Making the move to an assisted living community doesn't mean you or your family member are bound by visits on the premises. And even though you or your loved one may enjoy community activities such as game days, gentle exercise classes and movie nights, it's nice to get out and about every once in awhile. Some assisted living communities offer day trips that you can take part in, while others encourage families to occasionally spend time together outside of the community. Here are a few day trip ideas for seniors in assisted living communities:
A meal at a restaurant
A nice lunch at a local restaurant is a great way to spend time with family or friends. Plan ahead to accommodate you or your loved one's physical or mental challenges. Check for restaurants that are wheelchair or walker accessible if you have mobility issues, as well as seating where a senior would be comfortable sitting for an hour or two.
Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are a plus, as is a menu that will allow seniors to eat healthily. Family members should consider dietary restrictions such as sugar-regulated diets, a low fat diet or low sodium nutrition plan. If you're not familiar with your loved one's dietary needs, ask staff at the assisted living community what kind of meals are OK to take part in during a breakfast or lunch out.
Museum floors can be hard on your feet, so plan accordingly.
Get a cultural fix by heading to a museum for a couple of hours. Local art museums, history museums, science museums or the aquarium are all great places to bring the family together. If you have young children in your family, you may want to head to a kids' museum with learning opportunities, or museums with kids' areas where the little ones can stay entertained.
Museum floors can be hard on your feet, so plan accordingly. If you or your loved one sometimes uses a wheelchair, strongly consider bringing the wheelchair along on any visit outside of the assisted living community so the senior can relax while still taking in the sights.
If you or your family member are overwhelmed by crowds or loud noises, try visiting cultural spots on weekdays or right when the museum opens to avoid any hectic scenes.
Speaking of quiet atmospheres, going to the library for a bit is a great way to explore the local area. Going to a library with a family member – this kind of outing is best with just one or two extra people – can be relaxing and fun. Libraries sometimes put on events that you can go to, or you can simply browse through the shelves looking for your next read.
You can also make going to the library a regular outing for seniors. Check out a few books and head back a couple of weeks later to return them and check out new books or DVDs. Or, as an alternative, on their next regular visit, family members can pick up the books and drop them off on seniors' behalf. A quiet atmosphere that still feels social and different makes a library a perfect location for seniors to spend a couple of hours.
Local bus tours
If you or your family member haven't been out and around the town for a while, try a local bus tour to show you the sights. Even if you think you know your town or city well, seeing the sights through the eyes of a tourist can be fun and illuminating. You can choose from history tours to architecture tours, nature tours and more. Sitting in a comfortable bus seat with temperature control is probably your best bet, so put in a bit of research before you climb aboard.
Relaxing activities are perfect for finding some entertainment, and matinee movies can be enjoyable options for seniors. Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show.
A matinee play is another option that can be mentally stimulating without being physically trying. Before you buy tickets, call the theater to make sure you can get an accessible seat if necessary. Plays, symphonies or the ballet are also an opportunity to bring the family together to enjoy a cultural experience and to form bonding memories you'll hold onto for years to come.