The World Health Organization shattered routines and halted social lives when it declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, and the ensuing year has been one of social distancing and enhanced safety precautions. But that’s changing.
With vaccination rates on the rise and new CDC guidelines issued, opportunities to resume pre-pandemic activities abound in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. So before the dog days of summer set in, here are just a few ways senior citizens and their families or caregivers can begin reengaging in their local community and creating their “new normal.”
Drink Tea in the Garden
Take in the amazing views of the Dallas Arboretum on a full stomach with this seated three-course tea experience (complete with soups, sandwiches and sweet treats).
Details: Daily seatings at 11 a.m./2 p.m. (advanced reservation required); $53/person (includes complimentary parking and garden admission)
Visit a New Downtown Dallas Museum
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of a day in the historic West End while experiencing a new attraction that’s garnering international recognition – the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. This powerful, compelling museum is operating at 25% capacity for staff and visitor safety.
Details: Advanced reservations recommended; $14 senior admission (55+)
Burn Some Calories
After a year of quarantine, physical fitness can do the body (and mind) good. Offering SilverSneakers group fitness and yoga classes, as well as a special low-impact program called “Young at Heart,” the Texas Health Finley Ewing Fitness Center will help the exercise-minded among us put their best foot forward.
Details: Digital/virtual memberships ($15-30/month) and in-person memberships ($59/month) available
Go Back to School
It’s never too late to learn a thing or two. Dallas College’s Emeritus Senior Adult Program provides tuition waivers for students 65 years and older and low-cost continuing education courses for those 50 years and older. Taking place during the day, in the evenings, weekends or online, classes include computer instruction, arts and music, financial health and more.
Details: Available at Dallas College campuses across the county
Join Your Neighbors
Most cities are home to a senior center, and reconnecting with one’s peers can help reestablish a social network post-pandemic. Carrollton’s facility is open to residents and non-residents alike and includes access to trails and waterfront piers, as well as daily group activities like dominoes, knitting, chair sports, Bingo, a band and even Thursday night dances!
Details: Memberships begin at $6 for Carrollton residents and $11 for non-residents
Give Back as a Volunteer
RSVP (formerly known as the Retired Senior Volunteer Program) provides opportunities for older adults to reinvest in Dallas-area communities, placing individuals in more than 50 community organizations that help with projects such as improving the environment, tutoring adults and youth, educating seniors about Medicare fraud, and assisting nonprofit agencies with short-term projects.
Details: Volunteers may join as individuals by filling out an online application or as a group by calling 214.525.6122
Sing Along to Broadway’s Biggest Shows
The return lineup for Dallas Summer Musicals features nine national tours appearing at Fair Park over the next year, including the acclaimed “Hamilton,” Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Oklahoma!,” and fan favorite “Wicked.”
Details: Season and single show tickets available; call 214.691.7200 for special needs and accessibility seating
There’s light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel and Spirit Home Care looks forward to helping patients return to doing those things that were once a part of everyday life.
But if we had to pick an activity we’re looking forward to most, it’s seeing those we care for finally being able to hug friends and family. It’s been a long year and the opportunity for togetherness will go a long way to restore the heart and soul.
Let’s march forward and reach this new day together.