Everyone knows the meaning of a vacation… trips to new and exotic locations where people explore and relax. Vacations usually cost a lot of money and require much planning.
However, around 2008, during the downturn in the economy, the word staycation was often used. It was a reference to making time in one’s hometown like a vacation, without having to pay for a place to stay. It allowed one to do activities that might have been taken for granted previously. Actually, many people discovered the wonderful resources in their own community.
Summer is when people are talking about their family vacations, both present and past. Extended family may be a choice group to travel with, but don’t think it is the only option. There are travel agencies that have tours designed especially for seniors.
A vacation might be a cruise to the Bahamas, a week at White Lake or a weekend at Myrtle Beach. A stay-cation could be a day trip to Raleigh to the Museums, to Asheboro to the Zoo or a tour of our lovely Cape Fear Botanical Gardens. Traveling is fun for some but may not be the answer for everyone.
An idea might be to organize a back yard ladies luncheon with some friends who do not get together often. Fayetteville has the Airborne Museum on Hay Street and the Lu Mil Vineyard or Harmony Hall in Bladen County to visit.
Instead of a trip, some seniors might prefer to learn a new skill by enrolling in a class during the summer. Classes can range from technology classes, pottery classes, sewing classes, piano or Spanish lessons. There are a wide variety of options, one just needs to know where to look.
So what can a senior do around here?
· Join a neighborhood Senior Club through the Fayetteville Cumberland County Parks and Recreations Center.
· Enroll in a Continuing Education class at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
· Inquire about trips through your religious organization.
· Organize your friends to go on an excursion.
· Inquire at a local business about a subject desired to learn and start searching for teachers.
· Contact an agency with professional caregivers to assist in arranging events that are appropriate.
An important thing about summer is having something fun to look forward to and to socialize with old or new friends. As these activities occur, the senior is making new memories and building relationships with others. Remaining active and engaged with people and activities keeps spirits high and the mind stimulated. When the summer is over, reflecting upon a great memory can bring much happiness. It can also inspire the senior to start planning for the summer of 2016.
Contributed by Martha Owen & Susan Guy of Home Instead Senior Care.