Travel tops the to-do lists of most people of retirement age and older, according to the AARP—a group that ought to know. “Research after research has shown that it’s the number-one aspiration for those 50 and older,” says Maria Gillen, director of the AARP’s travel website. “We’re big believers in the idea of travel and its benefits to relationships and health.” Medical studies have found that those benefits include healthier hearts and brains as well as a reduced risk of depression. But where to go? While the circumstances of those 65 and older vary widely with regard to budget, interests, and physical abilities, we think you’ll find great options with these travel groups that cater to seniors. Walking the World Operating out of Grand Junction, Colorado, Walking the World offers walking and hiking tours mainly for travelers over the age of 50 who want to be immersed in the destinations they choose. Experienced hikers will enjoy its Rocky Mountain National Park tour, for example, with treks of up to 10 miles on some days during the eight-day itinerary. Meanwhile, the Ireland trip covers 11 days of exploring fishing villages, rolling green hills, the stunning Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, and Killarney National Park. Daily walks range from four to eight miles and are described as gentle to moderate. Road Scholar Originally launched as Elderhostel in 1975, the company rebranded in 2010 as Road Scholar, recognizing the values and interests of lifelong learners who have participated in their lectures, tours, field trips, and educational experiences over the years. Participants are typically over the age of 50 and ready to learn from travel or focus on a specific interest. Trip themes such as grandparent adventures (special types of trips you can take with your grandchild), cruises, urban exploration, art and history, historical sites, and academic topics can be browsed by destination, activity level, and interest to help clients select their ideal tour experience. Adventures Abroad While Adventures Abroad largely caters to travelers over 50, tours are open to adults of all ages, and operate on every continent except for Antarctica. The company's "soft adventure" trips, which concentrate on the culture and history of a destination, don't include strenuous activities, though a reasonable degree of fitness and the ability to walk are required. Trips are rated from one to three based on physical activity, with the first level featuring only leisurely walks and level two meaning more time on your feet each day. Level-three trips might include walks or hikes on uneven ground for three to seven hours, though at a leisurely pace. Specific trips are suggested for each activity level for easy planning. ElderTreks An adventure travel company designed for people ages 50 and over, ElderTreks offers small-group adventures — think wildlife safaris, hiking trips, cultural journeys, and other unique expeditions — in more than 100 countries. The tours are rated by activity level, ranging from one to five. At level one, travelers should be able to walk for one to two hours, whereas at level five, they'll need to be capable of hiking for eight to 10 hours. Senior Cycling Specializing in bicycle tours for active adults ages 50 and up, Senior Cycling limits groups to a maximum of 13 participants. And they are always accompanied by the "sag wagon" in case someone needs a break from riding. Trips are rated at two levels: intermediate (for the occasional rider who prefers bike paths and flat terrain for 20–40 miles per day) and advanced (for those who are at ease with up to 50 miles per day, hills, and traffic). Custom tours can also be arranged for families or groups of friends. Backroads Seniors interested in active vacations should check out Backroads, based out of Berkeley, California. While tours are open to all ages, the majority of participants tend to be over 50. Guided biking, walking, and hiking tours to a variety of destinations are geared toward adults, but also include options for families traveling with "teens and kids," "older teens and 20s," and those in their "20s and beyond." The company's Dolce Tempo tours offer a more relaxed pace, and include trips such as the Easygoing E-bike Tour in California wine country and the Easygoing Multi-adventure Tour in New Zealand. Overseas Adventure Travel With a variety of trips available to destinations on every continent, Overseas Adventure Travel makes a great choice if you're interested in seeing the world via small-ship cruises. In addition to guided land tours for groups of eight to 16, OAT offers sailings through the Norwegian Fjords, along West Africa's coast, and throughout the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. Mature travelers are often attracted to the flexibility of the trips and the ability to personalize activities. Recognizing that many of their customers travel alone — including a whopping 85 percent of their female clients — the company has created its getaways with solo travelers in mind, whether they're first-timers or experienced adventurers. EF Go Ahead Tours Operating out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, EF Go Ahead Tours offers a selection of small group tours for 10 to 22 guests. The senior-friendly trips focus on interests such as food and wine, adventure, and safaris, as well as specific destinations and seasonal events (think Oktoberfest in Germany, annual holiday markets in Europe, or St. Patrick's Day in Ireland). Traveling alone? The company's solo tours provide private rooms and personalized experiences especially geared toward those traveling by themselves. Clients can also gather their own group and take advantage of the services of EF's professional coordinators. Intrepid Travel A leading adventure tour operator known for its efforts to make travel accessible to all, Intrepid Travel offers a good mix of bespoke and ready-made itinerary options that can be adapted to suit your group's comfort level. Intrepid's Accessible Tours are especially inclusive, with trips that are designed for every type of traveler. Whichever trip you decide to book, you'll have access to local destination specialists to help you choose the perfect places to stay as well as organize transportation, activities, and guided tours, depending on your needs. The company's Walking & Trekking trips, suitable for a range of fitness levels, are especially popular with seniors, though adults of all ages are free to join in. Grand European Travel Grand European Travel is an AARP-preferred travel provider (check the website for members-only discounts) that promotes itself as a one-stop shop to help clients plan their desired travel experiences. The company represents a collection of 30 travel brands — including the likes of Trafalgar and Insight Tours — which, altogether, cover seven continents. Offerings range from budget to luxury getaways, and everything from cruises to land tours. Thinking of taking a multigenerational trip? Browse the company's family experiences section, stocked with tours fit for all ages, whether you're into all-inclusive European river cruises or exploring U.S. national parks. Country Walkers Country Walkers aims to introduce travelers to new landscapes and cultures around the world by traveling on foot. Established in 1979, the Vermont-based operator offers walking tours in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. Tour types include guided (in a small group of up to 18) and self-guided (in a private group of up to 12), providing a great option for independent exploration. Travelers can choose from five levels, starting at "easy walking," which includes a daily distance of two to six miles for up to four hours per day. "Moderate walking," the mid-range option, suggests four to 10 miles and up to six hours of walking per day. Trips at the "challenging walking" level might go up to seven hours a day on foot, covering anywhere from six to 14 miles. Guests of all ages should be able to find a destination and tour that's best suited for their interests and fitness level.
The dilemma…suitcase or backpack? Let’s go over both! For starters, there’s no need to lug heavy pieces of luggage on your international trip. Go easy on your back and invest in a convenient, affordable piece of lightweight luggage on rollers for easier transport. If you learn how to pack lightly, you might also avoid the hassle of checked luggage (and the fees that come with that!)
Or, if you prefer traveling with a backpack, (some seniors do prefer backpacks) you’ll want one that is lightweight and ergonomically designed, such as padded backs, wide shoulder straps and a comfortable waist strap. The Osprey Farpoint 40 (sold in both women and men’s versions) is a large backpack that will easily hold all of your clothes and essentials. It’s a great pack with a hip belt and thick, cushioned straps. Traveling with a backpack takes away the hassle of actually rolling your luggage over cobblestones or carrying it via hand.
Since you probably have a few medications to carry with you, this handy little travel case is perfect for packing all of your necessary meds in one small travel kit. You can keep one-week’s worth of medication in your carry-on luggage to ensure it arrives at your vacation spot with you. I also recommend taking a little extra in case your trip is delayed by a day or two AND bringing copies of your prescriptions.
15 Minute Holiday Recipes
Peanut Butter Snowballs Ingredients •1 cup confectioners' sugar •1/2 cup creamy peanut butter •3 tablespoons butter, softened •1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped •Chopped peanuts, optional Directions 1.In a bowl, combine the sugar, peanut butter and butter. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes or until the mixture is easy to handle. Shape into 1-in. balls and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. 2.Meanwhile, melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip each ball and place on waxed paper to harden. If desired, sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Holiday Cornflake Cookies Ingredients •1/2 cup butter, cubed •40 large marshmallows •4 cups frosted cornflakes•Red Hots •Assorted sprinkles Directions 1.In a 6-qt. stockpot, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows; cook and stir until melted. Remove from heat. 2.Fold in cornflakes. Working quickly, fill 16 greased muffin cups two-thirds full. Using the end of a wooden spoon, make holes in centers to resemble wreaths. Decorate immediately with Red Hots and sprinkles. Candy Snack Mix Ingredients •1 package (24 ounces) roasted peanuts •1 package (19.6 ounces) Golden Grahams cereal •1 package (15 ounces) raisins •1/2 cup butter, cubed •12 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped •2 cups creamy peanut butter •1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar •2-1/2 cups red and green milk chocolate M&M's Directions 1.In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, cereal and raisins. In a microwave, melt the butter, candy coating and peanut butter; stir until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture and toss to coat. 2.Working in batches, place sugar in a large bag; add coated mixture. Close bag and shake to coat. Spread onto baking sheets; sprinkle with M&M's. When cool, store in airtight containers.
Exercise is one of the most important ways to maintain overall health, and the cold shouldn’t cause a decrease in physical activity. Low-impact exercises that can be done indoors include stretching, tai chi, yoga, and chair exercises. Resistance band exercises are perfect for indoor workouts and can keep seniors strong and flexible throughout the winter months. Just dedicate 30 to 60 minutes a day to “gym time” and you’ll soon see impressive results — better appetite, fewer aches and pains, improved sleep patterns, and a better overall attitude. Exercising during the winter months can be challenging, especially as temperatures drop, roads and sidewalks are slippery, and storms prevent outdoor activities. To help you stay engaged (and motivated), here are six ways to keep active. 1. Explore arthritis-friendly exercise videos Check out these Mayo clinic minute videos on Tai Chi for older adults and 'Fab 5' exercises to get you moving. Dartmouth Health offers these Seated Exercises for Older Adults that help with strength and balance. 2. Find an exercise class near you It can be hard to stay motivated while exercising alone. Find an evidence-based exercise class such as EnhanceFitness or A Matter of Balance that can offer different options for activities and provide an opportunity to meet up with friends. 3. Go mall walking This Mall Walking Resource Guide provides ideas for walking solo or with a group at a local mall. Moving your regular walks inside for the winter provides a warm, safe, and well-lit environment to keep active. 4. Take steps to prevent falls If you do walk outside, take precautions to avoid slips and trips on icy sidewalks. Check out how you can Winterize to Prevent Falls. 5. Get a workout to goThe Workout to Go guide from the National Institute on Aging has several options for exercising in your own home, including hand grips, wall pushups, and arm raises. 6. Find an indoor community pool or track Many local Parks and Recreation Centers and YMCAs offer physical activity options, such as swimming, walking on indoor tracks, and group exercise for older adults.
Volunteer this holiday season!
Holiday Mindful Activities
Art-based mindfulness activities If you loved making arts and crafts as a kid, chances are you’ll benefit from art-based mindfulness. Coloring and doodling Adult coloring books abound on store shelves these days, so it’s easy to pick one up and get coloring. You can even try Healthline’s very own mindful mandala.Doodling is another relaxing art-based activity that’s a bit more free-form than coloring inside the lines. The Zentangle Method is a popular option. Crafting Crafting can get you out of your head and into your body. It also offers the opportunity to work with your hands, tune in to your inner child, and engage with different shapes, colors, and textures.
There is no better way to celebrate the holidays than giving back. Many local charities rely on volunteers to make the holidays special for people and pets in need. You can make a difference. Sponsor a Family - Many local stores and nonprofits will offer lists of people who can't afford gifts. Choose to sponsor a family � buying gifts for everyone on the list � and even throw in a gift card for a holiday meal if you can. Donate Clothing for Newborns in the NICU - It can be hard for families to find the holiday spirit when a newborn is facing an uphill battle, so go shopping for holiday preemie outfits and donate to your local hospital. A little love goes a long way. Toys for Tots - Run by the Marines, it may be the most well-known Christmas effort around. Take your kids to the toy store to pick out toys to donate. Make sure not to wrap them before donating. Bake Cookies for First Responders - This can be a fun way to get the kids involved. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies and hand-deliver them to the nearest police or fire station. Make and Send Christmas Cards to Military Personnel - Being away from home during the holidays is tough but getting a little Christmas cheer can have a big impact. Your local Red Cross can help get you the correct address through the Holidays for Heroes program. Pass out Candy Canes with Inspirational Notes to Strangers - This simple gesture will go a long way at a time when everyone might be a little more stressed out than usual. Random Acts of Kindness - Leave extra money at the office vending machine, hide scratch-off lottery tickets, tape coupons to their respective products at the grocery store. Leave a small note letting the recipient know they just benefitted from a random act of kindness. Donate Home-baked Goods to an Area Shelter - Nothing is better than a homemade treat during the holidays. Serve Food at an Area Shelter - It may seem like an easy task, but you'll need to call ahead. This is a popular volunteer activity around the holidays for families. Consider going on an "off date" (usually early in December or the week after Christmas). Animal Shelter - You may not want to bring home a new puppy for Christmas but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy one. Visit the local animal shelter and offer to help bathe and walk the animals. Foster a homeless pet while waiting for adoption. Pass out Blankets, Gloves and Jackets to the Homeless - Temperatures will no doubt dip just in time for the holidays, making it the perfect time to offer some extra warmth to those in need. Make (or Buy) Blankets for Cancer Patients - Providing warmth and comfort during a chemo session can make a world of difference during a difficult time. Sing Carols in a Nursing Home - Gather a group and plan a list of fun holiday songs. Don't worry if you can't carry a tune, as long as you're spreading Christmas cheer! Collect and Donate Hygiene Items for a Women's Shelter - Things like perfumes and lotions can be more fun to include as well as practical items like toothpaste and deodorant. Make sure to ask for a list of specific needs that will best benefit the residents. Meals on Wheels - Offer to help drive so that a regular volunteer can get some much-needed time off around the holidays or volunteer to pack the meals. Donate Books - Collect the books you (and your kids) don't read anymore and donate them to the local library, school, daycare or literacy organization. Help a Neighbor in Need - This could mean shoveling snow, mowing their lawn or picking up fallen leaves. It may seem like a simple task that could make a big difference to someone else. Find a Local Nonprofit - There are tons of small nonprofits that are unique to the community they serve. Find an organization that resonates with you and ask what they most need this time of year. Clothing Drive - The end of the year is a great time to clean out your closet. Make sure to look for warm clothing like coats, jackets and scarves to donate or go buy new items to donate.
Celebrating the Holidays After a Move to Senior Living While moving to senior living is certain to change some family traditions, it can be a great time to rethink some of the things your family has been doing for years. It can be a time to eliminate “stuff” and truly value each other’s presence, spending time together instead of stressing over your typical holiday to-do list. Leisure Care has put together some ideas to make this holiday season the best yet – even if it looks a little different! 1. Plan festive outings If your loved one is willing and able, consider attending local holiday events. Many communities do light shows in the evenings or holiday plays at a local theater. Consider attending a local show or even plan a drive to see home holiday decorations while listening to holiday music. 2. Prioritize the traditions that can continue Maybe your cookie-making time is non-negotiable. Or maybe the time spent prepping for a special dinner is really important to family bonding. Whatever those really important traditions are, think outside of the box to find a way to keep them. Invite your loved one to your own home for holiday baking, or invite her out for those Black Friday sales. Even if you can’t make every important tradition happen, think through the most important ones and pick a couple to make happen this year. 3. Consider renting a local home for the holidays If your senior loved one’s home was the gathering place for the holidays and no one else is willing or able to offer their home for holiday events, consider renting a local place. Websites like Airbnb or homeaway.com have rental houses all over the world and they can often accommodate a large group of people. These houses usually have kitchen items, laundry, and whatever else you need to set up for the holidays. 4. Rethink gift-giving If your family has been purchasing gifts for every family member, this may be the year to stop as you have just spent a lot of time downsizing for a move to senior living. Consider picking a name or matching up family members so that you are buying for fewer people. Less time stressing over gift-giving can also mean more time spent together, enjoying the holidays. 5. Value the presence of family The holidays are a great time to spend together, bringing family from all over the country to visit. Realize that this year may mean less ‘doing’ – especially for seniors in assisted living and memory care. Place a priority on being together, valuing each other’s presence. Watch holidays movies, play a board game, or enjoy a nice dinner out. 6. Participate in community events Don’t forget to check in with your loved one’s retirement community! They are sure to have planned really fun and engaging activities throughout the season. From ornament making to caroling and special meals, there is something for every resident and every family member. This can be a great way for your loved one to make new friends and having you involved with holiday events can help your loved one feel at home. Check in with our communities and ask about their plans for the holidays.
DALLAS - FORT WORTH EVENTS
Little Shop Of Horrors
Oct 26, 2023 7:30-9:30
Dec 3, 2023 5pm
A deliciously devious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant named "Audrey II" - after their co-worker crush. As the plant grows, Seymour begins to realize how the plant that gave them everything desires to take everything (and everyone) in return.
Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot
Nov 23, 2023 8am
40th annual. Since 1981, new generations of families turn out to experience the fun, family-friendly atmosphere of the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot. When you register for the YMCA Turkey Trot, you’re signing up for more than just a race. You’re helping your neighbors in need during their most difficult times. 100% of the proceeds from the Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot go towards scholarships for families in our community.
Reliant lights up the holiday season at the AT&T Performing Arts Center! Bring your entire family for an evening of holiday magic and music. We’ll be illuminating the Center’s campus with dazzling LED lights to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season.