How Seniors Can Maintain an Active Social Life
Senior citizens can benefit from social interaction as much or more than any other age group. Not only does it help improve the quality of life by helping seniors avoid loneliness, creating excitement by looking forward to upcoming social events, and building a sense of community among friends, but it can also have significant health benefits. Maintaining an active social life for seniors can help decrease the risk of depression, can lead to increased mobility and motor skills, can improve speech, and can even help long term and short term memory retention. Maintaining an active social life has many benefits, but when the elderly are in a long term care facility, it may be difficult to continue to meet with friends. That’s why it is important to learn how to maintain this social life, even in the later stages of life.
Attend Activities in the Long Term Care Facility
Most long term care facilities have activities of some type. Whether it is bingo, movie night, ice cream socials, pot lucks, or any number of gatherings for residents, there is usually plenty to do to socialize with other residents. When there aren’t any scheduled activities, organizing a card game with fellow residents, getting a group together for a meal, or taking a walk with a friend can be great ways to continue social interaction during down times. If your care facility doesn’t have many organized activities, suggest some new ones or volunteer to organize a new activity. Video games that require motion, computer classes, and other technology based activities are becoming more popular for the elderly, so requesting or organizing a beginner class centered on technology can be a great way for everyone to learn a new skill and meet new people.
Participate in Community Events
Depending on your mobility level, there are various community events that are available for seniors as well. If you have a high level of mobility and enjoy exercise, a 5k walk or bike tour can be a good way to meet new friends while participating in a healthy activity. For active seniors, the Senior Olympics can be a great way to continue to compete with others that are striving to stay healthy. Most states in the United States have a state level Senior Olympics program, and depending on your skill level and event, you may even be able to qualify for the National Senior Olympics. No matter how you perform, activities like the Senior Olympics are great for making new friends, socializing, and getting plenty of exercise. For seniors with less mobility, community gardens, college classes, photography, scrapbooking, and attending local concerts are all options in most communities, and can help you to meet others who share similar interests.
Join a Local Club or Society
There are several options for seniors who are looking for a club or society to join, ranging from clubs with a national footprint to local clubs with only one chapter. Look in your area for clubs that organize volunteers, clubs like the Red Hat Society, book clubs, senior centers that offer daily activities for members, social or religious clubs, or any other type of gathering that encourages interaction. These clubs and organizations bring together likeminded individuals and often turn into lifelong friendships.
By attending activities at their care facility, participating in community events, or finding a club or society to join, seniors can maintain an active social life and reap the benefits of having elderly friends. This change in lifestyle can lead to an improved mood, and can decrease the risk of many diseases and ailments, and is a simple and enjoyable change to make.
Originally posted 2015-08-04 10:12:30.