Best Ways to Stay Social as a SeniorJuly 20, 2023
As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain social connections. While feelings of isolation and depression can arise for a number of reasons, socialization is one of the primary ways to combat it. In exploring the best ways to stay social as a senior, you will not only foster meaningful relationships, but enrich your life.
What are the benefits of staying social?
Past fighting depression, staying social has been shown to have both physical and mental health benefits. Initially, it may be a surprise to hear that socializing has anything more than an impact on one’s mood. However, the impacts of building social bonds stretch far into our lives.
- Increased mental alertness. Communicating with others gives us a natural avenue to stay mentally alert and stave off cognitive diseases.
- Higher rates of physical activity. Partaking in social activities gives you more opportunities to be physical, even if it’s just standing and talking to another person.
- A stronger support system. The more you socialize with a group of people, the stronger your social ties will be.
- Lower rates of depression. Those who experience loneliness are more likely to experience depression and hopelessness. Spending time with others helps eliminate those feelings.
- Relief of physical discomfort. Aging brings with it a wide range of physical and health challenges. Time spend being social helps seniors take their minds off these ailments.
- Extended life. A study conducted by Brigham Young University and the University of Chapel Hill North Carolina found isolated seniors had a 50 percent higher risk of dying in five years than those who are socially active.
Take advantage of senior centers
Senior centers are hubs of activity that give older adults the opportunity to engage with a range of programs. By becoming an active member at your senior center, you have access to a range of exercise classes, educational seminars, art workshops, and social gatherings all specifically geared at seniors. Some of these centers even organize outings and trips so you can have totally unique experiences you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Join groups based on your interests
Whether you enjoy painting, fitness, or something else, one of the best ways to stay social is with interest-based groups. Joining these groups gives you an opportunity to instantly have a topic to discuss with like-minded individuals. If you’re not already close to the individuals in this club, it will be easy to foster a sense of community and make long-standing friendships.
Participate in community events
It doesn’t matter if you live in the heart of Chicago or in a suburb—engaging with your local community events gives you a great deal of opportunities to interact. In the greater Chicago area, the summer months are full of local festivals, art exhibits, concerts, and fairs. These events not only expose seniors to new experiences and interests, but a fun atmosphere. You can even get involved in these events by volunteering.
Volunteer in your community
Post-retirement, many seniors find a wonderful sense of purpose by volunteering for local organizations. In addition to volunteering to help at community events, you could find fulfillment serving meals at a food bank, tutoring children, or helping at an animal shelter. There, you will connect with other individuals who share your passion for making a positive impact. Working alongside these individuals helps promote a sense of social connection as well as gratification.
Embrace social media
While the world of social media and technology might be overwhelming, it is a fantastic tool to stay connected with loved ones and make new friends. On Facebook alone, you can stay up to date with your friends’ lives, message them, give them a call, and even video chat with them. You can also join unique groups targeted at your specific interests, which is a fantastic way to learn more about your hobbies and meet people.
Stay social at home with home care
Staying social as a senior is essential to maintaining your well-being, sense of belonging, and overall happiness. There may be instances when you can’t easily get out of the house to be social, but an at-home caregiver can help with that problem. In addition to assisting with the activities of daily living you may struggle with, caregivers also act as companions to seniors.
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, it is our pleasure to help seniors live the best quality of life possible. For more information on our services, call us at 773-274-9262.
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