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Celebrate Spring with a Senior Loved One
Spring is finally in full swing! With flowers blooming and warmer, sunnier days, there are many more outdoor activities you can enjoy. The vaccine is available to every American adult over age 16, and over half of the population is at least partially vaccinated. After refraining from travel and quarantining in their homes or assisted living communities for over a year, many seniors are now looking to find meaningful and enjoyable ways to enjoy the spring.
There are still many creative ways to spend your time that you probably haven’t explored. It’s always a good time to catch up on reading, clean out closets, or perform other “spring cleaning” tasks to organize your life. You can still find numerous ways to be creative about the activities you choose. Invite other vaccinated friends over or your grandchildren from a single household.
For backyard fun, in addition to planning your flower beds and light gardening, you can create your own garden paradise by adding bright flowers, bird feeders, or water features and fountains. If you use a wheelchair, relax your feet in a kiddie pool while breathing the fresh, spring air. At Grand Oaks, we have a gardening group and weekly opportunities for our residents to enjoy gardening.
It’s a great time to be with your loved ones while following CDC guidelines and share fun activities like facials, baking, or woodworking with grandchildren. Even after a year at home, you can still try new crafting projects like crocheting, scrapbooking, or DIY projects like decoupage, decorative frames, or making homemade soap.
If your grandchildren are spending the night, consider backyard camping, movie nights, and playing dress-up with vintage clothes. Instead of traveling, find recipes from other countries, invite your friends or family over from a single household, and have a potluck theme where you exchange cuisines from other countries. Grand Oaks offers a variety of activities for residents to stay connected with nature and celebrate spring.
With vaccinations distributed worldwide, many countries have eased their travel restrictions. For example, depending on the destination, fully vaccinated Americans can travel internationally without a pre-travel COVID-19 test and don’t need to quarantine upon arrival. However, when they return to the U.S., even though they won’t need to quarantine, American citizens must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 prior to boarding a plane.
Masks and social distancing are still required in public places. Even fully-vaccinated individuals should not attend medium or large-sized gatherings or visit indoors unmasked with people at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Despite travel restrictions easing for Americans traveling abroad, the CDC still assesses most international countries at the Level 4 or Level 3 risk assessment level. This means all travel or all nonessential travel to other countries should be avoided. Before planning to travel, get familiar with CDC guidelines and U.S. Department of State guidelines for international travelers.
Smart Travel Tips for Seniors
- Make sure all travel documents, including passports and/or passport cards, are valid.
- Bring an ample supply of medications to cover the duration of your trip, plus a few extra days in case of delays.
- Medicare is not valid outside of the U.S., except in very limited circumstances, so obtain medical and dental healthcare that will cover you overseas.
- Bring all information about your medical conditions and medications from your doctor in case of an emergency.
- Beware of scammers who target seniors for money in exchange for something of personal gain (ex: helping someone in trouble).
- Leave emergency contact information and a copy of your passport information with family or friends.
- Carry emergency contact and medical information with you at all times.
- Beware of accessibility and accommodation restrictions.
Spring is a wonderful season to celebrate special times with your senior loved ones. Local options or nearby destinations are also popular choices for afternoon, evening, or weekend fun. You might explore your city better by visiting local parks. There are many surrounding outdoor destinations at national parks, botanical gardens, or beaches.
This spring might even be a good time to rent an RV with your adult children, caregiver, or grandchildren and take a road trip with family from a single household. As Tolstoy reflected, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”