Social and Recreation
Social isolation can contribute to frailty and if you don’t use your social muscles you lose them.
It’s 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 crafts classes at local community centres, legions, and seniors centres.
Staying active and social in 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. Each year the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors publishes the Positive Aging Directory. This Directory gives Nova Scotians quick and easy access to the many programs and services for seniors in the province, including a variety of recreational activities.
We simply can't say enough about Adult Day Programs (ADPs)! Besides providing a low-cost, safe, social, and active environment for your loved one, an ADP can also provide you with a break. Many caregivers have been surprised to find how much their loved one enjoys the social activities involved in an ADP, even if they are reluctant at first. Maybe you and your loved one aren’t talking much these days because you’ve heard their stories over and over. Chances are they will enjoy a new audience.
We encourage you to talk to the ADP Coordinator or ask about coming for a visit. The ADP Coordinator will be a great source of information on how to start 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’ve given up socially to be a caregiver. Maybe Tuesday lunch with friends, your quilting group or swimming twice a week? Your wellness also depends on healthy social relationships and outings.
You may have shared activities with your loved one like dancing or playing bridge, that they can’t do with you now. You may have become so involved in the caregiving role for so long that you’ve forgotten what you like to do.
What would you do if you had a few minutes or hours to yourself? Wellness Doesn’t Just Happen is a list of recreational and self-care activities we've created, organized by how much time you have to spare. Revisit a much-loved activity or why not 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 the friendship, you are not available right now.