Retirement

Senior Activities Once A Spouse Dies

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Senior activities are vital because as Canadians age, it’s nice to know what’s available after age 65.

Participating in various Canadian senior activities after a spouse or partner passes away is essential for health and mental well-being.

We are nearing 50 and started talking about what if one of us dies and what we would do.

Once a spouse dies, everything changes, especially daily routines and getting used to living alone.

Being a senior is a broad topic for Canadians since many factors affect the available options.

Today I’m going to focus on senior activities available for someone who has lost a spouse.

activities for seniors
Seniors Activities

Source Senior Activities That Suit You

Both of our fathers died early when my dad was 47, and Mrs. CBB’s father was a month shy of 65.

Although my mum remarried when I was two years old, that wasn’t the case for Mrs. CBB.

Having to bury one of your parents and knowing that the other will be alone is heart-wrenching.

If you have active parents, who are used to being together, having to restart life as one can be challenging.

Not all seniors care about being active and would rather stay around the house or apartment all day.

Eventually, this lifestyle can run its course, especially with technology and senior scams.

I love to chat and make friends, and I know I’ll stir crazy being home all the time.

We enjoy being around people, so it’s hard for us to imagine life alone.

Fighting Loneliness After A Spouse Dies

What will we do if one of us dies?

That question started the conversation on our way to the grocery store to pick up some milk.

If we live to 65, our son will be 23 years old, and we don’t want to burden him with daily living.

Since old resources are available, finding senior activities in a city is not as daunting as a task.

For Canadians who don’t drive taking the city bus is an option, as would be utilizing a volunteer driver for seniors.

Senior activity centres, for example, often have drivers who volunteer to help with rides to and from the centre.

These services may also extend to being driven to doctor’s appointments or shopping trips.

Unfortunately, if you live in a small town with limited senior resources, no city transit relying on a taxi, Uber, or walking are a few alternate options to driving.

Living on a farm alone once a spouse dies can be isolating for seniors who don’t have a family to visit.

Questions To Consider Before You’re A Senior

Nobody wants to talk about dying, but it’s essential to do so because we’re all going to die.

Being prepared for death does sound eery; however, having your finances, legal Will, life insurance and health looked after is critical.

Related: Your last will and the legal ramifications of death

Besides all the boring stuff, how will you cope with being left alone?

Below are the main topics we discussed during our grocery store ride.

Things to consider that many couples don’t think about are very important in the later years when we are most vulnerable.

Related: Senior left with frozen bank account after her husband dies.

The Impact Of Fraud in Canada

As of June 30, 2022, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, the following data was made available.

  • Reports of fraud:
    45,387
    (106,974 in 2021)
  • Victims of fraud:
    28,734
    (67,916 in 2021)
  • Lost to fraud:
    $242 M
    ($381 M in 2021)

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre is a website that shares current and past scams to keep Canadians informed.

If you’re alone after your spouse dies and you get a phone call from scammers, it’s nice to have someone you can call.

There have been instances where targeted seniors lose their entire life savings to a scam.

In other cases, fraud has put seniors into debt and stuck with the financial consequences of their actions.

If unsure, hang up and trust your gut feeling or call family to ask for help.

Senior Activities Based On Available Options

For our situation, we are confident that we’ve made our best effort to ensure we covered almost all of the questions above.

One topic that we weren’t too sure about was whether there would be any senior activities available.

It’s hard to specify what senior activities you like based on personal preference.

These options are worth exploring if you’re looking for fun things to do with elderly parents.

However, there are programs available to seniors who want to get out and about from the house.

Volunteering Seniors Giving Back

Volunteering became a big topic since it’s a great way to give back to the community, provided we are healthy enough to do so.

If you call up any organization in your city, they will need volunteers to help.

Places like long-term care, nursing homes, respite care, food bank, senior centres, not-for-profit stores, and sports teams are all great places to volunteer.

Our son plays soccer, and the coaches and managers volunteer their time coaching the kids.

The manager of our sports association is a retired teacher who played soccer at University and then professionally in Canada.

Senior Activities At A Community Centre

Bingo hall
Seniors Playing Bingo

If you are fortunate to have a senior community centre, don’t be shy and drop in and visit.

You don’t have to be a senior to see what senior activities are available in your community.

Our community centre offers daily free coffee in the mornings, which is a drop-in time for seniors.

The centre also offers bingo, dancing, card games, darts and basketball, along with day trips in-town and out of town.

  • Bingo Hall to win Money
  • Casino visits to chat and win Money with friends
  • Museums
  • Local Library or join a book club
  • Chess Club
  • Community events
  • Tourist Attractions such as Niagara Falls

You’ll find that community centre senior activities come with a small cost so it might not be suitable for everyone.

Since we don’t know how long we will live, we must continue budgeting to determine if senior activities fit your budget.

Senior Activities Include Travel

insurance travel
Seniors Who Enjoy Travelling

You’ve saved money to travel together, and now that your spouse has died, you still want to jet off.

Often we wait until it’s too late to do the things we love or are on our bucket list.

Travelling with senior groups is ideal, such as on a cruise or flying to a destination and meeting a tour guide.

I don’t think my step-dad would travel if my mum passed away first, but if he did, she would book the next flight.

The con might be obtaining travel insurance if you have health problems as rates will increase.

Senior Exercises

outdoor walking skis
Nordic walking is one of many senior activities.

One of the most popular senior activities is swimming or water exercises at a community pool.

Whether it’s the local YMCA or a rec-centre with day programs for seniors keeping fit and strong is always important.

Walking is another fun activity, especially with other friends with similar interests.

Nordic walking with what looks to be ski posts is also popular to keep fit and have fun doing it.

Yoga classes and working out at a gym that offers senior programs are great ways to meet people.

Lastly, running is fantastic because you can go at your own pace based on your feelings.

Community Gardening Senior Activities

senior gardening
Senior gardening with a grandchild

Gather a few of your best buddies and buy a community garden plot that you all visit twice a week.

Gardening is a great way to meet people, relieve stress, and go home with organic fruits and vegetables.

I’ve also heard of people who plant flowers in community garden plots which are fantastic for seniors with a green thumb.

On one visit to see my mother-in-law in long-term care, she was with a table of other seniors and planting flowers.

Each person had a small planter pot, soil and seeds, and the seniors would take care of their plants daily.

Outdoor Sports

Man fishing
Fishing with grandfather early in the morning.

If sports is what gets you outside of the house, gather up some friends or see if there are any senior activities available where you live.

Growing up, I loved playing basketball, but now I’m really into playing soccer and tennis.

If my body allows me to do so, I’d undoubtedly entertain outdoor sports as potential options.

  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Skating
  • Boating
  • Rock climbing
  • Bocce Ball or other field sports or games
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Golfing

New Horizons For Seniors Program

Available through Employment and Social Development Canada funding for seniors activities and programs.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program. It provides funding for projects that make a difference in the lives of seniors and in their communities.

Acceptable community-based programs can receive up to $25,000 grant money for one year.

Program Objectives

  • Promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations
  • Engage seniors in the community through the mentoring of others
  • Expand awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse
  • Support the social participation and inclusion of seniors
  • Provide capital assistance for new and existing community projects and programs for seniors

Having available funding for senior-based projects motivates people to get involved with seniors.

Remember that one day we might be a senior citizens based on how long we live.

Programs such as this ensure us that there will be options for seniors with or without a spouse.

Talk Death With Your Spouse

Talking about death with your spouse or partner is not something you want to do but is necessary.

Doing so allows you to understand what you want from each other and learn about what’s available in your community.

Whether you’re healthy or need home care, it’s nice to know that being stuck at home is the only option.

Test out the city bus system together if you are a spouse who doesn’t drive and are worried about transportation.

Understanding how the bus system works will give the surviving spouse who doesn’t drive confidence.

I’d suggest doing the same with a taxi, Uber, subway, or other transit facilities available to you both.

Just some food for thought today, and I know there are tonnes more options for seniors’ activities.

Topic Discussion

I’d love to read your feedback about the community that you live in or what you’ve discussed with your spouse/partner.

Please leave me your comments below.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mr. CBB

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