One of the risks of getting older is becoming more isolated. Your family, if you have any, have their own busy lives, and maintaining close friendships can become difficult too. Depression and anxiety are significant problems for older adults, and social isolation is one of the factors that contributes to these issues. Fortunately, there are ways to stay socially engaged as you get older. There are many different ways to interact with other people, and resources that can provide you with things to do and people to talk to. You can take the right steps to remain engaged as you get older, no matter how old you are now.
Nurture Your Existing Network
Your current friends and family are valuable and provide you with a strong social network. Maintaining these relationships is a two-way street, so you need to be prepared to put in the work to do so. While spending time with friends and family might not be anything like work, doing things like arranging times to talk or meet up can take a bit more effort. Rather than leave it to other people to make these arrangements, make sure you do your part too. Family get-togethers or time spent with friends can help you to stay connected, whether it’s something you’re able to do frequently or less often.
Make Use of Modern Technology
One of the best things about modern technology is that it provides you with lots of communication tools. It makes it much easier to stay connected with other people, and you don’t even need to leave your home. If you want to keep in touch with family members who don’t live close to you, you can use phone calls and video calls, as well as social media, email, and text or instant messaging. Online forums and communities are excellent ways of meeting new people too, and you can find options that cover a wide range of interests. If you like fishing, sewing, traveling, cooking, cycling or anything else, you can find an online community for it.
Get Your Hearing Tested
It might not immediately be an obvious thing to do, but getting your hearing tested is a smart idea if you want to stay social as you get older. Hearing loss is a common problem for older people, and it’s a good idea to start getting your hearing tested regularly once you hit 50 years old. If you’re experiencing hearing problems, it can make it much harder to socialize, especially in group settings and busy locations. When you can’t hear well, background noise and trying to follow along with multiple people becomes difficult. Fortunately, modern hearing aid technology helps to solve these problems. Many newer hearing aids can be connected to your smartphone, allowing you to adjust the settings easily. When in a busy location, you can change the program and settings to match the environment.
Join a Club
Joining clubs and societies isn’t just something that you do while you’re at school. There are also plenty of opportunities to do so as an adult with a career or someone who has retired. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people and to find people who share your interests. There are many different types of clubs and groups you can discover, which you can find by looking online as well as elsewhere. You might find ads in newspapers and magazines, on local noticeboards, or perhaps discover some things to do at your local senior center (if you’re old enough to use one).
Consider Work or Volunteering
Retiring can be one of the best periods of your life. However, not everyone enjoys feeling like there’s nothing for them to do. Many people like to feel that they have a purpose and once they’re out of work, they may feel like they no longer have one. If you’re not enjoying the retired life, you don’t have to spend all of your time relaxing. You can go back to work, perhaps part-time, which is a great way to have some extra money. Another option is volunteering, which allows you to contribute to a good cause. Both options are good ways to be around other people more often.
Go Back to School
Is there something you always wished you had learned about in school, or something you’re interested in but don’t know much about? Your retirement is a great time to go back to education and learn something new. It’s never too late to learn, and you can meet other students with the same passions as you.
Getting older doesn’t have to mean being lonely. You can stay socially engaged with your existing network and meet new people too!
This post was a collaboration.
Thank you for reading!