At some point in older adult life, many individuals find themselves with a sense of loneliness and a feeling of disconnect. Whether they are newly single or find their circle of friends dwindling as they age, losing social connections can be detrimental to mental and physical health.
Fortunately, there are many ways to build social connections and make new friends, even in later adult life. Share these five suggestions with your clients to help them through this difficult transition.
1) Join an Active Adult Community
There are many communities across the country strategically designed for individuals 55 and over. These groups often have ongoing activities and meetings where older adults can socialize with other people their age. Many even have lifestyle directors who coordinate fun activities year round so there’s almost always an opportunity to connect. Connecting with an active adult community is one of the best ways older individuals can build meaningful relationships.
Volunteering can be incredibly rewarding. Not only are volunteers doing something positive in their community, but it is also a great way to meet like-minded people. Whether it’s helping with meal preparation at a food bank, providing care to animals in a shelter or helping with a fundraiser, there are many possibilities that appeal to every personality. A good resource to get started is VolunteerMatch.org. This organization details what volunteering opportunities are available in specific areas and helps volunteers connect with a cause that is a good fit for them.
3) Take Classes
You’re never too old to learn something new. Taking advantage of continuing-education classes at a nearby college or university can be beneficial to keeping the mind sharp as well as for meeting other people. One of the best parts: Tuition is often waived for older adults, so they can potentially take classes for free.
4) Contact Old High School or College Friends
We all have great friends from high school or college who we have fallen out of touch with over the years. Why not reconnect and rekindle those friendships by reaching out to those people? Thanks to technology, doing so has never been easier. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make quick work of finding old friends, even if your clients haven’t been in touch with them in many years.
5) Check Out Activities at a Local Library
Local libraries can be a gold mine for free, fun activities. Oftentimes, libraries will host activities such as lectures, movies, computer classes, book clubs and chess clubs. Connecting with a local library is as easy as visiting their website to check out their calendar of events.
If your clients find themselves feeling lonely or craving companionship, there’s no need for them to stay isolated. With a bit of effort, your clients should be able to find plenty of opportunities to socialize and get connected.
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123.
Phone: (800) 846-1555