Authored by Nickie Fleming in Family
Published on 05-01-2009
Just because you’re getting older, it doesn’t mean that you have to sit at home, doing nothing and getting bored stiff. No, there are a lot of things in which seniors can still participate and by doing so, come into contact with others and enjoying themselves.
I’m now talking out of a European viewpoint, but I can imagine that there won’t be a lot of difference in the rest of the world. Immensely popular here are the senior clubs. They organize all kinds of activities for their members, and very often have not only older members.
For those who like some action, there are the physical activity classes. Nearly every center has classes of gymnastics or aerobics for the elderly, even classes of self-defense. Especially these are popular, because it are often the elderly who become a victim of pickpockets. Learning how to defend yourself can given them a boost of self-confidence. And of course, the seniors can also go on a bike tour (and then stop at their favorite restaurant or pub) or can make a nice walk in the company of others.
When the body doesn’t co-operate all that well anymore, there are other activities.
The seniors can join a card club and play bridge or whist. These card games require your mind to stay alert and pay attention to the moves in the game. Or they can form a group to compete in a quiz. Each village or community organizes a quiz once or twice a year – and they are mostly taken very serious! The knowledge of the elderly can come in quite handy at these occasions, and you’ll notice that every quiz group over here has at least one senior in the team.
Another activity for seniors may be the pursuing of your family tree (genealogy). Just because they are retired, they have the time to spend in archives and drive to various places. I have done research on my family too, but just because I’m still working there are things that I can’t do right now – they’ll have to wait until I’m pensioned.
The senior clubs also often make trips with their members. These can be day trips to places that will be of interest to the members, or even trips that last a little longer. These trips may be to a theater performance (our senior prefer opera’s or operetta’s, or events like Night of the Proms), to the Zoo, to towns like Paris or London (or Antwerp and Brussels) – but they should always be accompanied by a stop at a good tearoom where the ladies can have a pancake and coffee and the gentlemen a pint of ale – not to mention a full menu at a reasonable price!
Elder people can also take part in a teaching program that certain schools offer. They like to have elder people in the class, to talk about how they did things before the war (young children don’t know a thing about this). Don’t forget: old age offers a lot of experience!