- On July 5, 2016
If you’re a senior or a caregiver for a senior, you know it’s easy to become less social and mindfully engaged during retirement. Changes in the brain can make it difficult to adjust to new circumstances, and often seniors live alone or are presented with very few opportunities to meet new people and socialize.
Many senior health issues can be kept at bay with extra attention to regular social engagement. Here are some of the important and impressive health benefits of staying socially active in retirement:
• Social engagement can make every day more fun and give you new focus, hindering depression and anxiety.
• When you keep your mind healthy with regular interaction, you may also be reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago discovered that highly social seniors had a 70 percent lower rate of cognitive decline than their less social peers. (McCoy, “How to Stay Socially Engaged as You Age”, everydayhealth.com.)
• Staying physically active in a group setting is a great way to stay social and can simultaneously help reduce the risks of cardiovascular problems, some cancers, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. It’s also a great way to boost your immune system so you can ward off countless types of illnesses.
At Gable Pines, a beautiful resort-style retirement community located in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota, we are committed to keeping our residents intellectually stimulated and socially connected. Here are a few ways seniors can cultivate relationships with friends, family, neighbors and other important people in your life:
• Inquire about your senior living community’s schedule for regular activities and participate in the ones that pique your interest. Gable Pines regularly hosts events so that residents can enjoy making new friends within the community.
• Play games that stimulate your mind like chess, Bridge, Sudoku and crossword puzzles.
• Join a gym or a fitness center to stay in shape and meet new people. Gable Pines offers a variety of group fitness classes to keep residents engaged and healthy.
• If you like kids and are able, help your children or grandchildren with childcare.
• Open a Facebook or Twitter account to stay engaged, even when you can’t meet up with your favorite people every day. It’s a great way to stay in touch with loved ones and recent events.
• Take a class. Learn a new computer program or brush up on a foreign language. If possible, enroll in a course with some friends, or sign up for a course alone and make new friends!
• Pursue a passion that you haven’t before or start a new hobby.
• Call your favorite organization and inquire about regular volunteer work or take a fun part-time job.
• Join (or start) a club. Select something you already enjoy—like art, reading, gardening or carpentry—and attend the meetings regularly.
At Gable Pines, we offer seniors the opportunity to set aside the responsibilities of home ownership and enjoy a variety of activities in an engaging setting that’s conducive to developing new skills, trying new hobbies, and pursuing cultural and educational opportunities.
Sources: everydayhealth.com and University of Rochester Medical Center
University of Rochester Medical Center: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=4513