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Posted in Senior Wellness | June 2013

Summer camp for the senior set

Summer camp for the senior set
When you think of summer camp, you usually think of crackling bonfires keeping kids toasty warm while they tell ghost stories and eat their weight in sticky s’mores. But did you know that summer camp isn’t just for kids anymore?

Summer camps are, in fact, also for seniors of all ages and abilities. Some, like Camp Sunshine that operates on Ward Island in Toronto, are designed for seniors who can’t afford a cottage holiday or who are in long-term care facilities and don’t have access to fun, outdoor summer activities. These camps provide a chance for seniors, who are sometimes isolated due to disability and circumstance, to get out, meet new people, have fun and stay active within their own communities.

Then there are camps for more active seniors, like Camp Chief Ouray in Colorado. Billed as a camp for people who are, “at least 50 years young”, this YMCA-run program features five days of activities such as archery, yoga, square dancing and nature hikes in a fun and supportive environment where you can be as active or as relaxed as you choose.

Staying active and socially engaged as you age can help you live a longer, healthier life1, so it makes sense to seek out fun, new opportunities to connect with others, get a little exercise and maybe even learn something new! Check with your church or local seniors centre or community center for day camp opportunities in your community, or do an online search for camps for seniors and see what tickles your fancy!

If you’re caring for a senior, consider suggesting the idea of a summer day camp experience. Perhaps do the research yourself and present some ideas you think would be well received. Sometimes a gentle nudge from someone who cares is all it takes to encourage a senior to explore new opportunities that can make a world of difference to their health and emotional well-being.

SOURCES

1 http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/healthy-sante/vision/vision-bref/chap01-eng.php

409548 CAN/US (04/15)

 

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