The social lives of seniors tend to slow down once they reach 65 to 70 years of age. It is important to provide them enough social activities to maintain a good sense of confidence and identity. In most cases, older individuals want to stay with others who also belong in the same age bracket. Here are some of the tried and proven ways to keep them sane.
Good Old Group Gatherings
Group gatherings are a great way for senior citizens to mingle and communicate with other people. The gatherings may stem from church, a lifestyle seminar or any type of hobby for that matter. There are different organizations and agencies forming meet ups every now and then that specifically cater to the social needs of older individuals. In a typical meeting, there may be 5 to 30 participants. A guidance counselor or leader organizes the program in a way that seniors can talk about their current situation, sentiments and other concerns.
The gathering is usually held in a hall or outdoor setting where older individuals can appreciate nature and tranquillity. The agenda can cover one or several topics. Some of the most ideal seminars to attend include self-care, independence and rehabilitative activities for seniors. A meeting may last anywhere from 1 hour to an entire weekend.
Introducing the Internet
You may be surprised to know that senior citizens enjoy technology as much as younger people. You can introduce a senior to the computer, laptop or PDA where they can immediately get connected to various sites and gain tons of information. Teach them about the latest updates regarding the world and their current situation. It is also excellent to let them join online forums, chatrooms and social networking sites where they can view, meet and talk to different people from all over the globe.
At first, seniors will need assistance on how to operate the computer and get connect to the internet. Teach them the basics, such as the proper use of search engines. It will also help to give them safety tips such as checking the potential of a web site and looking out for possibly unscrupulous people that are out to get their credit card numbers and cash.
Indulge in Sports
Senior citizens enjoy sports a lot. At this point, it is recommended that you provide less-strenuous activities such as golf, fishing and light walking. You may also have them get on more active sports, depending on their personal preference and physical capacity. Some of the others to include are swimming, basketball, cricket and tennis.
Seniors also enjoy a lot of table games such as chess, poker and other card games. Board games are also a good way for them to socialize and get their minds to work. Talk about other things while playing, since these people are very inclined to tell their life stories to those who want to listen.
Getting a Buddy
Some people are not as sociable as others and usually just keep to themselves even when activities are introduced. A good approach is to sit down and listen to the person in a one-on-one conversation session. Ask open-ended questions and encourage the individual to share sentiments and other details. You may also give the person a pen and paper to draw or write on. Some would like others to know about their stories only through pictures and words.