Written by Bonnie Tse.
There is Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even Children’s Day celebrated in certain cultures. If there is a day to honor our seniors, it would be in May. May is Older Americans Month and we are sharing fun ways you can spend time with your grandparents and seniors in your life. Here are a few healthy activities to do together.
- Plan trips. Visiting new places and exploring scenic routes can help motivate everyone to stay physically active. You do not have to go far to plan a local trip. There are also many parks, museums and attractions in the city that offer senior discounts. Check out the NYC website for more information and a list of senior friendly activities.
- Cook and eat meals together. Your grandparents may be culinary experts of your family recipes. Find a day when the whole family can learn recipes and cook together. Challenge your seniors, family members or yourself to see if you can make heart-healthy versions of your family’s favorite dishes. Read our fact sheets for tips on how to lower sodium and fat in your meals.
- Discover new hobbies and interests together. Learning something new is always exciting. For seniors, whether it’s learning a new language, skill or hobby, keeping the brain mentally active helps to improve their memory. Take classes together at your local library or recreation center. Many recreation centers in the city offer seniors low to no-cost membership fees. Our Health Center also has free health educational workshops that you and your grandparents can attend. We cover different health topics such as healthy eating, diabetes management, stroke prevention and blood sugar control. View our workshop schedule here.
- Plan a family volunteer day. Volunteering provides a meaningful experience that is often linked to better health. The act of giving one’s time and energy to support a cause builds our self-confidence and sense of achievement. Volunteering brings people together and shows that every individual, regardless of age, is capable of making a difference. For seniors, volunteering also gives them an opportunity to meet new people and do activities they like. Make it a family tradition to volunteer at a local organization. Visit the NYC website for a list of volunteer organizations and fun opportunities.
At the end of the day, any activity you do together is irreplaceable. Celebrate Older Americans Month with your grandparents or a senior you love today.
Written by Bonnie Tse. Bonnie Tse is part of the Health Education Department at the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Science from Hunter College.