As we age, we may find ourselves spending more and more time at home alone. This may be due to several factors such as relatives living in different cities or states, the recent passing of a spouse or even retirement. Living at home can be a good thing, but isolation can also lead to depression, a weakened immune system, heart disease, dementia and other medical complications.
Participating in social activities can help improve overall well-being. Older adults who lead an active lifestyle reduce their risk of developing health problems later in life, tend to live longer, report being happier, are better prepared to cope with loss and improve their cognitive health.
There are a variety of ways older adults can stay connected with others and the community and boost their social health:
• Find an activity that they enjoy or try a new one;
• Learn something new—take a series of classes or a seminar;
• Stay in touch with others in person, online or by phone;
• Attend events at a local senior center;
• Join a club (book, card, film, board game, hobby, sport);