Socialization is important throughout life, especially for those aged 65+. Researchers have found that seniors who stay active and socially engaged tend to live happier, healthier, and even longer lives than those who do not. Sadly, millions of seniors aren’t as social as they could be. If there is an elderly loved one in your life who has trouble making new friends, here’s how to help them stay connected with others.
How Socialization Benefits Older Adults
Social isolation and loneliness have been linked to numerous health problems in the elderly. On the other hand, these are some of the ways that social interaction can improve an older adult’s quality of life:
- Physical health. Aging adults who exercise and participate in group classes are less likely to develop physical problems like heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. Because they also tend to skip fewer meals, active seniors are also at lower risk for malnutrition.
- Cognitive health. Evidence now indicates that socialization can help prevent or slow the progression of memory loss, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
- Psychological health. Older adults who are socially engaged tend to experience a greater sense-of-belonging and higher self-esteem. Those positive psychological benefits lead to long-lasting bonds that help keep depression and anxiety away.
Social Engagement Tips for Seniors
As a concerned family member or friend here are some proven ways to keep those special seniors in your life social:
Volunteering at a hospital, community playhouse or cancer center is a great opportunity for seniors to boost their self-esteem while meeting and serving others. For retired educators, tutoring students is another easy way to serve and stay connected with others.
Find a gym
Not only is regular exercise healthy for older adults, joining a senior-focused gym provides them with a format to meet new people and establish long-lasting friendships. The SilverSneakers program provides instant access to thousands of nationwide fitness venues, and membership is free for seniors that belong to a Medicare Advantage plan!
Get a part-time job
Although working full time might be too much, taking on a part-time job is another option for your loved one. Not only will it put a little extra cash in their pocket, being around others will also boost their self-confidence and promote new friendships.
Join a club
Help your senior find a club in the area with members that share their same hobbies and interests. It could be something like book reading, gardening, woodworking or drawing. It is never too late to learn something new while meeting like-minded people!
Babysit young children
If your loved one has grandchildren or other young family members that live nearby, they can offer to babysit. Spending time around children is a great way to stay physically fit and sharpen mental acuity.
Social media/video chats
Notably for seniors with mobility issues, social media and video chat services are a great way to stay connected with family and friends- or meet new friends. If your loved one isn’t tech-savvy teach them how to use Zoom, Skype, Facebook Video Chat or another platform. When you can’t be there, video chats also give you the opportunity to comfort your senior from a distance.
Sitting down and playing some card or board games with your loved one will help their mental acuity and provide much-needed companionship. Sharing a few laughs and old memories will also help you both forget about life’s problems for a while.
We Love Keeping At-Home Seniors Socially Engaged!
Finding ways to keep an aging loved one socially engaged can be challenging when you’re busy or live far away. When you need assistance, contact New Wave Home Care. As a fully licensed home care provider our experienced companionship caregivers know how to keep seniors active and socially engaged so they can remain right where they want to be. Our compassionate professionals go above-and-beyond in their dedication to providing care for others. We want to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
In addition to companionship care, we support clients and their families with personalized in-home care solutions like specialized care, transitional care, personal care, respite care, hospice support, and dementia and Alzheimer’s care. At New Wave Home Care, it’s not just about caregiving. It’s about heart! To learn more now or to set up a FREE in-home assessment for a senior in the greater Los Angeles area please visit us at www.newwavehomecare.com.