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Published October 22nd 2018
Here is some inspiration for outings with your elderly folk
I received lots of views for my article 25 Ideas for Outings with Oldies, so thought I would do another one for Spring. Of course, anyone can go and do these outings, however, I have created this list especially for people who need some ideas to take their older relatives and friends on a pleasant outing. I have kept mobility in mind and also facilities such as refreshments and toilets. After a long cold winter, most of which was spent indoors, older people love to get out and warm their bones. Hooray for Spring.
Oldies love to get out into nature. Image by Kat May.
Don't make the outing too long. A short outing of two or three hours is usually long enough.
Always make sure there is something to eat and drink. I was recently at a shopping mall and sat on a bench to have a drink. An old lady had been taken for a shopping trip and was left for a few moments on the seat alone. "Oh, I am so thirsty," she said as she eyed off my fruit juice. Older people love a home-made cake or slice in a tin. A thermos flask of hot water for a cuppa make for a perfect and cheap outing. You don't have to spend a lot of money.
Spring days can still be breezy and chilly, especially if going to the beach or the hills, and later in the afternoon. Always take a cardigan shawl or light jacket.
Rose gardens are a lovely outing for oldies. Image by Kat May.
Spring gardens make us feel a sense of renewal and are so pretty to see. I have yet to meet an oldie who does not love gardens or to see pretty flowers. See my list here of Spring gardens in the country or choose one from the Open Gardens website here.
Barossa Bushgardens is in Nuriootpa.
If you live north, go on the Sturt Highway until you get to the second Nuriootpa exit which is after the Greenock turnoff. This will take you down the garden which is all native and bushland style. The paths here are all flat ground and it is easy to walk around. They have just opened a dementia-friendly garden here, with lots of lovely things to see and touch. Toilets are in Coutland Park next door, but you have to drive to there is no access across the creek.
The Tram Museum at St Kilda.
A lovely little afternoon out to walk around to view the many old trams and have a ride on one. A good excursion for grandparents and the kids.
Sunday Sessions at the Mercury Cinema.
Over 50s are only $7 at the special Seniors on Screen program. It runs on some weekdays but if you can't make it due to work during the week, they have a good deal on a Sunday. You can take your senior and get in yourself for only $10 on a Sunday. See here for the program.
A bakery crawl sounds like fun. Image of Gluten's Freed Cakes by Kat May
For this idea, you can select some bakeries near you and drive around to at least three. Type the word "bakery" in the WeekendNotes search box and you will find many. Go inside and choose a different treat at each one. Then stop at a park you have never been to, ideally with toilets. All council websites have a list of their parks. Set a table with a tea cloth, some china plates and a thermos of tea for a special treat.
Centennial Park Rose Garden.
A visit here during Spring is a nice little outing to view the many roses in bloom. It is also a good opportunity as you stroll around with your loved ones or friends and talk about the subject of death. Oldies like to talk about death as they are often hushed up about this topic and believe me, it is something they may have on their mind. Allow them to talk and ask open-ended questions to encourage some discussion.
This garden at the rear of Mt Barker hospital has easy waking paths. Image by Kat May
Try a beach drive with some views of the sea. Stop for a while and read the newspaper and eat some doughnuts. Or perhaps a beer and some prawns. Many beaches along Hove and Brighton have easy access ramps to walk down which is not too far to the water or beach walks. And the marina at North Haven is nice.
More Water Trips.
Go look at the water at the river or the dams. You can drive all the way to the weir on the Torrens to see the water overflowing. Take a walk on the Linear Park to see the river or drive up the hills to see the dams at Williamstown or Kangaroo Creek.
The Torrens Weir on Memorial Drive has easy access by car, and a kiosk. Image by Kat May.
New Home Displays or Retirement Villages.
Building display homes make a great outing to wander and look at. If oldies are thinking of moving or need a little incentive, try visiting some retirement villages and see the display units and facilities. Some have special open days over Spring and early Summer. They might even like it.
Yum Cha at a Chinese Restaurant.
Many older people love to go out for lunch. Many Asian restaurants have great lunch deals or try a Yum Cha meal at lunch. If they live in a care home, oldies can long for food they do not usually get served at the home, so take them somewhere unusual.
Noodles for lunch? Image by Kat May.
A Garden Nursery.
Many nurseries have a cafe and it is nice to wander around at look at the new pots of Spring colour. Try Virginia Nursery or Newmans Nursery at Tea Tree Gully. Perhaps they may like to buy some punnets of petunias or a tomato for a pot. People who used to have a garden may miss it and want to grow something again. A pot or two of flowers brings that Spring feeling into your life and is something to look after.
A concert or music recital.
Once the weather warms up there are many concerts outdoors in parks or during weekdays in theatres. Try local council events website pages, church events or Out Of The Square community arts in Adelaide here.
A Train Ride.
Older blokes especially love a good train ride. You do not have to go anywhere in particular. Just park the car at a station that has easy access and go for a ride. Sit somewhere with a good view and look out the window. Pull a snack out of your bag, like a packet of crisps or popcorn, and they will be happy. Pop in a couple of fruit juice boxes too. You can get off somewhere for a short walk and sit in the sun. Ahh, that warm sun. What a fun cheap outing. It's free for seniors if they have a seniors card to travel between 9am and 3pm.
Well, there are a few ideas to get you inspired. If you have made any outings with your seniors that suit Spring time please list them in the comments below. Anything with fresh air, a little warm sunshine and a little snack are good. Something different and new to see is always a welcome outing. And take some photos.