Social and Recreation
Social isolation may contribute to frailty. If you don’t use your social muscles, you lose them.
It is important that both you and your loved one stay physically and socially active. Most cities and towns offer social, physical, and hobby-based groups such as fitness, cooking and crafting classes at local community centres, legions, and seniors centres. Remaining active and social within your community can increase your health, wellness, and quality of life. Community Links has developed Fitness in the Kitchen, a handy exercise guide that will help keep you fit from the comfort of your own home. Also, the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors publishes annually the Positive Aging Directory, which gives Nova Scotians quick and easy access to the many programs and services for seniors in the province, including a wide variety of recreational opportunities.
We simply can't say enough about Adult Day Programs! Along with providing a lower-cost, safe, social, and active environment for your loved one, an ADP also provides you with a break. Many caregivers have been surprised to find how well their loved one responds to an ADP, even if they are reluctant at first, and how much they enjoy social activities. Perhaps your loved one may not be talking much because you have heard all their stories before. They might enjoy a new audience.
We encourage you to talk with the ADP Coordinator or ask about coming for a visit. The ADP Coordinator will be a great source of information on how to broach the conversation and what points to make to encourage your loved one to attend. More information and contacts for Adult Day Programs across Nova Scotia can be found on our website.
Now it’s time to think about what you have given up socially to be a caregiver - Tuesday lunch with friends, your quilting group, swimming twice a week? Your wellness is also anchored in healthy social relationships and outings.
You may have been involved in activities you shared with your loved one, such as dancing or playing bridge, and they may no longer be able to take part. You may have become so immersed in the caregiving role for so long you have forgotten what you like to do.
What would you do if you had a few minutes or hours to yourself? We have created a list of recreational and self-care activities, Wellness Doesn’t Just Happen, organized by how much time you have to spare. Revisit a much-loved activity or become inspired to try something new!
You may be struggling to find the words to express to friends why you are not able to take part in their social lives. The Caregiver’s Letter to a Friend may help you explain to your friends that, although you value your friendship, you are not available right now.