Bethesda: Focused on Staying Active in Autumn
Staying active is one of the keys to being healthy and happy, no matter the time of year! That’s why Bethesda’s retirement communities are dedicated to the pursuit of seasonal activities for senior residents to enjoy with loved ones, friends, and their fellow residents. According to Sandra Zanzie, Activities Director at Bethesda Orchard and Bethesda Gardens, there are lots of fun and stimulating ideas that seniors can do with their families at home as well.
Seniors tend to become less active when the weather cools, Sandra said. Therefore, it’s important to be creative and find interesting new activities to pursue, and the changing seasons can be a good source of inspiration for those new pursuits.
“Driving trips are great – especially ones that showcase the fall foliage,” Sandra said, also mentioning that Halloween is a great theme for activities. She has scheduled an author to visit residents to talk about the spooky stories surrounding St. Louis’ Lemp family and other Halloween tales. Sandra highlighted opportunities for fall and holiday-themed day trips abound in this area. “Hometown pride should always be promoted as much as possible.”
Enjoy the Fall Foliage: Staying Active Indoors & Outdoors
At Bethesda Terrace, residents enjoy seasonal activities as well. However, according to Ruth Nickel, Activity Director at Bethesda Terrace, the residents look forward to a consistent schedule of events.
“Our typical monthly schedule includes shopping trips, bus rides, and going out to dinner at local restaurants, which the residents really enjoy,” said Ruth. “We go to the River City Casino and to museums, and our group really enjoys Wii bowling and playing cards.”
All of those activities are things seniors can do with their families that require little – if any – advance planning. If a car isn’t handy, a walk around the block or even looking out an open window can be just as satisfying.
“Our residents love to see the colors change, and then there are always the Christmas lights,” added Ruth. “But even if the senior doesn’t go out much to enjoy the cooler weather, just opening the window and allowing the fall breeze to waft in stimulates the senses.”
Time Together is Time Well Spent
Both agreed that whatever activity is pursued, it should be pursued with family or friends whenever possible, as it is the act of spending time with someone you care about is often more important that the activity itself.
“It’s often not what you do as much as it is doing something with another person or people that seniors find stimulating,” Sandra said. “Personal friendships are deeply meaningful, and feeling like a person is the part of the community that nourishes their sense of belonging.”