How to Re-Build Your Social Life As A Senior Citizen
As we age we undergo many changes to our body, mind, and everyday life (as welcome or unwelcome that can be). As our eyesight declines we may not enjoy going to the movies as much as we used to, and the creaking in our stiff joints may convince us to stay sedentary. Other factors can also contribute to our lack of interest in being social, such as loss of a loved one, or moving into a group home where socializing seems “mandatory.” Whatever the case, taking back our social life as an older adult can seem a daunting task, but one that can be made easier by taking steps in the right direction.
First, try to think back on the activities that brought you joy in the past. Was there a life changing event that put other activities on hold? Are you still physically capable of enjoying those activities? If it’s something different you’d like to try, look into classes available to seniors at your local senior center or college. If you find yourself in a group home, check to see if they offer classes or hobby groups.
Second, try revamping your physical self. Staying or returning to being active does wonders for our mind and spirit, not just our muscles and bones. It could mean something as relaxing as taking a walk with your caregiver, to joining senior workout classes at your local gym. Weights aren’t for you? See if your local senior center is offering a dance class! There are seemingly endless ways to safely get active and stay active as an older adult.
At this point, the thought of going out on your own may seem overwhelming. That brings us to our third step, finding a buddy. Your buddy could be someone you know, such as a neighbor or relative, or it could be someone new, such as a caregiver or companion. There are quite a few caregiver/companion services available to seniors. Be sure to ask plenty of questions when setting up visits with an agency. Here at Premier Senior Home Care, all of our caregivers/companions are licensed and bonded, have at least 2 years of experience, and we do not allow anyone on our registry that has any prior convictions such as theft, driving under the influence, or elder abuse.
Step four is an important one, and is unfortunately looked over more times than not. Don’t forget to keep an open mind. It can be so easy to pass up opportunity because of some reason or another; maybe new technology sounds confusing, or the thought of going out seems like too much of a hassle. Take a day with your buddy (step three) and try to keep the word “no” out of your vocabulary.
Step five can be one of the most rewarding steps, and that is the chance to mentor a young person. This is ultimately a win-win relationship; young people have a hankering for knowledge, and older adults are brimming with it! There are many local organizations eager for volunteers, such as museums and youth clubs.
Step six is easier said than done at times, but no matter the challenge, do your best to stay positive. Sometimes saying just one nice thing to every person you meet throughout your day can be enough to lift your spirits. Even the simple act of smiling induces a chemical reaction in your body that gives you strength and eliminates stress.
Lastly, step seven will have you challenge yourself to be creative about your thinking. Do some research and see what other adults your age have accomplished. Older adults are writing novels at the age of 90, sailing overseas at 80, even running marathons at 100! As the saying goes, “You’re only as old as you feel.”
Following these seven steps will undoubtedly kick up your social life and bring joy to your golden years. Now go tackle the world with the revitalized you!