As you get older, it is normal for your social circle to shrink. For those of us who become parents, we quickly notice that we have less time for friendships. Those friends we do have tend to be parents like ourselves. Once our children are older we head back to work and if we don’t maintain work friendships we start to find that our friends are slowly dropping away.
When we are seniors, without a strong social network from work or outside activities, we notice the loss. Loss of friends, family members, group support from hobbies we once enjoyed. If we live long enough we can find ourselves isolated with few options left to find new friends. We may also have mobility issues and chronic diseases. These lead to us staying home and not having opportunities to get out and meet new people.
How can seniors grow their social circles as they age?
- Of the social programs available to seniors, including events at senior centers, check for those that provide transportation. Many areas have transportation available which is specifically aimed toward seniors, including those with wheel chairs and walkers.
- Look for fitness programs and art activities geared toward the elderly. Many of these will provide support and supervision for those with cognitive difficulties and other impairments.
- Ask your loved ones what most interests them. Is it books or movies? Music or sports? Some like painting or writing while others prefer bird watching. If they have interests which they haven’t followed up with in some time, now may be the time to start getting involved again. Look for choirs for seniors or art lessons at nearby colleges.
Social interaction of some type is a part of healthy aging. Getting involved doing something you love can add years to your life and enjoyment to each day. For more information on aging and social activities, click here.