeks on end. Wildlife in its natural habitat, peaceful river trails, and hikes of all levels of difficulty. Stay for the weekend in one of their cabins or just stop by for an afternoon stroll. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Victor Ashe

Victor Ashe Park is one of the local favorites and it offers a variety of fun activities for people of all ages. You can play disc golf, watch the dogs have some fun, or hang back by the lake and enjoy a mid-day picnic.

Ijams Nature Center

Ijams is a 315-acre nature center and widely regarded as one of Knoxville’s best attractions. If you can think it, you can do it at Ijams Nature Center. Biking, hiking, paddling, and shopping are just a handful of ways you can spend your day enjoying this natural beauty. Check their event calendar, and if you’re up for it you can even join their hiking club. It is a great way to socialize and exercise as the same time.

Zoo Knoxville

This zoo offers much more than your typical animal exhibits. At Zoo Knoxville you can get face to face with giraffes, ride a camel, or even take a short cut through the facility on a train. Zoo Knoxville is a great experience for people of all ages.

Fun Activities for Seniors in Knoxville

Knoxville is a wonderful city for seniors to enjoy in all capacities. Their downtown offers a more quiet and dynamic experience than what you would find in larger and louder city environments.

Restaurants and Bars in Knoxville for Seniors

Knoxville may not be a renown foodie HQ, but it provides plenty of options for seniors to enjoy great meals and drinks in a variety of settings. Fun, active, and low-key are the best ways to describe the options listed below.

Market Square

First of all, Market Square is much more than a market for produce and food. Market Square is a hub of people and buzzing activity. It holds events and houses restaurants from casual dining to black-ties and white tablecloths. Take a walk with no expectations. I promise you will leave full and satisfied.

Old City District

The Old City District is full of rich, Knoxville history. It also is home to over 15 restaurants that serve some of the best food in the city. You can shop until you drop, grab a locally crafted beer, or chow down on some pizza in this cultural haven.

Central Filling Station

Welcome to Tennessee’s first full-blown food truck park. That’s right. Here you and the family can all enjoy an ever-changing menu of delicious and satisfying food servings. There is a uniqueness to this experience that cannot be replicated. Central Filling Station is dog-approved and highly recommended.

Cultural Activities for seniors in Knoxville

Knoxville may not be home to the boisterous nightlife of its nearby neighbor, Nashville, but it houses just as much history. Sports, theatre, art and history are all available in spades in Knoxville. Below are some of the most senior-centric options.

Tennessee Theatre

The Tennessee Theatre was Knoxville’s first skyscraper and built in 1928. Nowadays there is very little you can’t see at this nationally designated historic landmark. The Tennessee Theatre has a lineup of Broadway performances, movies (both old and new), and entertainment acts. The theatre received a $25m renovation only 15 years ago, so check the calendar and make plans to stop by as soon as you can.

Antique Stores

Knoxville has a wide variety of antique stores that can serve as a fun and cultural activity for visitors and locals of all ages. Who knows what you’ll find and what memories you’ll rekindle when sifting through nick knacks that very well may be older than you and your elderly companion!

University of Tennessee Stadium

Neyland Stadium is the home of the Tennessee Volunteers and houses over 100,000 students and alumni at every one of their home football games. It is the 5th largest stadium in the United States and was built back in the 1920s. Neyland stadium has also hosted such figures as Richard Nickson, The Jacksons, and Kenny Chesney. A football game at this stadium may be a lot to handle, but it is absolutely a pillar of Knoxville culture.

Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of art is a unique contributor to the overall culture of Knoxville. This museum specifically celebrates artists of east Tennessee and offers free admission to the public. Knoxville Museum of Art is home to old, modern, and local exhibits that create a wonderfully eclectic experience worth checking out.

With so many senior-friendly activities, we want you to visit Knoxville, Tennessee with Papa

 


Activities for Seniors in Nashville

Outdoor Activities for Seniors in Nashville

Nashville is the capital of and most populated city in Tennessee. It is well renowned for its influence in music, especially country and rhythm & blues. Nashville is filled with rich, cultural neighborhoods and has a reputation for being an all-around fun city.

One of Nashville’s lesser known characteristics is its popularity among retirees. As a matter of fact, Nashville was recently ranked as the #7 Best Place to Retire in the entire United States via U.S. News & World Report.  

If you’re looking for a place to start, we always recommend checking out the local senior centers. There you can see what types of events are planned and get some additional guidance on how best to spend your time in Nashville.

One of the much bigger senior centers in Nashville is called FiftyForward. It is a broader resource for adults aged 50 and up to help them live longer, healthier, and happier lives. FiftyForward was founded way back in 1956 and now oversees and operates multiple senior centers for the elderly in Tennessee. Their impact has eclipsed over 20,000 people annually.

Bordeaux and Donelson Station are two centers that FiftyForward operates in Nasvhille.

If you’re looking to schedule your own activities, I recommend considering some of the most popular stops in Nashville listed below. There is plenty to do, so you won’t have any problem finding senior-friendly fun in or outside of the city.

Walking Tour

There is no better way to experience Nashville and enjoy a day outside than walking the city and taking in all the culture & history it has to offer. Nashville has multiple walking tours, so you can find one that suits your interests. Breweries, country music, or local foods are all popular themes that anyone can enjoy.

General Jackson Showboat

The General Jackson is one of the largest showboats ever built. The entertainment on board will give you a true taste of Nasvhille all while cruising down the Cumberland River. Check out their event calendar and prepare to be amazed. Holidays, concerts, and simple tours can all be enjoyed from the General Jackson.

Winery Tours

Nashville is more commonly associated with whiskey than wine, but grapes have always been a staple crop of Tennessee. Nashville is home to over 40 wineries and 150 vineyards. That means you can have your pick based on location and terrain. Arrington Vineyards is one we recommend. It sits on a 92-acre property that hosts tours and tastings. They even have their own concert series!

Bike the Greenway

Bike the Greenway is more than a recommendation, it’s a business. They operate in Nashville and rent bikes to encourage active exploration. There are multiple trails that can give you a taste of nature or lead you right into downtown depending on what you’re looking for. Find them over at Shelby Park and take a day to explore Nashville from a different perspective.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park is one of Nashville’s biggest and best parks. The park sits on over 132 acres with a plethora of monuments, trails, and places to hang out. You can bring the dog, play some volleyball, or just appreciate the history in their on-site museum. The Parthenon alone is worth the trip. Centennial Park is a must-see in Nashville.

Fun Activities for Seniors in Nashville

Nashville, despite its rowdy reputation, is a well-rounded and senior friendly city. Music has no age limits, and there are plenty of other forms of entertainment to go along with it. Comedy, theatre, and rich history are all at your fingertips in Nashville.

Restaurants and Bars in Nashville for Seniors

Nashville is an absolute haven for delicious food. There are plenty of individual neighborhoods all with their own identity and selection of cuisine. Our favorites are below.

Germantown

Germantown has a quiet, historic vibe to it with historic homes and old-school architecture. It’s located jut north of Downtown and hosts some of Nashville’s most nationally recognized eateries.

East Nashville

 You can’t spell “East” without “Eat” and that’s exactly what people do most when hanging out in East Nashville. Trendy bites and craft cocktails are helping propel East Nashville as one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

Nolensville Road

Nolensville Road offers one of Nashville’s most diverse dining selections. If you’re looking for authentic street tacos or real-deal gyros, then look no further. Check out Plaza Mariachi while you’re in the neighborhood and feel the energy with live music and events.

 

Cultural Activities for seniors in Nashville

I cannot stress enough the mix of entertainment and history that Nashville has to offer. When you combine those two with the city’s popularity, you get a culture that is impossible to replicate. Whether you’re in town for a weekend or a local, below are some of our favorite senior-friendly cultural experiences in Nashville.

Grand Ole Opry

You’ve probably heard of Grand Ole Opry whether you’ve been to Nashville or not. It’s known around the country as one of music’s biggest stages and has featured the best that country music has to offer. The Opry originated back in 1925 as nothing more than a radio broadcast. Fast Forward almost 100 years and it is now by far Tennessee’s most popular attraction.

Country Music Hall of Fame

Are you catching the music theme yet? The Country Music Hall of Fame is a coming together of both history and entertainment. It serves as both a museum and a live entertainment venue, so check the calendar and see if you can enjoy both!  

Third Coast Comedy Club

The Third Coast Comedy Club is Nashville’s only improv comedy club. They feature nationally trained comics and offer classes & workshops for those trying to master the craft of comedy themselves. Third Coast Comedy even works as a non-profit and runs youth programs to help improve children’s lives through the art of improv.

Johnny Cash Museum

The Johnny Cash Museum is a Nashville favorite, and is one of the few attractions that has earned a AAA Gem Rating. The museum is located Downtown, and is a must see, especially if you’re a fan.

 

With so many senior-friendly activities, we want you to visit Nashville, Tennessee with Papa!

 


Activities for Seniors in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is one of the largest cities in Michigan located along the Grand River. Also known as the River City, Grand Rapids is home to some of the countries most beautiful parks and trails. Grand Rapids is made up of a diverse population including unique neighborhoods that all have their own identity. The Grand Rapids Major Metropolitan area has a dense population of over 1,000,000 people. All of these characteristics make for a senior-friendly environment where you have the choice of many activities to enjoy both in and outdoors when weather permits. Grand Rapids is a true American city.

Where to Start in Grand Rapids

When looking for senior-friendly activities in Grand Rapids, one of the first things we suggest is to check out their local organizations that specifically curate events and activities for the senior population.

Senior Neighbors

This dedicated center in Grand Rapids Michigan provides a ton of services above and beyond your typical cooking classes and bingo nights. They offer transportation, counseling, home maintenance, and a robust activity schedule.

Ray & Joan KROC Center

The KROC Center is a membership program but offer affordable events for non-members as well. Their “Senior Fridays” program is a great choice when planning your weekend.

Northview Senior Citizens

Northview Senior Citizens has more a bootstrapped, locally organized feel. They offer some incredibly well put-together day trips that you can’t find anywhere else. Beyond their interactive learning and programming, Northview provides thoughtful and practical services such as tax prep and even attorney consultation.

Outdoor Activities for Seniors in Grand Rapids

If you’re looking to schedule your own activities, we recommend considering some of the most popular stops in Grand Rapids listed below.

Millennium Park

The largest park in Michigan and one of the largest “urban parks” in the entire nation. Millennium Park offers beach passes, a golf course, and picnic areas spread across over 1400 acres of rolling terrain. Rent a boat or walk a trail there are endless ways to enjoy this outdoor destination.

Heritage Hill

Not your typical “outdoor activity”, Heritage Hill offers seniors a chance to enjoy some of the rich history of Michigan. This neighborhood has fought hard to maintain its original integrity and offers tours and holds a slew of historical designations.

Robinette’s Winery

Robinette’s Winery has been a part of Western Michigan for literally over 100 years. This is a perfect destination for outdoor, senior-friendly fun. Haryides, corn mazes, and cider tasting are just a few options for how to spend your day at this true family destination.

Reed’s Lake

Not far from the city-center, Reed’s Lake offers a scenic walking trail and a quiet place to relax, eat, or just watch the clouds above the water. The lake is naturally inhabited by many unique species of birds such as the great blue heron and has a deep supply of fish and other wildlife. Bring a blanket and some sandwiches and enjoy a perfect picnic destination.

These are just a few of the many parks and trails Grand Rapids Michigan has to offer. Some other great spots include Provin Trails, Huff Park, Riverside Park, Johnson Park and many more.

Fun Activities in Grand Rapids

Beyond the Grand Rapids outdoor appeal, this major metro area offers some vibrant city-scape, and historical landmarks that make for fun, senior-friendly activities as well. Plus, being outside is not always an option for those who enjoy Michigan year-round.

Restaurants and Bars in Grand Rapids for Seniors

Grand Rapids Michigan offers a naturally beautiful city-scape with the Grand River running right through its core. When looking for spots to enjoy a meal or a drink with your elderly loved ones, we recommend scoping out the Grand River or Reed’s Lake for a waterfront affair.

If you’re looking for some more diverse and culturally exciting options, check out the Southtown District. This neighborhood is filled with tastes from around the world as well as a diverse population. For something a bit more American-historic, check out the North Quarter. The neighborhood is known for lots of open green space and overall walkability. Ideal for a calm day just outside the busiest part of the city.

Cultural Activities in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is an American city with a deep connection to its historical roots. Check out some of the senior-friendly spots below to enjoy a lot of what Grand Rapids holds near and dear.

Meyer May House

The Meyer May House was built in 1908 and designed by Frank Lloyd Right. In 1987 this beautifully designed and built home was made open to the public. The Meyer May House is a glorious demonstration of American architecture that has been wonderfully restored with meticulous attention to detail. The furnishings, exterior, and overall condition of the house is jaw-dropping. Best of all, tours are free.

Downtown Market Grand Rapids

This Food Hall provides a venue to over 20 different restaurateurs, hosts events, cooking classes, and overall provides a spark to the culinary culture in Grand Rapids. Come for a drink, a bite, or just to witness the energy you can achieve by bringing so many great people together.

Frederik Meijer Gardens

The Meijer Gardens is a sculpture park, botanical garden, an amphitheater, and so much more. This venue can absolutely be an entire week’s worth of entertainment. Between the wildlife and natural beauty, you can catch their Summer concert tours and even become a member. One of the most popular namesakes in Grand Rapids, Frederik Meijer is senior (and family) friendly.

Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

If American history is the least bit interesting to you, I highly suggest checking out the Gerald Ford Museum. They offer a senior citizen discount to their many lectures, rotating exhibits, and artifacts brought in from all over the country. Gerald Ford was born in Grand Rapids Michigan, so calling it part of the culture here is an understatement. 

 

If you need some help getting around Grand Rapids, or if you're looking for an amazing social experience, visit join papa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


Best Board Games For Seniors for Game Night

Did you know there are also many health benefits to playing board games? Not only does it boost serotonin, but these games also relieve stress and help with memory loss.

They create a fun competitive spirit and enhance your days stayed in. Board games are taught to us starting at a young age so it’s a great way to get all ages together to find something in common.

Many games require using your coordination skills, which helps aging seniors since they are moving their hands often. If you are hanging out with your loved ones, start a game night to get your family involved.

Playing ScrabbleIt’s a great way to keep seniors engaged and it brings the family closer. Not only that, as we age loneliness can start to set in if seniors aren’t getting enough socialization in their daily lives.

Giving them something to look forward to like a game night at their house will make a huge difference in their life.

If you live out of town and only see your aging parents a few times a year, request a Papa Pal to have a “game night” with them.

There are many games listed below that only require 2 players. Shared activities are the best way to form natural connections with your loved ones than forcing a conversation.

It’s time to open up your closet and get the games out, or bring something new as a gift!

Best Board Games for Seniors

Some of the best 2-player classic brain games are Scrabble, Chess, Ludo, Checkers, and Battleship.

These increase brain function and challenge your mind. The good part about these games is that they are just as difficult for young adults as for seniors since technology now plays a large part in looking answers up without critical thinking.

Playing Ludo

These games will help with strategizing and using your brain to recall and remember certain tactics.

Another great way to engage in the competitive spirit with your loved one is through card games like Crazy Eights, War, Gin, Rummy, Old Maid, and Go-Fish.

These games will enhance your reaction time and keep your mind active.

Playing Card GamesMany card games involve using your brain for memorization, which will also help with concentration.

You will need to use some quick movement in your hands so it will also improve your coordination skills.

Of course, there are the classics that everyone thinks about like Monopoly, Bingo, or Yahtzee, but there are many new games out there that are enjoyable for all ages.

For instance, Qwirkle is a popular game that involves using different colored blocks to strategize points to win.

Other ones that are popular are Sorry Sliders, Dixit, No Thanks, and Ticket To Ride. Don’t forget that many games are now available on the Internet so they can be played through your phone, iPad, or computer.

Papa Pals make great companions and are a great way to enhance your loved one's socialization and they can bring over some board games to play if your loved one doesn’t have any.

We understand the value of putting a smile on your loved ones face and making them laugh. Request a Pal today by calling 1-800-348-795 or by visiting our website www.joinpapa.com.


The Papa Visit Experience: A Day with Sam

Meet Sam, he's 91 years old and uses Papa once a week. He's been a Papa member since February and loves to go out with one of our Papa Pals to Dunking Donuts and Publix.

Sam has an amazing life story, that type of story you just want to listen to for hours. Here's a small clip of the Papa visit experience with Sam and Sarah, one of our favorite Papa Pals.

 


Summer activities for seniors

Fun Summer Activities for Seniors

Ahh, Summertime.

Summer is often associated with beach days, bathing suits, vacations, and relaxing poolside with a drink in hand.

Now, none of these activities particularly appeal to our elderly loved ones, however, I am here to let you know that Summer is not age-restricted.

There are plenty of activities that aren’t on the stereotypical summer game-plan but are perfectly suited for seniors.

With the help of Papa, your loved can stay active and enjoy the season.

Below are some fun ideas that you, or one of our Papa Pals, can enjoy with your loved ones.

Take a Class

Photography classes for seniors

Summertime is a perfect time to pick up a new hobby or learn more about something you’re already interested in. It’s also a fantastic way to socialize and meet new people.

One quick visit to Groupon.com and I guarantee you can find a cooking class that will teach even the most experienced chefs a new trick or two.

How about pottery? Learn how to make beautiful pieces of art with your own two hands for your children or grandchildren, all from the comfort of sitting down.

Photography is just another example of many low-intensity hobbies and classes that are perfect to enjoy during the summer months.

Not everything during the summer has to be outdoors! Our Papa Pals are happy to work with you and your loved ones to figure out the best fit for their interests.

Local Attractions and Events

If you’ve been reading our blog posts for a while you’ve probably seen one featuring your county or city highlighting some of the local activities offered near you.

Read:

Activities for Seniors in Sarasota

Activities for Seniors in Naples

Activities for Seniors in Tampa and St. Petersburg

Activities for Seniors in Miami

Activities for Seniors in Broward

Activities for Seniors in Palm Beach

The summer months are a perfect time to start checking off some of those places worth seeing, and you may even score a summer discount.

Local museums, theatres, and art galleries all offer a day’s worth of fun to be enjoyed by you and your elderly loved ones.

It’s also a good idea to check out your local senior center, as they will typically have fun, senior-friendly events scheduled months in advance that can draw in some larger crowds.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Seniors playing golf

Eventually, you’ve got to get in some time outside during the summer months.

Golf is a great excuse to get together with a few friends and enjoy time together.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’ll also get discounted rates for the off-season.

If you love the water, take an aqua aerobics class. It’s a fun way to be outside and still stay cool while being in a group, getting a light workout, and enjoying the outdoors.

Relax

Senior in hammock

Who says you have to stay active all summer? Part of the fun is taking some time to yourself and relaxing however you see fit.

There’s nothing wrong with an hour or two of TV, reading a book, or playing some board games.

Sometimes companionship is the best thing we can give to our beloved seniors. Our Papa Pals care deeply about the well-being of our loved ones and are more than happy to be a companion in whatever activities they choose during these summer months.

Are you in need of a Papa Pal? Call us today at 1-800-348-7951 to get started and schedule some summer fun for your elderly loved ones!


Downtown Sarasota

Activities for Seniors in Sarasota

Outdoor Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

In the past 10 years, Sarasota County has increased its senior citizen population by five percent, which brought their total senior population up to 35%.

That growth is expected to continue, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Sarasota County offers a ton of outdoor amenities for its senior population that lures retirees to this charming beachside destination.

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Since the founding of the Friendship Centers and SCAN, seniors now have an empowering community to rely on. Both programs open the doors for newcomers to create an environment that keeps the senior population safe, active, and independent.

There are 16 well-kept parks and preserves for seniors to walk, bike, stretch, and even horseback ride.

Many of their parks have paved trails, making the walks easier and accessible, even to those with disabilities.

Myakka River Boat Tours
Myakka River Boat Tours

Be adventurous and take a riverboat tour at Myakka River State Park in Venice, and look out for the alligators, herons, snook, and turtles.

Enjoy a guided nature walk through South Lido Park or Legacy trail and learn more about the plants, birds, and wildlife.

Don’t forget to relax on Siesta Key beach any day of the week. At any local beach, this county provides beach wheelchairs available at every lifeguard stand for no additional cost.

Make sure you visit Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Sarasota Jungle Gardens for a beautiful landscape treat.

Go searching along the rocks for the biggest shark tooth at Caspersen Beach down off Harbor Drive. The Ringling is a must-see because of its constantly changing, family friendly Exhibits and Programs.

Get a senior citizen discount at The Celery Fields and bring a lunch to enjoy a picnic on top of the hill overlooking the scenery.

Because this county is small, it is easy to visit many attractions in each city and feel like you’re at home.

Fun Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

Life is more fun in Sarasota County because it’s home to some of the best wildlife sanctuaries, environmental experiences, and live entertainment.

Head over to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary right next to the Celery Fields and play with the monkeys and lions, or stick to the traditional petting zoo.

Next, go to the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium where you can get an up-close-and-personal experience with over 100 different species of aquatic wildlife.

Ca d'Zan Mansion
Ca d'Zan Mansion

Learn your Sarasota history at Ca d’Zan Mansion, which was a winter home of American circus owner John Ringling and his wife Mable.

The beautiful mansion sits on the water and has preserved artifacts and art from the 20s.

Watch a spring training baseball game at Ed Smith Stadium, home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Learn how to Paddle Board at Sarasota Paddle Boarding and explore mangroves tunnels while watching for manatees and dolphins to swim around you in their natural environment.

Walk around the Sarasota Classic Car Museum and check out the Paul McCartney’s beloved Mini Cooper or John Lennon’s 1965 Mercedes Benz.

Soak in the Warm Mineral Springs in North Port for a relaxing day, and of course, make sure to read a book and tan on Venice beach.

Restaurants and Bars in Sarasota County for Seniors

With many restaurants on the water, this county has a lot of charm and romance to its seniors.

For the best feeling of romanticism visit Siesta Key Island and enjoy a festive atmosphere and great food.

 

Venice Beach Florida
Venice Beach Florida

Go to the Central Sarasota Farmers Market and enjoy nothing but locally and regionally sourced food, art, and entertainment.

This is a great place to mingle with local farmers and learn about a range of topics including health, children’s education, community issues, cooking, and more.

Learn about the history of Drum Circle Distilling with a free senior tour, and then enjoy some of their handcrafted coconut rum.

Finish at Venice for the best waterfront view of the Gulf while dining. You can even go for a swim after your meal!

Cultural Activities in Sarasota County for Seniors

Sarasota County is well-known for its art and culture and considered one of the top places in Florida to experience it.

With plenty of theatres, ballet, museums, and galleries there is no surprise as to why.

Because this county is influenced heavily by the circus man himself, John Ringling, there is a large Venetian & Mediterranean influence visible in its architecture.

Sarasota County is truly a center of art both live and still. When visiting, make sure to check these off of your list:

Sarasota Opera House (Formerly Edwards Theatre)

This is a historic venue opened in 1926 that has hosted the likes of Will Rogers and Elvis Presley. They also offer discounted tours to senior citizens.

Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy

True to its name, this delightful art museum is whimsical in every way. This is also a free exhibit, though donations are encouraged.

Sarasota Orchestra

The Sarasota Orchestra is a major contributor to the arts community in Sarasota County. They offer world-class live performances, music lessons, and host a 3-week long, annual music festival.

Sarasota Orchestra
Sarasota Orchestra

John and Marble Ringling Museum of Art

The Ringling is more than just a circus. Their museum offers beautiful exhibitions and program that change throughout the year. Visit their website to see what’s happening now, and take advantage of their senior citizen special.

Sarasota Ballet

The Sarasota Ballet is now enjoying its 27th season of performances. It is internationally acclaimed for the beautifully composed performances.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

The Van Wezel is host to many of the previously mentioned groups. It is truly an eclectic theatre where you can witness events ranging from comedy to opera to Broadway musicals.

Annual Sarasota Film Festival

This Festival was ranked in the top 10 of all Film Festivals in the world in 2016. Continuously in the top 10% of national Festivals, SFF is truly top-tier offering some of the best independent films to the public.

If you need some help getting around Sarasota or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.


Naples Florida

Senior Activities in Naples Florida

Outdoor Activities in Naples for Seniors

Whether you’re closer to the wilderness or the white-sand beaches, Naples is a city that will give you a small-town feel with its relaxed atmosphere.

It is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, and mainly has seniors older than 65 living here.

Since the creation of the Nonprofit Collier Senior Resources Organization in 2010, senior citizens and caregivers have more resources available to assist their healthcare needs, education, meals, and lifestyle.

The city puts a lot of emphasis on showing seniors how to keep their brains and body sharp through different programs and support groups.

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There are many nature parks and preserves to visit that offer guided tours and meet-ups to socialize while hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and much more.

Make sure to visit Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and sign up for their guided tours ranging from bird walks to exploring the ancient forest.

Have a BBQ at the Naples Preserve, and then walk along the beautiful boardwalk.

Go fishing at Barefoot Beach Preserve and keep a look out for sea turtle’s eggs hatching!

The year-round warm climate provides a full day for enjoyment anytime.

Make sure to take a manatee sightseeing tour, and stay on the lookout for dolphins and alligators.

If you love deep-sea fishing, charter a private boat for the day and visit many old shipwrecks while catching Grouper, Snapper, and Cobia.

The outdoor activities are endless in a city like this because Naples goes above-and-beyond seniors’ expectations when they visit.

Fun Activities in Naples for Seniors

Naples is a trendy city for seniors because of the endless options it has for its residents and visitors.

With nearly 80 golf courses, you can always practice your golf swing. Make sure to check out Tiburon Golf Club and TPC Treviso Bay if you are there for a short time.

Join a book club at the Collier County Public Library, or further your education with their variety of computer literacy, job training, and health classes for seniors.

Believe in fantasy again and watch a performance of a live mermaid show. Get your dancing shoes on and take a class at ReCreation Tappers.

Enjoy the sunset while fishing or dolphin watching at the historic Naples Pier.

Spend time at the Naples Senior Center and the Golden Gate Senior Center and take art classes, play card games, watch movies, and exercise with new friends.

Waterside Shops

Enjoy the outdoors at the Waterside Shops, and find a new outfit for your next rendezvous.

Sweat out the toxins at Naples Family Fitness and take a senior cardio class or senior tone class.

Whether you want to relax or stay active, Naples can scratch that itch!

Restaurants and Bars in Naples for Seniors

One of the great things about Naples is the variety of dining they have. From upscale to casual, their fresh food does not disappoint.

Every weekend senior’s head over to Third Street South on Saturdays, and Pine Ridge Road Farmers Market on Sundays to eat the homemade food and purchase the hand-made items from locals.

Naples farmers markets are always full of great people, and it is a perfect place to walk around and enjoy the weather.

Coconut Point Shops
Coconut Point Shops

Make sure to visit Coconut Point if you’re looking for a great area to dine, shop, and enjoy entertainment.

Whether it’s burgers, freshly caught fish sandwiches, or just enjoying a nice cold brew, Tin City Waterfront Shops will give you what you need. Its casual dining spots and scenic views offer something for everyone.

Wherever you choose to eat in Naples, friendly faces and a relaxed atmosphere will welcome you.

Cultural Activities in Naples for Seniors

Naples is a city that is booming with arts and culture. The city entertains its residents and visitors and changes their art exhibitions regularly.

It always has new performances playing at its multiple theatres too. Here are some places you need to check off your list when you arrive:

Artis Naples

Home of the Baker Museum and the Naples Philharmonic, Artis is the premier center for the performing and visual arts in Southwest Florida.

They host more than 800 concerts, performances, and exhibitions each year so you will never see the same thing twice unless you want to.

TheatreZone

This venue brings back old Tony Awarded Broadway classics that are must-sees if you love musical theatre.

Gulfshore Playhouse

A Nonprofit theatre that adheres to the highest artistic standards and aims to expand your imagination with many performances that will take you on an adventure and inspire you at the same time.

Museum of the Everglades
Museum of the Everglades

Museum of Everglades

Accessible only by boat, this museum dates back to a time when construction of the Tamiami Trail was underway and the tiny settlement of the Everglades served as the first county seat in 1927.

Delve into over 2,000 years of human history in this area and learn more about how this trading town became what it is today.

Naples Depot Museum

This museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, brings visitors back to a time when the railroads were in its prime.

Immokalee Pioneer Museum

Originally home to cattleman Robert Roberts and his family in the early 1900s, this 13-acre historic site and museum tell the story about how people survived out in the Big Cypress Swamp.

If you need some help getting around Naples or Marco Island or if you’re looking for an amazing social experience, visit joinpapa.com and request a college student to show you around town.