3 Fun and Easy Ways For Seniors To Stay Connected in Their Community

3 Fun and Easy Ways For Seniors To Stay Connected in Their Community

Community is an important part of life for every age and throughout every stage of life. As children age they have play-dates to get to know their acquaintances and socialize with them. Then they grow into young adults and hang out with their friends to study, talk, and partake in fun activities. The necessity of community and companionship is important and visible in every part of life. Humans aren’t meant to do life alone, we need other people to support us, engage with, and connect with. 

As we age the act of staying connected can become more difficult as our days can be occupied with duties at work and home. This can become even harder as we get older and there are fewer places to make friendships and connections. Making friends as an adult can be challenging and maintaining those friendships can be even harder; loneliness and depression are often prevalent for seniors because of this. Having community with others is vital for our mental health and physical well-being as seniors can often find themselves isolated with limited options for socialization. 

Having a strong sense of community can help provide a feeling of belonging as well as boost self-confidence. Social connectedness is what ties us together, and what unites people of different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences, allowing us to widen our perspectives and provide a sense of fulfillment. Our brains are wired to connect, learn, develop bonds, and nurture relationships with others. You are not meant to be alone.

The Benefits of Social Involvement and Connection For Seniors:

  • Remedy feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Less stress and improved mental health
  • Increase in physical activity levels and better overall physical health resulting in a longer lifespan
  • Improved mental cognitive function

How To Stay Connected In Your Community:

1. Get Online

Social media can be overwhelming to navigate as a novice, but it’s an excellent way to connect (or re-connect) with friends and family by allowing you to share and view photos and videos of important moments in life. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all great ways to keep up to date with the latest happenings of your friends and family. If social media isn’t up your alley, there are many options available to keep you involved with those who may not live close to you. As popularized by the pandemic, Zoom is an excellent option to communicate with others while being able to visually see them as well. FaceTime and Skype are also great options for this. 

2. Volunteer

There are many volunteering options that you can participate in based on your skills, knowledge, hobbies, and interests. Options can also vary based on where you live and may include more location-based opportunities (for example if you live near the ocean you could participate in Ocean cleanup volunteer work that helps to pick up trash on the beach).

Some volunteer locations to keep in mind:

  • food banks
  • hospitals
  • schools
  • libraries
  • animal shelters
  • churches

Volunteering will not only help the community itself but it can also help bring you closer to those within your community. Serving others can feel very rewarding and when you get to see the real-time impact it makes in others’ lives you’ll feel encouraged and connected to those you’ve helped.

3. Lend Your Skills

Everyone has a unique skill set to offer the world. That knowledge can be shared to benefit others through mentoring or instructing. Perhaps you worked with cars for years and have in-depth knowledge of mechanics and how to fix cars. You can take this knowledge and mentor those in your area. Whatever skillset you may have, it can be beneficial to teach and connect with your community. If you have a penchant for art you could join an art class or start an arts and crafts group in your neighborhood. By lending your skills you are sharing your knowledge while being able to socialize with others and make a difference in someone’s life.

Staying connected in a life that is so often disconnected can be challenging, but it is always worth it to take the time and effort to reconnect with yourself, your friends and family, and your community.

Written for Senior Industry Services by Lauren Hope Bartling