Planning for Labor Day: History and fun for all ages and abilities

Today, many Americans consider Labor Day an opportunity to engage in fun activities with their families and friends. Photo: AP Photo

SAN DIEGO, August 29, 2013 — Labor Day is a much anticipated American holiday.

Occurring on the first Monday of every September, this federal holiday was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894.

The first Labor Day occurred in New York City in 1882. Borne from the strife experienced by the average American worker at that time in history, the final federal enactment of 1894 was signed after major labor strikes, which were caused in part by “the deaths of a number of workers.”

Labor Day also constitutes “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” states the United States Department of Labor.

Today, many Americans consider Labor Day an opportunity to engage in fun activities with their families and friends, such as attending community parades, political speeches, picnics, and barbecues.

Alden Pellett/AP

For other Americans, Labor Day signals one of the largest retail days of the year, especially for retailers who welcome this popular 3-day weekend.

Football fans hail preseason games, rushing to purchase stadium seats, or happily staying at home, glued to their television sets.

In addition to the activities and recreation Americans typically look forward to, there are many other enjoyable possibilities for persons of all ages and abilities.

Seatgeek.com offers an extensive array of “Labor Day Weekend 2013: Events, Concerts, & Things to Do.” Their listings are searchable by a variety of categories, from the name of your city, to ideas for your consideration. Here are some of their suggestions for fun things you might like to do: 

-Take it to the beach—Enjoy the last days of sun and sand.
-Throwback family weekend—A perfect time for a variety of outdoor activities.
-Movie weekend—Attending a local movie theater is “relaxing without moving.”
-Channel your inner chef—Fun for foodies, and great for enjoying lobster fests.
-Absolutely nothing—Turn off your alarm clock and only do exactly whatever you want to do at the time.

For some people with disabilities, Labor Day holiday activities may pose specific challenges. Outdoor Sports & Leisure for Disabled People, publish their online suggestions for recreational activities, which may be adapted to a particular disability. They suggest that persons with disabilities “just like the rest of us, need the thrill and excitement that outdoor sports can provide.” The following suggestions could be ideal, exciting, and adaptable activities, especially with the proper assistive devices:

-Riding horseback
-Fishing
-Cycling
-Other sports, i.e., archery, skiing, swimming, and similar activities which could be made safe through adaptation.

Children deserve not only to have fun during the Labor Day holiday, but also to have the opportunity to learn about its history and meaning.

Author Sara McGrath, offered the following creative ideas for children, in her Labor Day Printables and Activities for Kids:

-Visits and field trips to workplaces while seeing hard work in action.
-Watching History Channel’s programs about Labor Day.
-Attending a Labor Day parade.
-Outputting online Labor Day printable coloring pages and activity sheets from some of the following sources:

—www.apples4theteacher.com
—The USA.gov Labor Day Page, Kids Section
—www.thecolor.com provides theme-coloring pages

Whatever your activities of choice may be, especially if they are outdoors, please remember to wear your sun hat, use sunscreen, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Most of all have a safe and happy Labor Day!

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities” columnist since 2011, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.

In addition to writing for “Communities,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.

Copyright © 2013 by At Your Home Familycare


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Laurie Edwards-Tate

Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, President and Founder of At Your Home Familycare in San Diego, California, was among the first to recognize the growing need for services allowing individuals to remain independent created by the aging of America including the Baby Boomer generation, now being called the “Silver Tsunami.” It is the Baby Boomers who are rapidly redefining what aging and growing older means and looks like in America today.

Now celebrating its 28th year in business, AYHF is among San Diego County’s Top  Women-Owned Businesses and Fastest Growing Businesses, and enjoys a reputation for upholding the highest possible standards among its employees and its emphasis on customer service.  Edwards-Tate is a valued contributor to the public dialogue on current issues and challenges in the home care industry, and serves in leadership roles on the Home Care Aide Association of America Advisory Board and Private Duty Home Care Association Advisory Board, as well as the Home Care Aide Steering Committee of the California Association for Health Services at Home.

Edwards-Tate is frequently interviewed in the media on healthy aging, caregiving, and health care topics. 

 Follow Laurie and AYHF  at www.atyourhomefamilycare.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atyourhomefamilycare, and Twitter at @AYHFamilycare

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