As people age, staying social and involved in the community becomes even more important and seniors are at a higher risk of suffering from loneliness and isolation. Living alone, retirement, losing loved ones and poor health conditions can all prevent seniors from being social. But studies show people who are social are less likely to suffer from depression, live longer, have less stress and better self esteem.
Here are some ways you can help your elderly loved one get involved in the community. If your loved one is able, encourage him or her to:
- Volunteer. Lots of organizations, especially not-for-profits are always looking for extra help. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and give back to the community.
- Join a club. Take a look at your loved one’s interests and see if you can find a club that caters to their hobbies. Some ideas include a book club, chess club, bridge club, knitting club, etc.
- Visit local senior centers. There are lots of different fun activities that encourage seniors to learn a new skill and connect with one another.
- Check out the library. Look for events going on in the community and different workshops posted at the library. This may also be a good way to find a book club.
- Try out an adult education class. Especially if your loved one likes to learn.
- Exercise. Exercise is an important part of health, so why not try and find a social way to be active? There are a lot of different fitness classes available that are directed at seniors. Some ideas include aqua fit, yoga, or a walking club.
- Get spiritual. Churches, synagogues, temples, etc. are all great places to get involved and meet new people.
- Connect to college/university courses. Taking a class at a local school can help keep your loved one’s mind sharp and get them out of the house and interacting with others.
- Join a support group. If your loved one is struggling with an issue, a support group can help them connect with others facing similar challenges so that they can share their experiences.