ParentCare » Vol 63

Warm weather offers chances to socialize

Liz Foss

We are all told how good exercise is for us. Some of us embrace exercise; others (like me) have a complicated relationship with it. Weather is a big factor — too hot, too cold, raining, slippery conditions — any excuse will do! Still, as the warm weather approaches, I vow to establish a regular exercise routine, or at least get out to do enjoyable things while the weather is nice.

But some people have more legitimate reasons than I do to be challenged by exercise. With age comes limited mobility for many. Others are at risk for getting lost or simply can’t drive.

Of course, enjoying the nice weather doesn’t have to involve exercise. Sometimes, just sitting outside with neighbors gives you the right amount of socialization, which is known to be good for what ails you. You can still get back home easily if you’re done being neighborly or stay longer if you want to keep putting off that housework. I have observed so many times neighbors looking out for one another, whether it is bringing in the paper, offering to get some groceries or just doing a wellness check. Sometimes, it is the neighbors who are the single factor that enables someone to stay at home.

Besides hanging out with the neighbors, here are some fun things to do when the weather is nice.

Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, Boylston
Tower Hill is handicapped-accessible in most areas and has a fabulous new space called The Court: A Garden Within Reach. The Court is a universally accessible space for peace, beauty and learning, featuring signature Tower Hill plantings, innovative moveable planters and other elements that represent solutions for mobility-challenged gardeners. For more information, visit towerhillbg.org.

Elm Park and Institute Park, Worcester
Elm Park and Institute Park are easy to get to and have lots of benches and walking paths. There’s always good people-watching. Often, there are concerts and outside art displays.
Take a cruise
There are some great cruise opportunities in Boston — Boston Harbor Cruises and The Spirit of Boston, which offer whale watching, harbor cruises and trips to the harbor islands. These ships are generally handicapped accessible. Closer to home, try the Indian Princess on Webster Lake. This boat is run out of Indian Ranch in Webster, which is also a fun place to go for outdoor concerts.

Enjoy the areas lakes
Watch the sailboats on Lake Quinsigamond. Go to Regatta Point State Park on North Lake Avenue in Worcester to sit and picnic by Lake Quinsigamond. Of course, there are numerous lakes in the area, many with public areas where you can picnic, cool off and swim if you like.

Dine outside
Worcester is continuing to add interesting restaurants and cafes. Many have outside seating in the good weather. Many establishments on Shrewsbury Street serve “al fresco,” as well as some in the up-and-coming Canal District. And the above-mentioned Tower Hill has outside tables at Twigs Café, as does the café at the Worcester Art Museum.

Alz Meet Ups
Alz Meet Ups, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association, offer a unique and enjoyable opportunity for participants to connect with others who are also living with mild memory loss. The program includes art, nature, lectures and fitness events. To get started, discover Alz Meet Ups happening near you, attend an education program, create your plan with an expert or get involved with the cause by visiting alztoday.org.

Liz Foss runs the Worcester area Seniors Helping Seniors, a non-medical, in-home care agency. Having worked as an accountant for nonprofits for many years, Foss now has her own business, which hires active seniors to help people remain in their homes for as long as possible. Seniors Helping Seniors provides services in Worcester County. For more information, visit seniorshelpingseniors.com/worcesterarea, call (508) 885-6004 or email Foss at shs.foss@gmail.com.

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