Being Socially Engaged Can Enhance Your Life As You Age

November 20th, 2014 by John Wilson

Residents get together at the Village at Oakwood assisted living communities.

The Village at Oakwood assisted living communities keep residents engaged.

The cost of assisted living and aging gracefully are two oft-mentioned concerns for seniors. Residents at Village at Oakwood assisted living communities find the time-tested general guidance of eating healthy and exercising often still holds true in order to live a long, happy life; however, experts also recommend keeping your mind stimulated and staying socially engaged as two ways to enhance your life.

Physical ailments and disabilities can make it difficult for some seniors to get around. Maybe you don’t get out as much as you used to; however, it is easy to stay socially engaged if you have a computer. Facebook, Twitter and e-mail makes it simple to stay in touch and keep up with the important people in your life.

The age 74 and up demographic is the fastest-growing group of users across Web-based social networks, according to research from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Facebook and Twitter have seen use by those aged 65 and older double between 2009 and 2010, leaping from 13 percent to 26 percent. Some assisted living communities have started teaching technology classes to get seniors up to speed on social networking.

Staying socially engaged doesn’t just refer to keeping up with social media. Here are some other ways to keep your mind stimulated and connect with others:

Exercise Your Brain

Do crossword puzzles or play scrabble, chess or any other intellectually stimulating game you can find. This will keep your mind active and if you make it a group activity, you can stay connected to others.

Go Clubbing

No, not clubbing like a 20-something. Consider your interests. Join a book, gardening or photography club and attend the meetings regularly. This activity is a good way to find new friends who have similar interests. The local senior center may know of clubs looking for new members; however, don’t just limit yourself to clubs with older members. Clubs with meetings in the evenings or weekends may have members of all ages you can connect with and find common ground.

Get a Job

You worked most of your adult life and were thrilled to finally call it a day…permanently. Or were you? You may be having trouble adjusting to life without the routine of employment, especially if what you did is a large part of who you are. If that sounds like you, look for a part-time job. Working will help keep your mind stimulated, give you an opportunity to engage with others and could help with the cost of assisted living.

Give Back

Lots of organizations are looking for volunteers, and retired seniors are perfect candidates because they may have a lot of available time. Research has shown volunteering can be good for your health because older persons who volunteer have a reduced risk of death in comparison to those who don’t volunteer.

Staying socially engaged as you age has many benefits. In some cases, continuing to interact with your peers can help prevent depression and dementia.

If you are concerned about the cost of assisted living and maintaining social connections, contact us. The Village at Oakwood assisted living communities can help you find ways to stay connected.

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