While socializing is an important part of maintaining positive mental health, it can be challenging to find social activities for seniors. After retirement, making new connections doesn’t come as easily for most people, and moving into a senior living community can be intimidating at first. To help, we’ve put together a list of ways that you or your loved ones can get out there and stay social in your local community.
Why is Socializing Important Later in Life?
As we age, staying social becomes increasingly important to our well-being. Not only does socializing help us feel more connected to our community, but it also improves our physical health, mental health, and overall quality of life. According to AARP, socializing can help older adults live longer, happier, and healthier lives. While many seniors participate in clubs or organizations that meet regularly in person, there are also other great ways to stay social through modern technology! Read on to learn more about the benefits of staying socially active as you age.
Building Connections in Your Senior Living Community
When moving into a new senior living community, you may not know how to make connections with your neighbors. Don’t worry—chances are that the people around you are also eager to make new friends. Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation in the dining area or host a social gathering. The first step to any adventure is taking the first leap!
7 Fun Social Activities for Seniors
Having a meal with neighbors and friends is always a nice way to spend an evening in. If you’re looking to stay more engaged in your daily life, here are 7 social activities for older adults to stay connected and active.
1. Walking Clubs
Social groups of any kind are a great way to meet new people with similar interests. A walking club allows older adults to integrate exercise with social interaction. Check your community bulletin boards and faith organizations to find out if there is already a walking club you can join. If you don’t have any luck finding an existing club, it’s never a bad idea to start one yourself! Pick a time that won’t be too hot if you plan to do an outdoor walking club. Or consider an indoor shopping mall as an option.
2. Book Clubs
Joining a book club allows you to fill some alone time with a book while also scheduling social time with a set topic of conversation. You’ll enjoy friendly discourse with others over the exciting new stories you explore.
3. Art Classes
Many senior living communities, including Miami Jewish Health, offer creative classes for residents, like art, writing and music therapy. These classes provide a relaxed and comfortable environment where people can chat and get to know one another while also doing something creative.
4. Continuing Education Classes
Continuing education courses can serve as wonderful social activities for seniors. You can exercise your mind with a variety of classes online or at a local school.
In the words of Albert Einstein, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
It’s never too late to learn something new!
5. Spa Days
One of the best things about getting older is that you can finally treat yourself to a spa day without feeling guilty. Spa days are not only a great way to relax, but they can also be beneficial for your health. Self-care days have been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep quality. There’s also no pressure of planning an activity with friends because it’s just your group and an expert beautician or masseuse, making sure all your needs are met!
6. Community Events
Community events outside of your senior living community such as farmers’ markets and concerts in the park are also wonderful social activities for seniors. Rather than a grocery store or delivery service, consider purchasing your fresh fruits and vegetables at the next community farmer’s market where you can chat with vendors and take in some sunshine.
Live theater is a classic way to enjoy time away from home in your community. Check out the Adrienne Arsht Center’s calendar of live shows.
Community events can also be found by checking out the Greater Miami Jewish Federation events calendar.
Volunteering is a great way to give back to your local community while socializing with other people. Volunteering can help reduce isolation and loneliness, and it can also help keep older adults active and engaged. There are many different types of volunteering opportunities available, so there’s sure to be something that interests everyone.
A local animal shelter is a great place to find friendship and purpose for animal lovers. Volunteering at an animal shelter will have you spending your days giving scratches and cuddles in exchange for lifelong connections.
If you prefer to give back to the humans of your community, try reaching out to a local hospital to find out what kind of comfort you could bring to patients and their families.
With these tips, you will have an active and thriving social life in no time! As always, remember to only take on as much as you can handle, and always rest if you feel you are doing too much. Happy socializing!