If you’ve ever watched young kids at a playground, you’ve witnessed how easily they gravitate toward other children, and how natural it is for them to come to be fast friends. Sadly, as we get older, we have a tendency to start to become more self-conscious and reserved, and it becomes more complicated to make and maintain friendships. And for older adults, the loss of family and friends over their lifetime makes it even more daunting to maintain strong social connections.
Nevertheless, remaining socially active and involved is so important at any age, and senior socialization is especially vital to overall health and wellbeing. The National Institute on Aging reports that seniors who socialize more decrease the threat of depression and improve cognitive functioning, aiding in protecting against Alzheimer’s and various other forms of dementia.
- Check out the community senior center. In the U.S. alone, there are millions of older individuals enjoying the many offerings of as many as 15,000 senior centers, which provide a plethora of senior socialization opportunities – from activities and classes to nourishing meals to pleasurable day trips, and a lot more. Some senior centers will even provide job training and volunteer opportunities, offering the extra bonus of providing a sense of self-worth and meaning by serving the community.
- Learn something new. A brief online search is sure to display instructive opportunities for senior individuals at the local community college, university or other organization – some of which are even free of charge. It may be that your elderly loved one has always wanted to learn to paint, or pick up a new language. Joining a class of interest supplies the benefit of realizing that dream in addition to getting to know others who share a similar interest.
- Join the fitness center. Whatever a person’s fitness level, staying physically active is extremely important, and with the doctor’s approval, older individuals can increase physical and mental health as well as senior socialization by joining a class such as yoga, water aerobics, tai chi, or even a senior dance program.
- Find a hobby. There are many different groups and clubs that cater to particular hobbies and interests, such as gardening, knitting, painting, and religious activities, just to name several. As rewarding as an activity such as these may be for your older loved one, it’s so much more fun when shared with a companion.
- Partner with Grace Home Care. A top-notch Topeka senior care agency, such as Grace Home Care, can offer a cheerful, fully trained and experienced companion to spend time with a senior, engaging in conversations, reminiscing, sharing meals together, playing games and cards, exercising, enjoying hobbies and interests – whatever the senior desires. We can also provide safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment for excursions, which is particularly helpful for older adults who no longer drive and want to attain the freedom and independence to come and go as they please.
We would love to help your older loved ones remain socially active, bringing a smile and extra joy to each day. Contact us at 785.286.CARE to learn more about our Topeka Alzheimer’s care services, offered in the comfort of home, or to set up a free in-home consultation.