In the sunset years, isolation becomes more commonplace as people lose many of the social connections they had throughout their lives. This is actually something to take seriously, as isolation can have many consequences to your physical and mental health and well-being. It’s important to take steps to avoid isolation and find social interaction during this stage of life.
We created this article to show you ways to find a community or activities to engage in when you are 55 and older. Also, we provide an option through our Village Green retirement community, which brings people together at different ages and levels of activity. In addition to simply bringing you together with the other people in our community, being part of Village Green would give you access not only to neighbors in the same stage of life but also to the many activities we facilitate on a consistent basis to keep everyone active, engaged and socializing.
Isolation in the Elderly
As you move into the retirement years, you lose the interactions you had with your co-workers. At this life stage, your children are most likely adults who are focusing on their own children and lives for the most part, and your connections with other friends and loved ones may have weakened or become lost over time. These kinds of scenarios can lead to isolation. You're not alone, as many people in the sunset years are going through a similar experience, and these provide people you can turn into new forms of social support.
Social isolation can contribute to many health and wellness problems. These include a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and premature death, according to the CDC. It is also connected to mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, in addition to cognitive decline. Now that you know how serious isolation is, you can take steps to avoid it and make social connections.
How Can Seniors Avoid Isolation?
Here are some steps you can take to prevent isolation or manage it if it’s already part of your life:
- Seek Out Community Resources: Try reaching out to senior resources, such as Area Agencies on Aging, the National Council on Aging, local senior centers, or others. Often, these organizations can connect lonely seniors with specific senior services and resources that can help your situation.
- Volunteer: Volunteering in your community gives an easy and rewarding way to connect with people, give yourself a new life purpose and engage your time. Look into local non-profit organizations in areas that interest you and ask how you could help. For example, you could volunteer for an animal organization, a non-profit hospice, become a docent at a museum, or volunteer with a group trying to combat homelessness. Charitable organizations often have various volunteer roles to fit different personalities and abilities.
- Use Digital Tools: Learn how to use digital connection tools, and ask for help if needed. Digital tools can help you connect with busy loved ones near and far. For example, you could use video chatting, texting, and communication apps to stay in touch. Of course, you can also rely on good old phone conversations.
- Join Social Groups: Seek out local groups that can help you meet people who like the same things as you. You may find groups within your community or senior communities that offer language lessons, gardening, cooking, movie watching, book discussions, and other social activities based on learning or hobbies. You could also engage in senior physical fitness and stretching activities.
Choosing an activity you like to do will make the process more enjoyable and make social interaction easier for shy seniors.
Find Social Interaction Through Retirement Communities
While you could seek out local groups and resources near you, another option is to try senior citizen living that brings numerous resources to you. Options include independent living facilities, assisted living facilities, 55+ communities, or other types of senior housing.
At Village Green Retirement Campus, we offer these different types of living through our community, including senior citizen apartments that are over 55 communities, assisted living, and independent living. Our staff checks for isolation in our residents and helps you to manage it, as well as its potential health and wellness consequences.
We also offer a range of activities that bring our residents together and keep everyone from being too lonely or isolated. We even offer activities for seniors in isolation. At our campus, you can find retirement activities to keep you busy, no matter what your interests and hobbies are. Examples of our activities include:
- Art classes
- Fitness classes
- Walking group
- Book club
- Puzzle making
- Card and casino games
- Ping pong
- Shopping and meal outings
- Bible studies
You can see that there are a range of activities to fit varying interests and activity levels. We help all of our resident's age gracefully while enjoying activities and staying social.
If you’re searching for 55 and older communities near me, consider Village Green. Contact us to learn about our housing options, ask about availability and discuss our various activities for seniors in assisted living, independent living, or 55+ apartments.