Research has shown socially-active seniors are likely to live longer than those who live in isolation, so it’s important for both body and mind to stay social during the golden years. But if you’re having trouble figuring out how to keep your social life active, we have some tips to help you stay engaged in daily life for healthy mind, body and spirit: the best ideas for social senior living.
After years of getting up early for work, you might feel a bit restless in retirement. Yet this is a great time to start another kind of job: giving back to your community. Start your search by checking the local news for volunteer organizations making a splash.
Some possible volunteer opportunities to experience positive, social senior living include the following:
- Food charities
- Veterans Affairs centers
- Parks and recreation centers
There are also federal programs exclusively for seniors wishing to volunteer. AmeriCorps’ Senior Corps has volunteer opportunities like assisting disabled persons, mentoring youth, home renovation and helping with environmental protection. Some programs also offer a small stipend. There are Senior Corps chapters in every state, and you should be able to find one in your area.
Some volunteer positions may even transition into part-time jobs, a great way to earn extra spending money during social senior living adventures.
Take Adult Education Classes
Learning is a lifelong process. If you live within driving distance of a college, check its website or call to see if the campus offers continuing education courses. These courses are open to older adults and should be offered at a (sometimes heavily) discounted rate. Once there, actively participate in class to make new acquaintances and keep your mind stimulated.
Attend Town Hall Meetings
Retirement is a great time to start getting politically involved in your community. Every week, meetings dictating how your tax dollars are spent take place at your local town hall. There’s something here for everyone: historical commissions, wildlife committees, political committees, education and public works are just a few examples. These meetings are almost always open to the public for local citizens. You’re likely to meet folks with similar interests there, to share in the social senior living lifestyle.
Reach Out to Your Local Senior Center
Senior centers offer events tailored for senior citizens. They may include these options:
- Field trips
- Arts and crafts
- Fitness programs
- Computer classes
- Movies and theater
- Foreign languages
These activities can be free or cost a fee. Ask a senior center associate about any other interests you have. If there’s a program not offered by the center itself, but exists near your community, they are likely to know about it.
You’re much more likely to meet people if you’re not only out and about, also feel good, so don’t spend all your time with your feet up. Your local recreation center may have discounted rates for seniors and offer weight machines or a pool area for low-impact exercises. Taking the time to walk around the neighborhood, or within a favorite area of town, can present you with new social senior living opportunities.