There’s a lot to think about when you’re considering a move to a retirement community: where you’ll live, what services you’ll need, how you’ll downsize and make the big move, and more. While you’ve probably thought about these factors, have you given any thought to the social activities your future home may offer? There are many benefits of social activities for seniors, so it’s important to choose a retirement community that provides plenty of opportunity for socialization.
Benefits of Social Activities for Seniors
Why is it important to choose a retirement community that emphasizes community? There are several benefits of social activities for seniors, including:
The Opportunity to Learn Something New
Isn’t there an activity that you’ve always wanted to try? Maybe it’s meditation, working in a wood shop, or simply joining a book club! A retirement community that offers a variety of social activities gives you the opportunity to try your hand at all of those things you just never picked up. You can take the time to learn something new—and while you’re at it, you can meet other seniors who are interested in the same activities you are! As a bonus, learning new things stimulates your brain, keeping your mind sharp.
In addition to acquiring new skills for yourself, you may also have the opportunity to share your existing skills with your community. Join (or even start) a club to show what you’ve learned over the years and to help your neighbors learn, too!
A Chance to Make New Friends
This is your retirement: you want to enjoy it! Moving into a new place can be difficult, but forming social connections and making lifelong friends can make it easier.
Engaging in social activities—especially ones you’ve never tried before—is a chance to meet people you might never would have interacted with before, forming strong new friendships. Having these strong social bonds means that you have people you can rely on, even when you are facing difficult decisions or challenges.
As a bonus, seniors who have strong friendships in retirement have strong emotional well-being. They feel that they have people they can rely on, and they feel happier, more supported, and loved.
Improved Cognitive Health
In addition to stimulating your brain with new activities and challenges to explore, simply having social relationships has also been shown to have an impact on your brain’s functioning.
According to the National Institute on Aging, strong social relationships are “consistently associated with biomarkers of health.” This includes reduced levels of an inflammatory factor called Interleukin-6, which is associated with disorders such as Alzheimer’s!
Improved Physical Health
When you think of social activities, you likely think about the emotional benefits of forming new friendships, but did you know that social activities also improve seniors’ physical health?
Seniors who engage in social activities are likely to be more physically active than those who don’t. Whether that means simply walking around the retirement community campus with friends or engaging in physical fitness classes, staying active is a vital piece of improving your physical health.
Additionally, remember the National Institute on Aging’s report about the correlation between social interaction and reduced levels of Interleukin-6? This inflammatory factor is also associated with physical ailments such as osteoporosis, arthritis, and even some cancers!
How Can You Get Involved?
Getting involved in activities in a retirement community may seem difficult or scary, but it’s actually quite simple!
At any great retirement community, a major focus should be on exactly that: community. Every resident is encouraged to join clubs or activities, whether they’ve never tried the activity before or they’re an old pro. You may find something you love—or you may find that an activity is not for you, in which case you don’t have to return to the next meeting.
If you want to get even more involved, you may also want to volunteer within the community, running clubs or lessons. This gives seniors a chance to show their skills and help others learn, too!
Taking the First Step
Are you ready to start taking advantage of the benefits of social activities for seniors? The first step is to prepare for the big move to your retirement community.
Start by downloading your free guide, Preparing for and Finding a Retirement Community. The guide will help you prepare for the big move, from selecting your new home to packing up and moving in.