With the absence of child rearing and demanding careers, seniors finally have the opportunity to engage in numerous activities and maintain active social lives. However, the reality is that most seniors, experiencing the losses associated with aging, become isolated and risk suffering from debilitating depression rather than staying socially active with friends and within the community. The health benefits associated with maintaining an active social life are substantial, however. The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) found that elderly people who maintain an active social life have a slower rate of memory decline. According to PubMed Central, socially active and productive people also live significantly longer than those who are not.
Here are some activities that will encourage your loved ones to remain socially active with age:
Meals with Peers: Seniors may have difficulty with preparing meals or lose interest in food if they become depressed. Shared meals can take place in the home or at senior centers many of which include transportation. Sharing meals with one's peers provides the social interaction necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Part time Job: Without the responsibility of your former pressure packed employment, you have the option of working part time and doing something totally different from what you had been doing. Working on your terms and doing that fun thing you always thought might be fun but would never pay the bills plus the few extra dollars you could make wouldn't hurt a thing.
Engage in Social Media: Social media allows those who are homebound or isolated to talk, share and laugh with others. The elderly are able to participate in conversations and see those who they otherwise might not see regularly. Many senior living communities offer how-to classes on social media outlets. Engaging in video chats allow friends and family to stay in-touch with loved ones.
Start Writing: Write a blog or a personal memoir about your life experiences and the things you have learned. It is sometimes difficult to get started but many suggest that you sit down and just start writing what is on your mind at the moment. Many people are surprised at what they remember AND what they discover. Your "diary" and memoirs will leave a wonderful legacy for your family.
Get Involved in the Community: Experience Corps was created for seniors to mobilize their time, talent and experience. With EC seniors are given the opportunity to act as tutors and mentors to children in participating communities. Senior Corps is another program that gives seniors the opportunity to give back. By offering numerous programs that seniors can engage in (i.e. counseling new business owners and teen parents, building houses, etc.) they are sure to develop and maintain an active social life.
Get Out and Exercise. Maintaining health and fitness as we age is ever so important. There are many places to exercise from gyms and health clubs to senior centers to mall walking. Explore options to keep moving and staying strong and mobile.
Get Traveling. While everyone in retirement needs to live within their means, NOW is a great time to travel. Whether you do short day trips to local attractions at nearby cities or you buy a motor home and travel the country, getting out and experiencing new things is one of the retirement's benefits. Experience your world. Set goals for yourself like visiting every major league baseball park in the country, visiting every major city in your state or visiting the presidential libraries of your favorite presidents. Traveling not only offers new experiences but the trip planning also gives you something to do and look forward to.
No matter what activity, ensuring your safety is the number one priority at LifeFone. We have choices of medical alert systems that are great for at home or on the go.