When it comes to senior well-being, the benefits of social connections cannot be overstated. Humans are social by nature and research shows that people with strong social connections tend to live longer than those who feel isolated. Seniors with strong social connections can experience not only better physical health but improved mental well-being and a greater sense of fulfillment in life. In fact, it has been proven that socialization among older adults not only keeps the brain sharp but can also decrease the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
But where can older adults find social activities appropriate for their lifestyle? Here are some tips for seniors to discover engaging social activities and greater connection with others.
Find Your Local Senior Center
Local senior centers, often run by the area’s Council on Aging, are designed to facilitate meeting new people and creating new friendships. Depending on the senior center’s offerings, you might find an exercise class, arts and crafts, live music, local field trips, book clubs, or just a place to meet a friend for a cup of coffee. Other popular offerings include knitting circles, computer training, sing-along groups, and holiday celebrations. Senior centers also offer support such as tax preparation and free health insurance counseling information.
If transportation is an issue, many senior centers offer complimentary transportation to the center and even to local doctor’s appointments or shopping.
Join a Club
There are as many clubs as there are hobbies and interests! For seniors, look for a club that caters to your area of interest and ability to participate. You can join a mahjong group, a book club, or a senior hiking team. Many areas have a local Women’s Club, a non-profit organization of women, that provides charitable giving, community service, and social opportunities for its members.
Look for garden clubs or community gardens. Gardening can provide social connections and reduce feelings of loneliness among seniors. Garden clubs and community gardens provide opportunities for seniors to develop new relationships and engage in activities with like-minded individuals. Working together in a garden promotes teamwork and cooperation as well as a sense of belonging and purpose. And being surrounded by nature invokes positive emotions, enhances mood, and boosts overall well-being!
Physical activity promotes physical and mental health and increases longevity. Engaging in physical activity with others creates opportunities for shared experiences and meaningful interactions. Whether it’s a walk around the block with friends, an exercise class, or a friendly game of tennis or softball, these group activities strengthen bonds and promote a sense of well-being and fulfillment.
Join the pickleball craze! It not only promotes physical health, social interaction, and cognitive sharpness, but the low-impact activity of pickleball makes it a boon for seniors. Pickleball, which has elements of tennis and ping pong, reduces joint stress and improves balance, coordination, and agility. To find where to play near you, input your zip code on the USA Pickleball Association website.
Take an Online Class
Even homebound seniors can increase their social connections online. Due to the lockdown during COVID-19, many senior centers and other organizations developed online programing. DOROT is a nonprofit organization in New York that addresses the challenges of an aging population. DOROT’s Onsite@Home classes are designed for adults 60+ to create social connections, encourage health and wellness, and provide opportunities for learning and enrichment. Participation is free and there are many classes offered daily. Join programs via Zoom or telephone from wherever home is, whether in New York City or beyond.
By finding social activities and creating connections with others, older adults can experience improved physical health, sharper mental faculties, and a greater sense of purpose. To increase social connections, seniors can visit their local senior center; take a class online; join a club; or participate in group sports.
We appreciate you reading our blog. You can contact Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Home at 1-800-737-0017. Or you can drop us a message here.