One essential factor in senior health that’s sometimes easy to overlook is the importance of socialization. Interacting with others on a regular basis is good mental exercise, helping with memory and maintaining strong cognitive function. It also helps reduce depression, anxiety, and stress. Plus, being socially active can help seniors be more physically active!
Wondering how you or your loved one can add more socialization to your life? Here are a few suggestions.
Volunteer Your Time
Do you have a skill or work experience that would be helpful to someone else? There are a variety of fulfilling ways to help others by volunteering your time. You could assist someone with their taxes, help a young person with their homework, or read to children. Other ways to give back while interacting with others include serving meals in a soup kitchen or helping Meals on Wheels People deliver food. The AARP website is a great place to start your search for senior volunteer opportunities.
Join a Club
There are a variety of fun clubs out there that are perfect for seniors looking to meet others. Your senior living community, local library, or senior center likely has book clubs you can join. Or join a walking club and combine socializing with physical fitness. A more general fitness group is also a great option. If mobility is an issue, consider joining an art club or one focused on a personal interest of yours, such as model building, woodworking, or stamp collecting.
Schedule Weekly Visits or Video Chats
Just chatting with friends and family is a great way to get all the mental and cognitive benefits of socializing. It can be easy to let time fly between visits, so set a weekly date to talk. If family or friends don’t live close by, set up a virtual get-together. Many senior living communities have staff who can help you set these up, if you don’t know how. Or you may be able to find a young person in your community, through your senior center, who can guide you in how to organize and set up a virtual chat.
Use Social Networking
If getting out to do things is difficult for you, another fun way to socialize using modern technology is through social networking sites like Facebook, Stitch, and Silversurfers. All you need to use these sites is a home computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access, so many seniors may find social media even easier than video chats.
Keeping connections and building new ones are an important part of maintaining your full-body health. For more tips on aging well, visit the Brightwater Senior Living blog.