How to Help Seniors Socialize in Houston
As we grow in age, making new friends seems to take more and more effort. This is especially true for the seniors in our lives. In the United States, 27% of adults older than 60 are living alone. Having a sense of belonging and a circle of friends to chat with about our lives is crucial to our physical and mental well-being.
Not only is it nice to have a group to gab with, but its been shown that seniors that meet people and remain socially active have a lower likelihood of developing ailments such as dementia, obesity, high blood pressure, or other health risks.
How to Encourage Socialization
One of the pernicious effects of loneliness or isolation is that it makes going out and chatting seem much harder or not as enjoyable as it actually is. That’s why it’s important to help encourage your loved one to try to go out and be social. An important facet in helping encourage your loved one is to help foster their sense of purpose. As we grow in age, our place in society begins to dramatically shift and this can often leave one feeling lost or unsure of their purpose. You can help by encouraging them to revisit their hobbies or pick up a new skill. For example, if they are passionate about painting or gardening, you might help find local events in the Houston area that they can attend and meet others with the same interests.
While it may seem difficult to go out and meet new people as an older adult, the truth is there are a lot of natural opportunities out there once you’re willing to search. Many organizations and groups focus on creating events and spaces specifically for seniors to meet and interact. Below are some great ideas for socialization opportunities in the Houston area.
Get Up and Moving
Not only is an exercise class an amazing option for physical, and mental well-being, but it offers immense opportunities for socializing as well. Whatever the sport or exercise may be, there are certainly more social versions of them where seniors can meet new people and join a community.
There is Chen Style Tai Chi in the Bellaire area where seniors can participate in a form of exercise that builds balance, flow, and calmness. It’s the perfect kind of exercise for those wishing to improve and maintain their flexibility and help lower stress. Often referred to as meditation in motion, Tai Chi is a great way to build serenity and tranquility through physical movements.
Arts and Crafts and Board Games, Oh My!
Another great avenue for meeting new people and socializing is through hobbies such as painting, crafts, woodworking, and even board games. If your loved one has a hobby they are into, or maybe haven’t visited in a while, finding social events around that hobby is a great way to encourage socialization and help them become part of a community.
Likewise, hobby groups are great ways to get into a new skill while connecting with a group of like-minded learners. After a few visits we’re sure your loved one will have new friends to share tips and tricks and to discuss their progress in the skill.
The Watercolor Society of Houston hosts paint gatherings for seniors of all skill levels with no fee. The sessions start at 9am and end at noon, so there’s plenty of time to paint and be social.
Board games are another great option for socializing. Whether venturing out to a hobby store or hosting your own board game night, this is a fantastic opportunity to meet other people and have some fun while doing so. Role-playing board games such as Dungeons and Dragons or Mansion of Madness are great options for board game nights as they encourage multiple sessions and help to create a routine mingle session.
Here at Christian Companions, we know firsthand just how important it is to have our elderly loved ones socialize and have someone to talk to. That's why we offer aging-in-place services that help to establish routine and someone to talk to on a regular basis. Please reach out to us today if you or a loved one could benefit from an in-home caregiver in the Houston area.