How to be Social as a Senior

More than 13 million people aged 65 and older lived alone in 2017, a situation challenging to a person’s mental and physical health. Social well-being is not a product of spontaneity, but of a lifestyle. As we age it is natural to withdraw as we lose family and friends to life-changing events… a move, serious diagnosis, or death. However, the need to be social is a constant requirement, not only for brains, but for bodies. Seniors should be confident as life brings changes it is okay to begin living a different way, one embracing Quality of Life.

An in depth study of social activity and social isolation from the University College London reported those over the age of sixty were 12% less likely to develop dementia when visiting with friends on a daily basis. Family may be more limited, but friends are found in different places, days, and circumstances.

Social contact helps Seniors build what is known as cognitive reserve. Language, vocabulary, and memory are bolstered when the brain is in use, resulting in longer retention. Many opportunities exist to be social, but sometimes a gentle nudge from a loved one is needed. Consider the following approaches to finding opportunities and “come out of your shell.”

Be Open Minded. Ouch! Unpleasant, but true. As we age, it is easy to become judgmental, avoiding people or situations outside previous decades of encounters. Try learning a new skill, perhaps a card game at a local Senior Center. Seek out a book club or Bible study. These are activities holding little commitment but big possibilities for meeting other Seniors or even the younger generation. Volunteer to be a mentor and share skills.

Hit the Gym. Join a work-out class designed for Seniors. TaiChi, Yoga, and strength training are just a few. Find a local dance class. Others besides your Senior may be looking for a part-time dance partner. If not, simply moving to the music benefits both body and brain.

Travel. Many community and church groups offer mini tours to local sites of interest. Accommodations are made for those needing assistance walking or stopping for a breather. If travel is not a wise choice, consider attending a travelogue, checking out a local park, or volunteering to do the driving for a fellow Senior. Even birdwatching could evolve into conversations with peers.

Embrace Technology. Social media has opened the door for long distance communication. Children and grandchildren are able to “Zoom” or “face time” with grandparents at any time or day. A set time gives everyone a chance to look forward to the next get-together.

Bridge to Better Living assists Seniors and loved ones find the best Senior Community to fit their social lifestyle. Each client is important to us. Whether they play a mean game of ping pong or place last in a marathon, Bridge to Better Living offers a chance to find Quality of Life. Contact Bridge to Better Living today. This choice is the best first choice.