If you’ve ever observed young children at a park, you’ve witnessed how quickly they gravitate towards other kids, and how second-nature it is for them to be fast friends. Regrettably, as we grow older, we usually tend to begin to be more self-conscious and reserved, and it becomes much harder to make and keep friendships. And for the elderly, the loss of family and friends over time makes it even more difficult to sustain strong social ties.
And yet, continuing to be socially active and connected is so essential at any age, and socializing for seniors is integral to health and wellness. The National Institute on Aging shares that senior socialization reduces the threat of depression and increases cognitive functioning, protecting against Alzheimer’s disease and alternate kinds of dementia.
- Engage with the community senior center. In the United States alone, there are millions of older adults utilizing the many services of around 15,000 senior centers, which supply a plethora of senior socialization possibilities – from classes and activities to nourishing meals to entertaining day trips, and much more. Some senior centers even provide job training and volunteer opportunities, supplying the additional advantage of boosting a senior’s self-worth and purpose through helping in the community.
- Learn something new. A quick search online is certain to show learning opportunities for seniors at the local community college, university or other organization – a number of which may even be offered free of charge. It could be that your older loved one has always wanted to learn a new language, or to play an instrument. Joining a class of interest gives the benefit of realizing that dream along with getting to know other people who share in that interest.
- Join a fitness center. Whatever a person’s physical fitness level, continuing to be physically active is extremely important. With the physician’s endorsement, older adults can improve physical and psychological health as well as socialization by taking a class such as yoga, water aerobics, tai chi, or even a senior dance program.
- Pick up a hobby. There are a variety of groups that are based around specific interests, such as gardening, knitting, painting, and religious activities, just to name a handful. As pleasant as an activity such as these may be for your aging loved one, it’s so much more fun when shared with a friend.
- Partner with Live Free. A trusted in-home care agency, such as Live Free Home Health Care, can provide a caring, fully trained and experienced companion to visit with a senior, participating in discussions, reminiscing, sharing meals together, playing cards or board games, exercising, enjoying favorite pastimes – whatever the senior desires. We can also provide safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment for outings, which is especially beneficial for older individuals who no longer drive and want to regain the freedom and independence to come and go as they please.
We’d love to help your senior loved ones remain socially active, bringing a smile and added joy to each day. Contact us 603-217-0149 to learn more about our New Hampton, NH senior care services, offered in the convenience of home, or to set up a free in-home consultation.