Social connections for seniors is critical in their maintaining a healthy and productive life. One of seniors biggest concerns is about losing their social network.
As friends start to pass away or move to be closer to their families, many seniors find themselves without nearby friends to meet up with for everyday socializing.
Making matters worse, many seniors reach an age where they can no longer drive safely and start to have an increasingly harder time getting around as age continues to take its toll. It can get far too easy for seniors of a certain age to rarely leave the house and go days without talking to loved ones.
Loneliness can lead to a number of health issues, including higher blood pressure, more susceptibility to the flu, and a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. On top of all that is the obvious truth that loneliness is painful in and of itself.
Here are some tips on how seniors can maintain and thrive building social connections.
Social Connections: Commit to a social hobby.
At any age, social hobbies are one of the best ways to meet new people with shared interests. Think about what you like to do and look for a group in your community to do it with. That could mean setting up a weekly bridge game, getting involved with a local organization, or taking a class, just to name a few options.
Social Connections: Get Involved
Get involved with volunteer organizations in your area. Since driving’s often one of the hard parts of getting out more, finding people to connect with nearby can be especially useful. For that reason, it’s worthwhile to try to meet any other seniors that live in your neighborhood. Be quick to say hi and start up a conversation when you see anyone on walks around the neighborhood, and consider volunteering with your HOA as a way to meet people.
The website NextDoor also makes it easy to connect with your neighbors. You can post there to find fellow retirees in the area who might be interested in a regular bridge game or daily walks together.
Social Connections: Join Together
Moving to a 55+ community gives you immediate access to a whole neighborhood full of people in your general age group. You can easily meet other seniors and get involved with the community-led groups and activities.
In a 55+ community, most of your neighbors will be fellow retirees with plenty of time to socialize with their neighbors. They have the same issues and concerns as you. You’ll tap into a community of people more inclined to help each other out with the needs that come with aging. Plus, you have similar interests. And most 55+ communities offer a wide range of activities, such as exercise classes, game nights, or trips to nearby museums.
One of the big benefits that draws seniors to 55+ communities is that it makes socializing as you age much easier. The likelihood of social isolation becomes almost zero, even as you continue to have your own home or apartment and as much independence as you could want.