Many studies have proven that happier people live longer, and happiness in old age is very closely linked to socialising. Indeed, isolation has been shown to be one of the greatest risks to senior health. So how does a senior who lives on their own remain social into old age – especially as mobility declines?
- Volunteering: One of the best ways to engage in social interaction and build a community around you is to volunteer at an organisation you care about. In any community, opportunities abound to get involved in volunteering. Being an active volunteer not only provides socialising, but also meaning through the work you are carrying out.
- Technology: Technology has literally transformed the world that we live in, and has made it possible for those with mobility issues to stay connected. Grandchildren nowadays are completely accustomed to engaging with their family via Skype, allowing grandparents who may live far away to see the faces of those they care about.
- Local groups: Search your local area to see what interest groups exist. Be it board games, book clubs, walking or exercise groups, art, or something more niche, there are probably plenty of open groups eager for new members to socialise with.
- Pets: Dogs, and some other animals, have been shown to ignite the same centres of the brain as any social and loving interaction in a human. Man’s best friend is indeed a fantastic companion to a lonely senior, providing affection as well as enforcing a need for exercise and caring.