Loneliness and isolation have been linked to serious health problems for seniors. As we get older, it can be harder to maintain the same level of social interaction we once had. This can be influenced by many factors, such as losing the ability to drive, moving away from social connections, and even the passing of friends. There are certain things that caregivers of seniors can do to encourage social and mental well-being.
Reading is a great activity for seniors. It helps keep the mind active and occupied, without putting strain on the body. Mental exercises like reading, puzzles, and gameplay can even help decrease the likelihood of memory loss diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, reading can be used as a social device that helps reduce social isolation. For example, joining a book club can be a great way to keep seniors engaged throughout the week, and help build and maintain personal relationships.
Building Personal Relationships
Building and maintaining social relationships are an important part of healthy aging. Regular social interaction makes us feel as if we’re connected to the world around us. Joining new clubs, or even getting a pet can be a great option for seniors. Many shelters even offer fostering opportunities. This allows you to reap the social benefits of having a pet without committing completely.
Seeking Out Social Events
There are many opportunities for seniors to get involved in the community if they know where to look. These options can range from free to paid membership, and cover a wide range of interests. Some of the social events and opportunities for seniors include:
- Senior centers: Many local senior centers hold free or low-cost events. These could be game nights, exercise classes, or even skill classes like painting.
- Volunteer groups: Volunteering can be a great social option for seniors because it can be tailored to their needs and time availability. Seniors can volunteer at the national level, for organizations like the national park service, or at the local level, such as for their local library.
- Social club memberships: Social club memberships are another customizable social event that can be tailored to availability and interests. These clubs could be book clubs, card-playing clubs, bird watching groups — the possibilities are virtually endless. Paid club memberships, such as golf clubs or country clubs, may also be of interest to seniors and can come with some worthwhile perks.
- Church events: Many seniors can rely on a church community for social support. Churches not only meet weekly, but often host holiday events, fundraisers, and other social gatherings. For seniors who want to get more involved in their church, they may consider joining a community or becoming an elder.
- Charity organizations: Charity organizations are often looking for volunteers or organizers. This is a great outlet for social fulfillment and community connection. Charities also host community events, such as walks, galas, and fundraisers that can be a great social experience even if you aren’t directly involved in the organization.
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