The first social group we all have is our family… so strengthen relationships with brothers, sisters, children, nephews, nieces, and cousins. Since they are people you know for the longest time and have shared things with them for years, it’s an easy way to start. It is most likely that social contact is beneficial by building cognitive reserve, meaning greater resilience against the damage which occurs in conditions like dementia, so that people have well-developed language and memory skills which help them cope for longer and delay the problems caused by dementia.
If a regular gym seems a bit intimidating, consider joining a senior fitness center, or opt for low-impact group classes at your neighborhood gym. Beyond the obvious physical impact, the connections you make with people and the relationships you build can help achieve a state of total wellness, no matter your age.
Volunteer in the Community
Volunteering is a priceless and ageless way to serve a greater purpose and engage with people from all walks of life. In no other setting can you work so closely and passionately with people, young and old, and work toward a common goal without any expectation of personal return – beyond the value of giving. Reach out to schools, community centers, animal shelters, libraries, places of worship, and area non-profit organizations. Try to seek out opportunities that will challenge and empower you to make a real difference.
Ready to go back to work? There’s no better time than now. Working part-time as a retiree is a great way to stay engaged and involved. As an added bonus, you can stash a few bucks away for rainy days. Here are a few options:
- Become a tutor
- Apply to become a teacher’s aide
- Work in customer service
- Find a retail job
- Be a pet sitter or dog walker
- Try bookkeeping or medical billing
- Apply your career skills as a consultant
- Work special events and try seasonal gigs
Stay in Touch with Family and Neighbors
When you can find a little free time, don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones. Take a grandchild out for lunch, or ask a neighbor if they could use a hand – or a shoulder. It never hurts to stay in touch. Try to go out of your way to maintain relationships, as many people fail to stay proactive. Having a hard time reaching out the old fashioned way? Try reaching out via social media. Or surprise someone with a FaceTime or Skype call. If you don’t have family or neighbors to engage with, be sure to have conversations with those you see every day. The baristas at the coffee shop. The pharmacist. The person at the grocery store register. Every interaction is a chance to make someone’s day. And in turn, you could make your own too!
There are so many benefits of social activities for the elderly and even more wonderful ways to stay socially active; sometimes it’s a matter of just putting yourself out there and finding ways to explore and enjoy your favorite hobbies in a more social setting.