June is a beautiful month that brings us the longest days of the year. It is a time that prompts us to stay active and head outside, benefitting both health and wellness. There are many exercises in which we can participate that help us connect with our neighbors and friends. Simple activities like walking, gardening, or sitting in the warm sunshine (with sunscreen) can uplift our spirits. Exercise helps us build strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. Enjoying outdoor activities or spending time inside with open windows also helps us to stay safe in light of a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. When we are caring for a family member of any age, visiting local destinations like a park or community garden can provide a perfect getaway while staying close to home.
Whatever you do, the most important part of an exercise routine is sticking with it and staying safe. Don’t overexert, especially on hot and humid days. Many local senior centers offer exercise programs geared to older adults, as do local YMCA or YWCAs. Many health insurance plans offer an annual “wellness” reimbursement for programs that qualify.
Another enjoyable summer activity is shopping at Farmers’ Markets. Visiting a Farmers’ Market is a great way to see your neighbors, try a new vegetable, or enjoy one of your favorite seasonal fruits while supporting the local economy. Your SNAP/EBT can be used to buy local food at these community markets, and you can also earn your Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) benefit when you buy produce from participating local farms. Learn more about HIP here.
Local Farmers Markets are up and running and locations can be found at the following sites:
June is also a time to celebrate Pride Month and the rich diversity in our communities. Many local celebrations and gatherings bring together the LGBTQ+ community and allies this month. For more information about local events and how you can connect with older adults in the LGBTQ+ community, email WMEC’s Rainbow Social Club.
June 15 is dedicated to raising awareness and preventing elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. For 16 years, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) has provided an opportunity to promote global awareness about these injustices. Educating our communities on ways to prevent abuse means we are all doing our part to support everyone as we age. Maintaining supportive communities, staying connected to older adults in our lives, and providing resources are essential to engaging older people and preventing abuse. To make a report of elder abuse in MA, call 800.922.2275. This line is staffed 24/7 year-round.
However you choose to celebrate summer, we hope you stay active, enjoy activities you love, and spend time with family and friends. Take advantage of the long days of June to get outside, celebrate your community, and improve your health and wellness along the way.