Situated in the southeastern part of Florida, Miami-Dade County had a population of 2,693,117 as of November 6, 2015. Additionally, senior citizens (65 years or older) make up 15.6% of the County’s population. This is according to data from the US Census Bureau. Seniors living in Miami-Dade County get to enjoy a number of generous financial incentives, including a property tax benefit called Senior Exemption. Additionally, the county offers a wide range of fun and engaging activities for seniors. Here are four enriching activities for seniors in Miami-Dade County, Florida:
Trail Running, Hiking, Biking, or Walking
Although Miami is a large urban center, it is strategically located close to numerous nature trails that are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, jogging, and biking. Examples of such trails include the Oleta River State Park trail, Everglades National Park Shark Valley trail, Shark Valley Birdland’s Tamiami Trail to Miccosukee Cultural Center, Otter Cave Trail, and Everglades National Park Bobcat Boardwalk trail. For instance, the 15.8 mile Everglades National Park Shark Valley trail can be used for running, walking, bird watching, trail biking, mountain biking, and hiking. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that outdoor physical activities can help reduce the risk or delay the onset of certain medical conditions including high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and stress in seniors. In addition, the National Institute on Aging recommends moderate-intense physical activity to enhance cognitive function in old age. On the same note, the Centers CDC says that physical activity is vital for healthy bones, joints, and muscles.
Seniors in Miami, Dade County can meet and socialize at the Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Center, Jack Orr Senior Center, and the Haitian American Senior Center. More specifically, the Miami Gardens Senior Focal Point Center runs educational, recreational, legal services, caregiver assistance, as well as information and referral programs. It also runs an initiative called the Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program (EHEAEP). The Haitian American Senior Center runs programs that target Haitian American seniors, especially those living in and around Little Haiti. For example, this center provides nutritionally rich morning snacks and lunches daily, making it an ideal meeting point for seniors living alone. On its part, the Jack Orr Senior Center provides seniors with educational, recreational, cultural and leisure activities. These and other similar centers in Miami-Dade County are particularly important because, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center, socializing among seniors may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of mental health problems, and even lowers risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Miami-Dade County Parks Active Older Adults Program
The Miami-Dade County Parks Active Older Adults program targets adults 55 years and older. It is a great program for seniors because it aims to get its members to exercise for at least two and a half hours every week, as well as take part in fun and rewarding activities such as local tourism. More specifically, enrollees can take part in water-based exercises, tennis, yoga, swimming lessons, sewing classes, adaptive aquatics, Snag golf, as well as visit local attractions such as the Deering Estate at Cutler. Enrollees can also join the EnhanceFitness program that focuses on strength training, cardio conditioning, and flexibility. Training classes are held three times per week at the Arcola Lakes Senior Center, South Dade Park, Continental Park, Westwind Lakes Park, Goulds Park, Deerwood Bonita Lakes, and Gwen Cherry Park. Other physical fitness activities offered by the Active Older Adults program include Zumba classes, self-management workshops, and Tai Chi classes.
Free Arts Tickets
The Miami-Dade County runs a program called Golden Ticket that enables seniors 62 years and older to attend cultural events without paying, and also ride free on the Miami-Dade County’s mass transit system. However, it is important to note that seniors who qualify for this program must present the free tickets in person together with a photo ID.
The Role of a Home Care Aide
Some of the aforementioned activities such as water sports and hiking can be physically demanding and therefore potentially dangerous for the elderly. As such, a home care aide should be present whenever seniors take part in such activities.
Besides generous financial incentives for the elderly, Miami-Dade County also has plenty of activities for seniors. Examples of such activities include cultural events courtesy of the Golden Ticket program, socializing events, physical fitness courtesy of the Miami-Dade County Parks Active Older Adults program, as well as numerous trails where the elderly can enjoy hiking, biking, jogging, or bird watching.