Have you ever noticed that the more we age, the more likely we are to enjoy staying home & not bothering with outings that involve getting ready or interacting with the public at large? It can be exhausting to get ready to leave the house or apartment. It can be exhausting to schedule everything we need, including transportation & provision for food, especially on a fixed income. Oftentimes we just give up and don't try. This is common in those who are aging, but generally speaking, after we've taken the steps to make arrangements & gotten out of the house, we have a grand time! So, where are some places that we can frequent in order to get out of the house & have something to look forward to?
- Almost every community has a museum or two that are of interest to the public. Some of these are historical museums and others may be art museums, but either way, they normally have subjects of interest that can evoke hours of delight in learning & perhaps even sharing information with others. Before going, be sure to contact the museum to see if they have easy accessibility for the elderly or if you have to make special accommodations in order to enjoy it more.
- Arboretums, botanical gardens, garden tours. Many times larger cities will have botanical gardens or arboretums that are beautiful and peaceful places to visit. You can learn much from an afternoon spent in one of these places. If you live in a smaller community, they often have garden tours through gardens at different properties. Make accommodation if you're going to one of these so that walking will be easier. Aviarys or butterfly houses might also be of interest if you're looking for a peaceful outing.
- Libraries, bookstores. If you're looking for an afternoon indoors when there is inclement weather, these can be the most rewarding places to spend the day! Ask the librarian to teach you something new about audio books, how to use the modern card catalog, or go and look in the reference room at newspapers from former years!
- Parks or nature areas. Are you up for some fresh air & sunshine? Ask a good friend to go for a walk with you at a beautiful park near you. If you're especially energetic, bring along a picnic lunch or a snack.
- Historical places. Do you have old chapels, cathedrals or courthouses in your community? Find out if they give tours & learn more about the history of your area.
- Community events. Some communities have certain events that are a big deal in that particular area. Things like peach festivals, harvest festivals, etc. often have activities that are open to the public and free. Try to get a festival guide in advance & plan which things you'd like to do and that are within your interest and energy level. You don't have to participate in everything, but a few things might just be enjoyable to you.
- Visit a friend or family member. If you're not up for doing the things listed above, perhaps just call up a friend to see if they'd like to get together for tea or coffee & talk about old times. It can be just the perfect thing to give you a “pick-me-up”!
Whatever you choose to do, make an effort to get out and about. It will encourage you, but it will also encourage those around you to be more engaged in their community!