Isolation is a big problem for older adults. Many people who have been used to a busy working and social life find that in retirement they lose touch with friends, people drift away, or worse, and their social circles get smaller. Combined with growing health issues, or problems with mobility, many seniors, even those with a loving family, start to feel lonely and even depressed. Helping your older parents to find and enjoy social activities has a huge range of benefits. Here’s a look at some of them, as well as some tips on how you can help them.
Spending Time with Others Reduces the Risk of Cognitive Decline
It’s common to face some cognitive decline as we get older. It’s completely normal to become more forgetful in later life. But for some, the symptoms are much worse than what might be considered the norm.
Spending time with friends and loved ones, and learning new skills in groups and classes can help your parents to stay mentally active and alert, reducing the risks and even improving existing symptoms. Many older adults choose to move into an assisted living community with specialized memory care in Austin, TX, where they can enjoy social activities, as well as a specific treatment.
Social Opportunities Can Improve Mood and Mental Health
Loneliness and isolation are common causes of poor mood and depression in older adults. Loneliness can also lead to anxiety, which can make getting out much harder.
Regular social opportunities, like classes and groups, or just regular meetups with friends and family can reduce the risks of isolation and anxiety when going out, while boosting mood. Regular activities can also give older people something to look forward to, which can be a massive mental health boost on harder days.
Friends Often Spot Problems
We’re not always the first person to notice that there’s something wrong with us, and if we are, as long as no one else knows, we can be reluctant to seek help. It’s often when someone else notices a symptom or concern and confronts us with it, that we do something about it. Having friends and people that they spend time with regularly will mean that your aging parents have plenty of people to look out for them.
Social Activities Offer a Chance for Physical Activity
Social activities aren’t just good for your parent’s mental health. Getting out to see people, even if it’s just for a coffee, means movement and physical activity. Some social activities, like joining a fitness class or walking group, offer access to greater physical activity, improving your parents’ health and reducing the risk of them developing many health conditions.
Helping Your Parents Find Social Activities to Enjoy
Our aging parents aren’t always very good at finding social activities to enjoy, especially if they are fairly isolated and out of the habit. Spend some time talking to them about their hobbies and interests, things that they’d like to try, and places they’d like to see. Then, look at local groups, fitness classes, and clubs in the local area that they might want to try and encourage them to take the first step.
Whether it’s something as simple as joining a book club at the local library, and taking the grandkids out once a week, or a bigger change with further reaching social opportunities like moving into a senior living community, enjoying social activities can have a huge impact on your loved one’s health, happiness, and quality of life.