If you have ever watched young children at a playground, you’re aware of how readily they gravitate towards other little ones, and how second-nature it is for them to come to be fast friends. Unfortunately, as we mature, we tend to begin to be more reserved and self-conscious, and it becomes harder to make and keep new friendships. And for the elderly, the loss of family and friends over the years makes it even more difficult to sustain strong social connections.
And yet, continuing to be socially active and involved is so critical at any age, and socializing for seniors is especially important to health and wellbeing. The National Institute on Aging documents that senior socialization decreases the risk for depression and enhances cognitive functioning, aiding in protecting against Alzheimer’s and alternate forms of dementia.
- Engage with your community’s senior center. In America alone, there are millions of older adults utilizing the many services of nearly 15,000 senior centers, which provide a variety of senior socialization opportunities – from classes and activities to healthy meals to fun day trips, and more. Some senior centers offer job training and volunteer opportunities, offering the additional bonus of providing a sense of purpose and self-worth in serving in the community.
- Learn something new. A quick search online is certain to display educational opportunities for older adults at the local community college, university or other organization – many of which are even offered at no cost. It may be that your older loved one has always wanted to learn sign language, or to paint portraits. Joining a class of interest offers the perk of realizing that dream along with meeting other individuals who share a similar interest.
- Join the health club. Regardless of fitness level, staying physically active is vitally important, and with the physician’s approval, older adults can boost physical and mental health as well as senior socialization by signing up for a class such as yoga, water aerobics, tai chi, or even a senior dance program.
- Find a hobby. There are numerous groups and clubs that focus on particular hobbies, such as drawing, gardening, crocheting, and religious activities, just to name a handful. As pleasurable as an activity such as these may be for your senior loved one, it’s so much more fun when shared with a friend.
- Partner with Compassionate Nursing Services. A trusted St. Louis home care agency, such as Compassionate Nursing Services, can offer a cheerful, fully trained and experienced companion to enjoy time with a senior, engaging in conversations, reminiscing, sharing meals together, playing games and cards, exercising, enjoying favorite pastimes – whatever the senior desires. We can also provide safe, reliable transportation and accompaniment for excursions, which is specifically helpful for seniors who no longer drive and want to attain the freedom and independence to come and go as they please.
We’d love to help your older loved ones remain socially active, bringing a smile and extra joy to each day. Contact us at 314-432-4312 to learn more about our St. Louis home care services, offered in the convenience of home, or to set up a free in-home consultation.