The importance of Social Activities for the Elderly

 

Generally, people are social by nature and need high-quality social relationships to live longer, happier, and healthier lives. As we age, this can become harder and have several knock-on effects to our health and wellbeing.

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When we get older it can become increasingly difficult to get time out of the house, engaging socially with friends or family. This is largely due to decreased mobility, losing those close to them, and lasting effects of the pandemic. For a lot of us, returning to social lives was a quick transition, but for a lot of older adults, health concerns have left them reluctant to returning to social situations. As a result, many seniors feel it necessary to isolate in their homes, which in turn, leads to feelings of loneliness and ultimately health problems.

Loneliness in older adults is particularly problematic. In fact, isolated older adults are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide. As well as around 50% more at risk of developing dementia. For this reason, it is incredibly important that elderly people have access to social activities and regularly engage with others.

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Why are social activities important for seniors?

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Social activities provide seniors with company, friendship and some much-needed social support. For some older people, it can be difficult to meet up regularly with friends or family, which is why social activities they can attend regularly are essential for providing them with social interaction and friendship. It’s safe to say we can all struggle mentally, and potentially physically, when we do not have adequate socialisation or a support network, which is why social activities are so important, especially as we age.

The benefits of social activity

  • Better cognitive function is a key benefit of social activities. By keeping us mentally engaged, activity and conversation helps us remain sharp and can help prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  • Social activity can also be important for maintaining good emotional health. Isolation and loneliness are huge contributors toward low mood, depression, and anxiety. Having regular social interactions can work to fight off poor mental health and improve self-esteem & general happiness.

 

  • Seniors with active social lives also tend to have active physical lives, which contribute positively to better health and wellbeing by maintaining a healthy level of fitness. Furthermore, studies have shown that seniors who stay engaged with others and the world around them tend to have higher levels of immune-system health.

 

  • Additionally, people who are happy with their social circle and engage with them regularly are more likely to lead a healthier, happier, and longer life than those who do not.

The best activities for over 60s

Socially active seniors generally tend to have better health and wellbeing, but also a sense of belonging. Some activity ideas are listed below to help you or your loved one get started:

Start volunteering

Volunteering can be a great way to use your spare time. Not only are you engaging with peers and the wider community, but you can also do some good through volunteering. Volunteering can also help older adults to establish a new sense of belonging.

Fitness classes

There are a lot of fitness classes aimed at older adults. Assisted gym sessions, low impact yoga, water aerobics, etc. Fitness classes provide older adults with improved health, as well as a chance to meet new people, engage socially and pick up a new hobby.

Learn again

Picking up some new hobbies such as joining a book club or learning a language or enrolling in a class can have huge benefits on your mental health and overall wellbeing. Not only will it get your brain working but it’s a chance to meet new people, gain new skills and use your time to learn again.

Family

If you live relatively far away from your family, perhaps contact them, and arrange some regular meet ups. If you are a grandparent, taking the grandkids out can provide you with a great opportunity to socialise and maintain precious relationships that can have an immeasurably good impact on your wellbeing.

Games

Games and gaming have proven to increase cognitive function, reaction speed and brain age. While board games may be more appealing to seniors rather than anything too technical, don’t write off video games before giving them a go! Additionally, joining a gaming club or community can provide more social interactions and a chance to make new friends.

Social activities for the elderly in Worcestershire

As well as the more general activities listed above, some local organisations run community-led activities.

Age UK offer activities for older adults to attend in the Worcestershire and Malvern area. Learn more here.

These activities include ‘Men’s shed’, ‘connect club’ and dance classes. These activities are designed to get people in the local community together, socialising and enjoying themselves. Alternatively, you can volunteer with Age UK if you fancy getting involved in a different way.

Additionally, Worcestershire Community Trust also offer social events for older adults and people in the community to take part in, as well as transport to and from these events. Learn more here.

 

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Would you like further information about adult social care or support for the elderly?

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to call us on 01386 41492 or filling out the form.

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