The Saybrook at Haddam’s weekly activity calendar is full of daily social, physical and cultural events that take place throughout our retirement community. We are so fortunate to have a wide range of exceptional instructors and performers visit us regularly. However, we are also fortunate to be located in a very beautiful and culturally rich part of the state – one that offers fabulous theaters, museums, libraries, restaurants, galleries, public parks, and more – so we like to plan trips and adventures away from home, too.
We hit the road regularly making trips throughout our town and region that provide residents with a greater variety of activities and experiences, and an appreciated change of scenery. So, how do we make these trips easy, comfortable and enjoyable for all seniors – including those with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory-related illnesses?
First, we try to plan our trips to take place conveniently in the middle of the day or early evening which has proven to be best for the group. We plan them well in advance and let residents know these are taking place, giving them ample time to decide if they would like to come. We always try to accommodate anyone who is interested, especially for the more popular trips to local theaters or museums.
We choose each trip based on our own research as well as recommendations from friends, family, visitors, vendors, and, of course, residents. We check in with each venue to be sure they can accommodate senior citizens (no steep staircases or other walking hazards, easy drop off areas, space inside for walkers, access to elevators, etc.) and to see if they have group size limitations. These are all important details for residents to know before they decide if they want to join us on the trip.
We provide transportation with our comfortable, wheelchair-accessible 12-person van and our seven-passenger Ford Flex, and we will arrange for additional transportation services if ever needed. Typically we are able to drop residents off at the front entrance of any venue so they do not have to walk through large and busy parking lots.
If we are attending a performance or have reservations at a restaurant, we leave The Saybrook at Haddam with plenty of extra time so we are not rushed. Many theaters will help us get seated early so we are not standing in long lines or waiting in crowded lobbies.
We always plan to have an appropriate number of support staff join us on these trips to help residents on and off the bus, assist them through any entrances or up any stairs, help them navigate the galleries or shops, and generally support them in any other way needed. When we travel with residents who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, we have a greater number of staff to be sure everyone is well attended and happy.
We take Safe Harbor memory care residents out for rides twice a week. Sometimes we simply take seasonal “joy rides” to see the fall foliage, holiday decorations, flowering trees of springtime, or to enjoy serene drives along the lakes, rivers and shorelines. Residents also love going out to eat at local restaurants such as the Two Wrasslin’ Cats coffee house in East Haddam or Da Vinci’s Pizzeria in Higganum. And of course it is always a pleasure to visit a local museum (recently, we went to the Connecticut River Museum in Essex), state park, or other attraction (such as the local horse rescue farm, pictured here).
For seniors at The Saybrook at Haddam and the Safe Harbor Memory Care neighborhood, each trip is a joyful adventure that changes the pace of the day, enriches their quality of life, and builds friendships. When planned out properly, given attention to time of day, distance of location, comfort of transportation, accessibility of venue, and support staff on hand, trips with senior citizens are always well worth the effort.
For a copy of our current activity calendar and trip schedule, or to schedule a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam, please contact David Downey by clicking here or by calling 860-345-3779.