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Maintaining a Social Life As You Age

As you get older, it becomes harder to maintain an active social life. Friends may become disabled and have a harder time getting around. Some may even die. Or you might find it’s harder for you to get out and about the way you used to. But maintaining a social life can not only improve your emotional well-being; it can also improve your physical and cognitive health.

So to make it easier for you to stay connected, we’ve developed a list of tips:

Maintain current relationships. Pick up the phone and invite family members or friends over. Plan a game night and put out a few snacks. Or invite friends out for a ladies luncheon or dinner. If all else fails, keep in touch via e-mail, texting, or Facebook.

Volunteer. Join a volunteer group at your church or look for volunteer opportunities in your community. The Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging has volunteer opportunitiesVolunteerMatch can also help you find local volunteer work.

Join a Meetup group. If you’re looking to meet new friends, join a Meetup group. Meetup can help you meet people with common interests.

Join a social club. Do you enjoy reading? Writing? Painting? If you live in Lawrence, the Senior Resource Center for Douglas County has a list of clubs you can join. They’ll also help you start your own if you can’t find one you like. If you don’t live in Lawrence, try your local senior center.

Play a sport. The Kansas Senior Games in Topeka is a multi-sport competition for people ages 50+. There are 17 different sports from which you can choose.

Take a class. The Topeka LULAC Senior Center has classes for seniors, as do many other senior centers. If you don’t find one you like at your local center, try a nearby community college.

Get a job. If you’re retired and miss interacting with co-workers, you might benefit from taking a part-time job.

Find a ride. If you don’t drive and don’t have a caregiver who can take you places, you’ll need to find transportation. If you live in Topeka or Lawrence, the Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging has a list of transportation resources. If you live in Olathe or Lenexa (or anywhere else in Johnson County), you can find resources here.

It can be difficult maintaining a social life as you grow older, but a little effort can help you reap huge rewards.

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