Activities and programming for seniors and older adults have gotten pretty sophisticated in recent years. No longer are arts and crafts, cards and bingo the only social activities or options for seniors. Rather today’s seniors and older adults, including baby boomers who are retiring in record numbers, take advantage of the wide range of social activities and programming available in their communities and worldwide, some more appropriate than others, customized according to individual and group preferences and level of functioning.
Want to learn more about senior and older adult group activities? Check out these Top 5 Group Activities for Seniors and Older Adults. Sure to inspire you or your loved ones to get active, involved and connected.
Elderhostel (Now Road Scholar)
For more than 35 years, Elderhostel (now Road Scholar) has been offering edu-travel opportunities for seniors and retired persons worldwide. Today, Road Scholar hosts 8,000 educational tours in the United States and 90+ countries. Road Scholar programs win top marks for providing great opportunities to learn, travel and connect with others. Over 50? Looking for something new and different to do in post-retirement? Check out Road Scholar programs for you and your family.
YMCA has some great programs for older adults, developed in response to a booming over-65 membership. Most YMCAs offer specialized programs for older adults, including Older Adult Fitness, Older Adults Sports, and Arthritis Fitness Aquatics, among many others. Each program requires different clothing and equipment. In the United States alone, there are more than 2,600 independent and autonomous YMCAs staffed by 20,000 full and part time staff and 500,000 volunteers covering 10,000 communities nationwide. Check in with your local YMCA for more information on great programming and events for seniors and older adults.
Check out your local community college for senior and older adult programming and lifelong learning programs. Throughout the United States there are 1173 community colleges that serve a diverse student and lifelong learning population. While the average age of community college student is 28, more than 16% of community college enrollees are over 40. 56% are women. Advances in technology combined with an evolving mission means that many community colleges are hosting programs online and off campus. That means, seniors and older adults are increasingly looking to community colleges for a host of educational and programming needs. And, today’s community colleges are delivering.
Senior Corps offers opportunities to seniors and older adults with people and organizations that need them most. Begun during John F. Kennedy’s Administration, Senior Corps encourages seniors and older adults to become mentors, coaches or companions, or contribute their incredible skills and expertise to community groups in need. Senior Corps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that connects Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back. Senior Corps includes the popular Foster Grandparents program, among others.
American Red Cross
With 700 local chapters, the American Red Cross offers lots of ways that today’s seniors and older adults can make a difference, learn new skills and help out in their local communities. Volunteers, many of whom are seniors and older adults long since retired, help the American Red Cross carry out its mission locally and world wide. Check out your local chapter of the American Red Cross for more information on ways that seniors and older adults can get connected and make a difference.
American Association of Retired Persons
National Institutes of Health
Ages & Stages, Seniors
Food and Nutrition Center, US Department of Agriculture
Top 10 Best Senior Social Networking Sites and Online Tools
By M.G. Hardiman for Associated Content (February 10, 2010)