Engage as You Age: 10 Tips for How to Be Sociable in Your Senior Years in CCRCs
Senior isolation is a serious concern for retirees and those moving to CCRCs. Lonely seniors have a 64 percent higher risk of developing dementia. They also have a 59 percent higher risk of developing a physical illness.
Staying sociable in your later years is key to maintaining physical and mental health.
Luckily, when you live in a CCRC, you have plenty of opportunities to be social. From the community calendar to the range of amenities, you won’t be isolated. Simply pick the ways you want to socialize and jump in.
Interested in learning how to be sociable in your senior years? Keep reading for 10 ways to get engaged in a CCRC.
1. Participate in Activities
One of the best things about moving to a CCRC is that social activities are planned for you. There’s something going on every day of the month. For example, bingo night, book club, nature walks, and more.
All you have to do is decide to join in the fun.
Not only are these activities perfect for meeting new people, but they also keep your brain sharp. Socializing is important for maintaining cognitive functioning.
2. Join the Planning Committee
Are you a natural leader? Perhaps being on the planning committee for social activities would be perfect for you.
Being in charge of planning creates plenty of opportunities to socialize. You have meetings with the rest of the committee and try to get new people to attend.
Plus, you can tailor the activities to your interests. You could meet other people who also want to read sci-fi books or learn about local wildlife.
3. Use Social Media and Email
In the near future, even seniors will be familiar with the internet and social media. Most retirees use some form of social media today; that doesn’t have to stop as you age.
In fact, try to keep up your social media use and email correspondence.
These channels are excellent for staying in touch with friends and family. You can comment on each other’s posts and have conversations. Many seniors use their smartphones to video chat with friends which is an awesome form of socializing.
4. Take Advantage of Provided Transportation
Did you know that most CCRCs provide transportation? There’s no excuse for missing a friend’s birthday party or family get-together ever again.
You could even use it to go see a movie, go out for dinner, or to go to the airport. Head out with friends from the CCRC or meet up with pals on the outside.
If there’s a social outing you want to attend away from the CCRC, take advantage of this amenity. Lack of transportation can't be an excuse for not socializing!
5. Plan Weekly Family Dinners
Maintaining family relationships is crucial in retirement. Not only do you need it, but your children and grandchildren need it.
Consider planning a fixed weekly dinner for your family. It could be every Sunday evening you have dinner together. Or, it could be Saturday brunch.
Knowing you’ll see each other every week gives you something to look forward to. And, it’s an obligation to socialize.
6. Check Out the Fitness Center
Staying active is vital to maintaining your health as you age. Not only does it keep your muscles and bones healthy, but it improves your mental health.
If you’re starting to feel lonely or isolated, start moving.
Most CCRCs have a fitness center where you can work out, stretch, and get active. Many will also have fitness classes. These are both perfect opportunities to socialize and interact with others.
Plus, you’ll be doing your mind and body a favor while you chat with friends.
7. Host an Event
Did you know you can book the special event room at your CCRC? If you’re used to hosting big parties and events at your home, that doesn’t have to stop because you moved to a CCRC.
Consider hosting a monthly event for your family or friends.
It could be a monthly book club meeting, a movie night, or high tea. Want to throw your grandson a birthday party? Host it at your place in the CCRC event room!
8. Relax in Public Areas
Sometimes we all want to sit down with a good book and relax. Or, you may want to knit, draw, or write in your journal.
If you’re worried about becoming isolated, do those solitary activities in public places. Most CCRCs will have a café, dining area, and plenty of seating throughout the property.
Sitting somewhere public increases your chances of interacting with people. Someone might ask what you’re reading or comment on your drawing. Simply being around other people is good for your mood.
9. Get to Know the Staff
There are likely some fantastic people working in your CCRC. Although it’s their job, connecting with the residents makes their days much more enjoyable.
Start a conversation with one of your favorite staff members. Get to know them and share about yourself. Build friendships with the CCRC team.
Not only will you make their workday more fun, but you’ll also get some socialization out of it.
10. Try New Things
When you stay within your social bubble, you only socialize with those people. Why not get to know new people and make more friends? The more people you know, the more likely you are to stay engaged.
To meet new people, try new things.
Join a club you never thought you would. Do something you’re nervous about or scared of. Interact with people who have opposing views as yours.
Simply attending a CCRC activity you’ve never tried before can help you meet new people.
Wondering How to Be Sociable in Your Senior Years?
Socializing is crucial for retirees and seniors to stay healthy. It promotes a healthy body, mind, and a good mood.
If you’re concerned about how to be sociable later in life, know that it’s all about putting yourself out there. Go where other people will be and you’ll inevitably end up socializing.
Try the 10 ideas above to get social while living in a CCRC. If you’re interested in learning more about CCRCs and finding the right one for you, check out different communities here.