Fab Over Fifty, a UK based website, revealed that the days of those over 60 becoming lonely and aging quickly is over. The site states that those over 60 are the “Why Not” generation. And new research by Camping in the Forest revealed that more and more people over 60 are embracing socializing and nights out. Not only is staying social fun, making friends and staying social has other benefits. The Times reported that recent findings show that socializing at 60 can prevent dementia at 70. There are also strong links between friendships and other positive relationships and better mental health. So how can one maintain a healthy social life after 60? Here are some tips for making friends and have a robust social life!
A good starting point for making friends and staying connected to old friends, if you haven’t already, is getting on social media. You have your choice of social media platforms. You can join Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest or even others! Social media also allows you to connect with people who have similar interests and discover new things around you, like community events. If you’re looking for a group to get started and get connected, join the Prime Women Facebook Group!
Another way to meet people with similar interests is through pursuing a hobby and joining clubs, societies and groups related to the hobby. You can find clubs near you online, using sites like Meetup. If you would rather find groups in person there are many options. Local libraries often have book clubs, farmer’s markets sometimes host gardening clubs or have community gardens you can join, and local sporting goods stores will often host walking or running clubs. Besides meeting people, being part of a club is a reason to leave the house and can keep you motivated to stay active.
Whether it’s volunteering at a church event, soup kitchen or even helping out at a local school library, working and volunteering keeps you engaged with your community. It adds purpose to the day and encourages interaction with new people. Volunteering also makes you feel like you are contributing to society. Volunteering will often offer more flexibility but if you have the time you can and find a part-time job. The benefits of part-time work are similar to volunteering but also has the perk a little extra money to spend.
Don’t forget that some of the best interactions in life are with those closest to you! Maintain social skills and strong relationships with your family. Start with phonecalls to those furthest away. For those nearby try setting up regular visits for a meal or other activity everyone would enjoy.
Do not rule out possible friends because you don’t seem to have any similarities. It may seem like you wouldn’t have anything in common with a 20-something or someone with different life experiences. But if you have joined any interest group, in-person or online, you already have something in common! Rather than focus on your differences, focus on what you have in common — whether it’s a love of crafts or a desire to help your community. What brings people together is stronger than surface differences.
As one gets older, maintaining a household and staying active might get more difficult. It can also get extremely lonely. However, a great option to maintain an active social life is living in a community. Community living offers a variety of scheduled programs, events, and outings within walking distance. Activities are also modified and the necessary precautions are taken to ensure that age will not hinder participation. Communities aim to create engagement between residents thus nurturing social connections.
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