2020 and 2021 were unprecedented years where the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of our lives in one way or the other. This is no different for the elderly population. It became increasingly challenging to make friends or maintain friendships. As older adults were considered high-risk, they were made to adhere strictly to social distancing policies which halted or altered their avenues for connection and communication, eventually increasing social isolation. To support your social health post-pandemic, here are several ways that you can explore.
Nothing gets discussions going faster than talking about something you like or dislike. TV, book, or movie clubs can be a great place to reach out to other like-minded adults and discuss about various things. There are usually clubs that have already been formed, whether at civic centers or local libraries, or even as an alumnus at your college or university. If there are none near your area, you can always form your own club and recruit other members who share the same interests. You can easily find interested parties online or around your neighborhood.
Gardening is great to keep you busy while also letting you achieve a sense of achievement. Visit local co-ops, local farm centers, or community gardens to make new friends who love gardening as much as you do. Apart from having the opportunity to socialize, gardening also helps support senior health. You can stabilize your blood pressure levels, reduce stress, and boost your self-esteem. In addition, you get to indulge in the wonders of nature.
Support groups provide a platform where you can feel comforted, especially when you are experiencing changes in your life that you find challenging. Support groups are made up of members who are empathetic and have one objective in mind – to provide a safe space where people can share their troubles and release feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Virtual Activity Platforms
There are just as many virtual programs that you can participate in from the comfort of your home while still making new friends. You can play games with other participants, join cooking classes, take drawing lessons, and more from any tech device. You can perform an online search to find online classes near your area or visit your local community center for their calendar of events.
It is never too old to pick up a new skill or two. You can pursue your studies or take up a new course that matches your personal interests. Whether you sign up for an online course or on-site classes, you will be able to meet new people who intend to learn something new, just like you. Libraries, community colleges, and other organizations are some of the places that you can visit to enroll for a course.
Back in the days when you were young and full of energy, you might not have had the opportunity to travel as much as you were busy with work. Now that you have retired, take the opportunity to travel the world and explore new cultures, sights and sounds. You can go on group trips to connect with people from different backgrounds and enjoy what the new places have to offer together.