Having meaningful and supportive relationships is an integral part of healthy senior living. Friendship can help us achieve true wellness in all areas of our life—emotional, intellectual, spiritual, vocational, and even physical wellbeing.
Unfortunately, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, social activity declines among American with age. Between the ages of 55 and 64, older adults dedicate about 11% of leisure time to spending time with others. That number drops to 8% after 75.
That’s why it’s so important to be plugged into an active retirement community.
You can find healthy, connected senior living with the right retirement community.
No one likes being alone. In our experience with new residents, we’ve found that the decline of social activity among older adults typically stems from a lack of opportunity and not a desire for solitude.
In fact, that’s why many older adults often move into senior living communities—to take advantage of the social, leisure, and educational opportunities these communities offer.
“[At Marjorie P. Lee and other ERH retirement communities,] we have concert series, speaker series and dinners at well-reviewed restaurants,” says Debbie MacLean, the Director of Life Enrichment at Marjorie P. Lee.
We find entertaining ways to build community and promote social engagement.
It can be difficult to connect with others and find meaningful experiences to enrich your life when you don’t live in a senior living or retirement community that sponsors regular events and activities. But it isn’t impossible.
We’ve put together a few ways that can help you stay connected and get you started on the path to total wellness.
Join a club or start a hobby.
Getting involved in a club or group activity is the perfect way to build meaningful connections with people who share your interests. Plus it can help stimulate your mind and body.
- You could try joining a health club or fitness program for older adults to connect with peers, and work on your physical, social and even mental wellness.
- If you already have an exercise routine, see if a local congregation or senior center hosts activities like a knitting group or art classes that are open to the community or specifically for seniors.
Get involved in community outreach.
Plugging into a local charitable endeavor is step toward healthier senior living. There’s plenty of satisfaction in doing good, and connecting with other volunteers offers an opportunity to build lasting relationships.
- The Senior Corps can help you build connections as you put your skills and experience to work in service to others. You can connect one-on-one as a mentor, coach or companion to a person in need. You can also join a team to work on community projects.
- Volunteer Match can pair you with the perfect opportunity. Just visit the website and type your zip code in the box to connect instantly with one of over 74,000 nonprofits in the US that need volunteers like you right in your city.
Rediscover the joy of learning in senior life.
Learning opportunities provide more than intellectual stimulation. Continuing education offers older adults a way to connect with other fellow learners.
- University partnerships with the Bernard Osher Foundation offer older adults in Cincinnati and across the United States the opportunity to find new friendships and feed their passion for learning with expert knowledge.
- The American Association of Community Colleges’ 50+ Initiative is working with a growing number of colleges across the country to provide opportunities for older adults to learn new skills, improve their communities through civic engagement, and meet others with similar goals and interests.
You can find ways to connect and enrich senior life no matter where you live—whether it’s a private home or an apartment in a retirement community.