June 28, 2022

According to the National Institute on Aging, loneliness and social isolation can contribute to a decline in physical and mental health.

Older adults living alone can be vulnerable to social isolation if their spouse has passed or if friends have passed on. A move into assisted living or a senior living community can also create the need to build new friendships. It is essential they replace some of the relationships they have lost.

Sometimes Mom or Dad may need encouragement from you to meet others. Here are some activities to help aging loved ones meet new elderly friends.

Ways Seniors Can Meet Elderly Friends

These ideas might not all be available to seniors in an assisted living community or other senior living communities. But a simple suggestion to facility personnel might be all that is needed to help your senior get one of these programs started in their community.

Learn a New Skill

Encourage your senior to learn a new skill with other seniors. Studies show that learning new skills is one way the elderly can improve brain function. By learning a new skill with others, your senior can get twice the benefits –  socialization and some exercise for the brain. 

Join a Book Club

Joining a book club can be a good way for seniors to interact with others they might not yet know. A book gives them a topic to talk about as they get to know new friends. Reading can provide them with an activity to fill their time when they can’t be with others.

Compete With Others

Games are fun for kids of all ages, including the elderly. Whether card games, board games, or Bingo, games are another activity that can allow the elderly to be social while they utilize their brains.

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Socialize Online

Maintaining friendships can be challenging once a senior cannot get out and about as easily as they once could. Helping your senior learn how to use social media and even video chat can allow them to keep up with friends and family they no longer get to see regularly. 

Exercise Together

Getting regular exercise is vital for people of all ages and an excellent activity for the elderly to do as a group. Whether short walks or exercising from the safety of a chair, group exercise can improve both the body and the mind.

Worship With Others

Churches often organize activities outside of Sunday service that may provide your senior a few chances to get out and be with others each week. They might even be able to volunteer at church, which can help them meet many new people.

Help Your Senior Stay Social

If your elderly loved one seems to be suffering from social isolation and a lack of elderly friends, try to get them involved in one of these activities. Participating in one activity can often help get them involved in other group activities.

They don’t need to fill every day of their social calendar, but a few days a week can go a long way in keeping them physically and mentally healthier.

For more tips for helping elderly parents thrive in old age, visit the Health section of our website.