When thinking about ageing, what comes to mind? Do we think of slowing down, staying at home more, developing illnesses that we’ve only heard about from our parents or grandparents? Most of us probably do, and when described in this way it sounds like something to avoid wherever possible. In reality, growing older is so much more and there’s a lot to be celebrated!
Here are some common misconceptions regarding growing older:
- “Ageing means poor health and disability.”
- “Ageing means not enjoying the things I used to.”
- “Memory loss is inevitable when growing older.”
- “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
In actuality, ageing does not automatically mean the inevitability of declining health or memory loss. These things may happen, but they are not guaranteed. Enjoyment is certainly not something that fades with age. If your loved one took pleasure in sports when they were younger, the chances are they will still enjoy it now. As for teaching an old dog new tricks, the truth is the opposite! Ageing also brings wisdom, life experience and confidence – the capability to learn new things is not age dependent!
At Careline, we’re here to show you that growing older is something to look forward to, and there are so many activities to enjoy not only as an older person, but with an older person. It’s important to stay active and remain social so whether you’re looking for ideas for a fun day out with your partner, parent or grandparent, we’ve got some great ideas on what you can do to have fun!
Adults aged 65 or older who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility should try to be active daily and should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week.”
The NHS also has a handy Fitness Studio with exercise videos included for beginners. Moderate exercise comes in a range of activities, these can include:
- Ballroom and line dancing
- Pushing a lawn mower
- Water aerobics
Interestingly, these guidelines also apply to people aged 19-64, so these sports can be enjoyed by everyone. If you’re trying to encourage a loved one to take up a new hobby, why not do so with them? Just remember to consult with a GP before starting a new exercise regime.
If you’re looking to do something different then a day trip is something to consider. If you don’t like the sound of travelling, there is sure to be something nearby or if you’re interested in travelling further afield, the UK is bursting with activities.
Museums and Stately Homes
Great Britain is home to a plethora of stately homes, hundreds of historic castles and plenty of museums (a lot of which are free to enter!). If you’re looking for inspiration for a family day out which is suitable for the older generation we’ve got some ideas for you, and best of all they’re free!
- The National Gallery, London.
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham.
- Walking tour of Bath, Somerset.
- House of Godolphin, Cornwall.
The National Trust has over 200 gardens to visit around the UK, so no matter where you’re based there’s bound to be something near you! Garden walks are not only enjoyable, but a great way to exercise and socialise.
Being outside has huge benefits for your health! Vitamin D, which our body creates from direct sunlight on our skin, helps your body function more efficiently, as it maximises calcium absorption and promotes bone and dental health. It can also improve mood and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Nature can lower stress levels and improve blood pressure as the body doesn’t have to work as hard as it does inside indoor polluted environments. Endorphins in the body will also be pumped up and feeling good from all of the moving and excising being done.
Some other great ideas for a day trip are:
- A day at the races.
- Afternoon tea.
- A trip to France via the Euro Tunnel.
- A day at the seaside.
- A river trip or boat hire.
- If your loved one is feeling particularly active, you could even treat them to an adventure such as Go Ape, or Zip World (home of the longest zip wire in the northern hemisphere).
Ageing doesn’t mean that dreams of travelling the world are over! In fact, later life is the perfect time to travel as it’s more likely that time will be available to do so. Holidays are good for your health due to the fact that they relieve stress. A range of studies have found that people who don’t take regular holidays are more likely to suffer with heart disease.
They are also great for catching up on sleep and increasing productivity – people can feel their most inspired whilst on holiday. Holidays are also the perfect opportunity to try out some new activities such as scuba diving, surfing or kayaking!
As an older person, it’s likely that your relative may need a little extra help when it comes to planning a holiday, but there are lots of options out there. Escorted tours are a fantastic choice, with most companies offering coach trips included and a door to door service. This means that you can be picked up from your front door and guided along the way, with a tour manager taking care of the logistics and complicated things!
Cruise ships are a great place to make friends, with like-minded people of a similar age, and most have many activities pre-planned on board! Coach trips are similarly very convenient as you’re able to see lots of sites without the hassle of driving to them all.
If your loved one would like to enjoy a hobby whilst on holiday, why not choose a holiday package tailor made? SmoothRed offer wine tasting holidays across Europe where you can learn about wine along the way, Brightwater Holidays offer a unique Garden experience working closely with the Royal Horticultural Society and if you’re a fan of dancing Personal Touch can tailor make a trip depending on the hobby or activity!
Loneliness can be detrimental to your health, with some experts suggesting that it can be as bad as smoking a pack a day. It can lead onto real health issues, both mental and physical. Socialising and attending group activities are a great way to make friends, reduce the risk of stroke and boosting your immune system.
Depending on your loved one’s likes and dislikes, you could find them a group to join to help them stay active – this may be something you can join as well and enjoy it together. There are hundreds of groups and hobbies out there, so here are some we recommend:
- Join a games group – Whether it be board games or puzzles, they’re a great way to exercise the mind and make new friends whilst doing so!
- Take a day trip somewhere – See our ideas for day trip locations above.
- Go to exercise classes – We are all aware of the benefits of exercising and doing so as a group means socialising at the same time. You’re never too old to have a “gym buddy.”
- Join a walking club – Walking is a great way to exercise gently without putting strain on the body. Join a local group and walk through the scenic surroundings whilst meeting new people.
- Have a murder mystery night – A great way to bring a group closer by working together to solve a mystery!
- Try a new restaurant or plan a night at the cinema – Perhaps give your parent or grandparent a nudge to invite their new friend from the walking club.
- Take a day trip somewhere – See above our ideas for day trip locations.
When your loved ones aren’t out enjoying themselves, make sure they are safe at home. Our personal alarms are a perfect way to make sure there is always somebody to help in an emergency. If you’d like more information, please give our Customer Services team a call on 0800 101 3333. Alternatively, you can order Careline today.