Being social and having a busy social life is a big part of feeling like we belong, growing, and having fun. Healthy relationships and a sense of community help us figure out who we are and keep us healthy throughout our lives.
Social interaction is just as important as physical exercise, but we often forget about it. Being involved in our communities helps us deal with the many problems, challenges, and new situations we face in life. This is especially important for older people, whose lives often go through significant changes that are hard for them to deal with.
Social health for older adults
Social wellness is our ability to make and keep healthy relationships, connect with other people in a meaningful way, and find and do things we enjoy. This is very good for our mental and emotional health, which is a big part of how well we are. Social health also helps us a lot when things get hard or change in our lives. This is very important for older people, whose lives can change significantly as they get older. Some examples include:
- Loss of (or trouble with) mobility
- The death of a partner or another loved one
- How medical conditions come about
- Different ways of living (for example living in a retirement community or assisted living facility)
It’s hard to deal with and understand change. You have to make big changes for these significant changes, which can be challenging. Having a group of friends and people you can count on can help you through these changes. As you learn new ways to be and live, which can be challenging and make you feel overwhelmed, having other people in your life gives you a sense of comfort and stability. This can help you feel less alone, anxious, depressed, and isolated as you get closer to this time in your life.
Advantages of having an active social life
Being with other people is a massive part of what makes life beautiful and happy. Being involved and active in your community has a lot of benefits.
Keeps you connected: Getting older, seeing your kids start their own families, and retiring all change how you spend your time in a big way. It can be hard to get used to not having a schedule that includes work and children. It gives you a lot of time that you might not know what to do with right away. Being involved in your community and making new friends is a great way to make sense of this new time in your life. Feeling like you belong and being part of a community not only gives you support but can also give you new goals.
Keeps your mood up: A renewed sense of purpose can help you figure out who you are and what you want in this new part of your life. Having healthy relationships with people and doing things you enjoy is good for your health and happiness.
Keeps you active: To improve your health, being social often means doing things like trying new things, making hobbies, etc., that keep your mind and body active. This helps your body and mind stay healthy and gives your body energy. This can lower the chance of getting sick and keep your health in good shape.
Engaging with other people makes life exciting and keeps us growing and learning.
How to meet more people
There are many ways for older people who want to make friends and meet new people. Among these are:
- Helping others: Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community and meet new people. This also lets you make a good contribution and help other people. Food banks, schools, and animal shelters are just some places always looking for volunteers.
- Joining a fitness center: Some gyms and health centers have classes for people over 50. People often take fitness classes like yoga, swimming, walking, etc., which are a great way to stay physically active and meet people who like the same things you do.
- Continuing education: Many community colleges and centers offer classes for people who want to keep learning. This is a great way to learn something new, pursue a hobby, and meet people you can learn with!
It’s not always easy to be social. It means getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. But the benefits are well worth it and can make a big difference in the quality and length of your life. Contact us right away to set up a meeting.