Category Archives: Family

Who Says Summer is Just for Kids?

Summer can be the best season of all for seniors

The summer is a wonderful time for seniors to go outside, enjoy the fresh air and engage in events and activities, many of which bring back thoughts of favorite childhood memories. Now that the long, hot summer days are in full swing seniors should seize the moment. ISL communities celebrate summer with events and activities that take advantage of the season.

ISL suggests some ideas to make summer enjoyable for seniors

  • Pools, Lakes, and Oceans: If you are trying to plan for summer fun begin with a list of nearby watering holes where you can cool down.
  • Collecting Memories: Often times we only think of the holidays as a time to reminisce. But since so many memories come from summer, write down and share your summer memories with loved ones.
  • Museums: When you think of a cool indoor site you may not immediately think of a museum, but if there is one near you it’s worth checking out summer season specials.
  • Jams, Jellies and Preserves: Seniors were a part of a generation that didn’t allow summer’s bounty to slip through their fingers. Enjoy making jams, jellies, and preserves this summer, and think about teaching someone younger how to do it.
  • Family get-togethers outdoor style: The summertime is a good time to invite family over because you can use the outdoors as part of your entertaining space. Make it easy and ask everyone to bring a favorite dish.
  • Cold Drinks/Cool Cubes: It is especially important for seniors to drink plenty of liquids in the summer heat. Make ice cubes out of your favorite juices or coffee to add a real zip in your next cool drink.
  • Walks: With warm weather and extended daylight, take a walk in the early to mid morning or around dinnertime, avoid midday heat.
  • We all Scream for Ice Cream: Buy a box or two of your favorite ice cream at the grocer or head out for this all American cold treat, it is truly one of life’s pleasures. The all time favorite is still vanilla.
  • Light Reading: Visit the library and pick up a hearted book that fits the mood of the season- light and easy or full of old time summer nostalgia.

Father’s Day Activities for Senior Dads

Instead of buying a gift, accompany your dad on an outing

If your senior dad lives in a longtime residence or in a senior-living facility, he likely lacks the space—or the interest! —In accumulating more stuff. For this Father’s Day on Sunday, June 18, how about taking your dad on a “date” for a fun activity? Here are suggestions for places he might love to visit.

Drive him to visit a friend.

Especially if your dad doesn’t drive much anymore, he’d likely enjoy getting out of the house and being chauffeured to see an old friend, a sibling, or someone he’s fond of but hasn’t seen for a while. Consider bringing a basket of foods to snack on: fresh fruit, cut veggies, cheese, sparkling water—and, if appropriate, beer or wine.

Root for the home team.

If your dad’s a baseball fan, take him to a Major League game. Some cities have minor league teams that are fun to watch and the crowds are not as overwhelming. Or maybe a grandchild, nephew or niece, or neighborhood kid has a nearby Little League game. Enjoy the sunshine, the roar of the crowd, and the salted peanuts.

Head for the water.

Is there a nearby beach, lake, or river? Pack a picnic basket, spread out a blanket, set up portable beach chairs, and watch the sunrays dance on the water.

Visit a winery or microbrewery.

Dads who like an occasional taste of a hard beverage would probably appreciate a tour of a local winery or microbrewery. Many of these places serve lunch or offer snacks—along with free samples of their wares.

Fore!

If your dad’s in fine health and golf is his sport, treat him to a round on a local course. Depending on how good your game is, this excursion might be more fun for him than for you—but maybe he’ll let you zoom around in the golf cart.

Five Habits of Successful, Loving Older Couples

This Valentines Day, remind yourself how stay in love for years

Everyone knows couples who’ve been together for decades—perhaps you’re among them—and whose relationships still seem genuinely happy and harmonious. Our communities are filled with couples and those who understand how love lasts. What behaviors, traits, and tactics might be key to their long-term relationship success? Relationship experts- and many seniors often cite these five habits.

Notice and stay open to changes. Don’t assume your partner is the same person he or she was decades ago—although, of course, there will be similarities. Learn your partner’s goals, dreams, and future plans. Keep in tune with who your partner is in the moment and open yourself to who he or she might become.

Accept the challenges of aging. Vulnerabilities arise over the years. Support each other as you deal with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges and feelings about aging and death. Share thoughts on what lies ahead and face the future as collaborators who will be there for each other throughout the difficulties.

Don’t be afraid to fight fairly. All couples, including the most successful ones, have arguments and conflicts. Happy couples don’t hide from fights. They listen, speak their mind, negotiate, and tell the truth while trying not to be hurtful. After “good fights,” the smoke clears—and issues and complaints tend to get resolved.

Apologize and bounce back. Connected couples don’t shy away from hashing it out, but they also tend to bounce back quickly. They’d rather forego drawn-out grudge holding, pouting, silent punishing, lasting resentments, and late-night “rebound fighting.” These couples get bored with continuous bickering; they’d just as soon get on with being a contented twosome. But apologies are not skipped over. Sincere apologies build respect, empathy, and belief that the other person was truly listening.

Take care of yourself. People in lasting partnerships know their own shortcomings and emotional issues, and take responsibility for seeking counseling and practicing self-help. Strong partners also know that they cannot be “everything” to each other. They create relationships, pursuits, and hobbies that thrive outside of the twosome—and often make the relationship stronger.

Stay Connected with Grandkids this Fall

Tips for keeping in touch once summer is over 

In the summertime, when kids are out of school, grandparents and grandchildren often have more opportunities to visit each other. Many grandparents and grandkids love spending time together during the summer months, but how can you stay close now that fall is here and the kids are back in school?

A 2012 AARP study showed that 45 percent of grandparents live more than 200 miles away from their grandchildren and 80 percent live at least 50 miles away, so if you feel like a long-distance grandparent, you’re not alone. These suggestions can help you feel connected when you’re far away from your grandchildren.

Use technology. If you’re tech-savvy, stay in touch through e-mails, video-chats via Skype sessions, and sharing digital photos. Catch up online with grandkids and post photos on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Another option is to play games together online—your grandkids can probably suggest a few! Of course, old-fashioned phone calls are still fun, but consider filling in phone sessions with texting, a favorite mode of communication among younger phone users.

Snail mail! Be a maverick and send a handwritten letter. Kids don’t get much mail these days, so a getting hand-addressed letter or a card can be super-exciting! Illustrate your letter if you’re clever with drawing—or decorate it with age-appropriate stickers or photos of family or pets.

Read a book at the same time. Let your grandchild choose a book he or she wants to read—or recommend one you liked at a similar age. Use video-chat sessions to either read the book aloud or to discuss the book as you go. You can also talk about the book via emails or on Facebook.

Stay in touch with your own kids. Your grandchildren’s parents can your best allies in helping you maintain contact with your grandkids. Your kids will likely be thrilled to keep you informed of events in your grandchildren’s lives, which gives you conversation-starters when you communicate with your grandkids.  

Share your hobby—or take up a hobby together. Teach your grandkids an art, craft, sport, pastime, or activity you love or talk about a personal passion—horses, music, robots, science, collecting, gardening, etc. Or encourage grandkids to show you a pastime they love. You might find common ground for a shared hobby you can pursue and discuss for years to come.