Our senior parents need an active social life to prevent loneliness and isolation as they age. Here are some ways we can help our parents maintain their social lives as they age.
I’m happy to share a guest post today from Anne Harris of London Live-In Care. Anne has tips on helping our senior parents maintain an active social life that I know you’ll appreciate.
As we age, the number of people we hang out with narrows down. That’s true for those of us in midlife, but it’s also true for our parents. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t have an active and happy social life in retirement. Here are some tips so your aging parents can continue to enrich their lives with new friendships and social relationships.
1. Stay Close as a Family
The family is the base of every other social activity.
Because of that, be sure to include your parents whenever you can. If they live nearby, call them every once in a while for a barbecue or just to play some board games.
And if they aren’t in your vicinity, let them know in advance when you’re planning to organize family gatherings. If you inform them early enough, they’ll be happy to come and spend time with you for national and religious holidays.
And make sure you provide plenty of time with their grandchildren! The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren has almost a cult status in many cultures.
Spending time with the family will give your parents more energy than anything else in the world.
2. Encourage Your Parents to Pursue Hobbies
Everybody has some special interests and your retired parents finally have some time to pursue those hobbies and activities they’ve always found interesting.
For instance, if your parents have always liked to sing, encourage them to join a choir. Choral singing is beneficial for social and mental wellbeing and rehearsals and public performances provide a way to organize free time. If your parents have a rehearsal at 6 p.m. two times a week, they’ll have firm time anchors around which to organize their life.
While you need to have some talent to become a choir member, everybody can join a game club and board games are great for seniors for two main reasons.
- First, they will establish new social contacts and keep their lives dynamic.
- Second, these games will force them to think more than they would if they stayed alone at home.
For instance, Monopoly, Scrabble, and many other games can be of great assistance in staying mentally and socially fresh.
3. Help Your Parents Entertain Their Friends at Home
If entertaining opportunities are slim in your parents’ area, why not encourage them to entertain at home?
Senior men can turn one of the rooms in their home into a man cave equipped in accordance with their interests and age. Female retirees can host book clubs or fundraising activities.
What’s important when planning these social occasions is to ensure medical assistance, just in case. If needed, you can hire a medical specialist who will stay in the house during the gathering.
4. Make Sure Your Parents Stay Healthy
While this tip won’t strictly improve your parents’ social life, it will improve the quality of their life in general.
Attending medical checkups regularly increases the chance to live a long and quality life so make sure your parents continue to visit their physician at least once a year for a wellness exam just to check the overall condition of your body.
If your parents have a chronic condition, make sure they get to the doctor as soon as possible and ensure they have proper care at home.
Regular visits from a caregiver can ensure someone is keeping a close eye on your parent’s health and you’ll also feel more confident they are getting the care they need.
5. Suggest They Enjoy Their Leisure Time
Even though psychologists recommend that retirees should have an organized day, there can be some exceptions. For instance, encourage your parents to enjoy some leisure time on Saturdays and Sundays.
In the movies set in the countries situated in the Mediterranean, we can often see older people sitting in the shade and discussing current affairs. That’s the essence of social life when you reach old age. Your parents need to have a group of peers with whom they can exchange thoughts and attitudes about different things in life.
Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londonlive-incare.com. She eagerly shares her knowledge with her audience on various blogs. When she isn’t writing or attending wellness conferences, she likes to pack her rucksack and ride her day away on her bike or spend time with her friends.