Staying social, as you age, is an important part of your physical, mental, and emotional well being. You may feel less capable of participating in activities you once found enjoyable. Just because you’re aging, doesn’t mean you have to forgo the social connections that once brought you joy. If you find yourself unable to do the things you used to do, try some of these new ideas and see if your mind and body don’t thank you! Now, get out there and get social!
Top 10 Social Activities for Seniors 1. Find an Exercise You Enjoy “Not only is this a great way to socialize with others, but having a strong fitness routine will also help you maintain your independence. Plus, having a workout partner will keep you motivated and help you stick to your regimen.” [i] 2. Read a Good Book “From mysteries to science fiction, a good book can help anyone to enjoy a higher quality of life. Consider all of the reading opportunities out there that you've passed up. Get caught up or even join a book club.” [ii] 3. Join Your Local Senior Center OHC has 7 Senior Centers located throughout Northwest Arkansas [Bentonville, Berryville, Gravette, Gentry, Huntsville, Lowell, and Siloam Springs]. Each center offers a wide variety of activities including: Wii bowling, pool tournaments, card games, daily hot meals, biking, quilting, and a variety of other activities. Visit www.ohcnwa.org to find out what activities they offer in your area! 4. Take a Bus Tour or Cruise 5. Games “Having fun with a group of people is always a great way to spend time. There are many games ideal for seniors including: Crossword Puzzles, Bingo, Jigsaw Puzzles, Board Games, and Video Games.” [iii] 6. Be Creative “Drawing, coloring, painting, and sculpture are all wonderful ways to be creative. Fun projects might include creating scrapbooks, organizing family photo albums, or making a family recipe book. As a plus, being creative also comes with health benefits. Research has found creative activities can help people who are battling chronic illness to decrease negative emotions and increase positive ones, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes.” [iv] 7. Start a Hobby “Hobbies are great for older adults with limited mobility. Activities that don’t require a lot of moving around include cooking, baking, bird watching, knitting, crochet, indoor or container gardening, playing a musical instrument, or practicing languages. This is also a perfect time to learn something new – maybe there are hobbies or interests they’ve never had a chance to explore before. Learning is also a great way to stay sharp and keep boredom at bay.” [v] 8. Get a Pet “In addition to providing companionship, pets also help improve seniors’ cognitive function, stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate. A dog can be especially helpful because they are guaranteed to take you out of the house for walks, where you are sure to connect with other dog owners!” [vi] 9. Volunteer “This is a wonderful way to stay engaged and feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Contact local charities, hospitals, or religious organizations to find out if they have any projects you could contribute to. That could mean knitting or crocheting blankets or hats, creating no-sew blankets, or helping to assemble care packages.” [vii] 10. Sign-Up for Educational Classes “To combat the cognitive decline that typically accompanies loneliness, brain-stimulating activities like taking classes at a local community college are a great option. You might be surprised to find that your local community college or junior college actually offer special classes and curriculum for seniors. This one is a double bonus because not only will you be learning new things, you’ll also have the opportunity to make like-minded friends.” [viii] [i] Hilary Young, Medical Guardian, accessed 18 March 2019, <https://www.medicalguardian.com/medical-alert-blog/lifestyle/fun-social-activities-for-older-adults>. [ii] Senior Living Editorial Team, Senior Living, accessed 18 March 2019, < https://www.seniorliving.org/life/activities/>. [iii] Senior Living Editorial Team, Senior Living, accessed 18 March 2019, < https://www.seniorliving.org/life/activities/>. [iv] Daily Caring Editorial Team, Daily Caring, accessed 18 March 2019, < https://dailycaring.com/9-enjoyable-activities-for-seniors-with-limited-mobility/>. [v] Daily Caring Editorial Team, Daily Caring, accessed 18 March 2019, < https://dailycaring.com/9-enjoyable-activities-for-seniors-with-limited-mobility/>. [vi] Hilary Young, Medical Guardian, accessed 18 March 2019, https://www.medicalguardian.com/medical-alert-blog/lifestyle/fun-social-activities-for-older-adults>. [vii] Daily Caring Editorial Team, Daily Caring, accessed 18 March 2019, < https://dailycaring.com/9-enjoyable-activities-for-seniors-with-limited-mobility/>. [viii] Hilary Young, Medical Guardian, accessed 18 March 2019, https://www.medicalguardian.com/medical-alert-blog/lifestyle/fun-social-activities-for-older-adults>.