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Senior Health: Social Connections Matter

Social interaction is important for people of all ages. However, it becomes vital for older adults during their senior years. Senior health can sometimes overlook how susceptible seniors are to social isolation, which can lead to other health conditions. Taking care of your social well-being can significantly impact your mental and physical health.

How staying social helps

Social activities are important for seniors for many reasons, one of the biggest reasons being isolation. Participating in social activities regularly keeps loneliness at bay and helps give purpose to people who may lack it.

The following are a few of the benefits that come with staying socially active as you age:

  • Improved cognitive functions
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased physical health
  • Avoid isolation
  • Creates daily purpose

Social challenges

It can be challenging for seniors to be socially active as they age. It is common for seniors to suffer from isolation for many reasons such as friends and family dying, relocation, and physical limitations.

For seniors who are living in an assisted living or nursing home environment, it can be easier for them to find social activities to participate in regularly. However, for those who do not live in nursing homes, they have more challenges to overcome. For example, seniors who are living alone may suffer from physical or emotional issues. These can make it hard to leave the house and discourage them from having visitors.

Join a senior club

Getting involved in senior clubs near you is a great way to get socially involved. Most areas have a variety of club options available. Some groups are for general interests and will offer a variety of activities related to those interested, while others concentrate on specific interests.

Additionally, some towns have community centers or libraries that host senior citizen clubs. The typical social group for seniors offer organized activities .

Volunteering

Volunteering is such a broad field that anyone can find something a cause that they are interested in working with. Volunteering can be fun and become a meaningful social activity. You can get out of the house, meet new people, and make a difference. 

Adopt a pet

Adopting a pet is a life-changing event. They can provide you with socialization, and in some cases, physical activity. Pets can help with other social issues as well such as anxiety and depression.

Walking a dog can force you to get outdoors, and can help open up conversations with other animal lovers whether it is online or at the park with your new dog. 

If you are not in a situation where you can not adopt a pet, you can look into volunteering at your local animal shelter instead.

Senior social networking sites

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family or reconnect with people no matter your age. This also makes it easy to stay engaged without having to leave the house.

You can join popular sites that allow you to make your own personal profile, then connect with friends and family members, join groups, and engage in other social activities for seniors near you. 

The following are three of the top social media sites for seniors:

  • Facebook. A social networking site that offers everything from live chatting to videos to games. 
  • Meetup. Helps people find groups or events that take place offline in towns and cities.
  • Stitch. Designed for people who are 50-plus years old.

Organized trip group trips

If you are one of the adventurous type, you may be interested in not only getting out of the house, but out of the state or country! Most cities or towns have traveling groups, some specifically for seniors.

You can sign up for a senior bus tour for a day or a weekend trip to a casino or something similar. If you are interested in something longer, you could try booking a cruise or even renting an RV that specialize in senior trips. You can start the process by checking for local traveling companies. 

No matter what you are interested in, there is something out there for you. No matter how hard it may seem sometimes, it is important for your health to stay active and social. If you are having a hard time with any of these options, reach out to a family member that can help get you set up and socializing.

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Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Med-Alert Pros in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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