Studies show again and again that an active mind is more often a happy mind -- and a mind less susceptible to age-related loss of cognitive ability. If you're looking for new social outlets and the means to better yourself, there are a number of educational opportunities available that can reward you with new friends, new community contacts and new knowledge.
Many universities, community colleges and organizations offer educational opportunities for older adults. Most colleges allow you to audit classes, meaning that you attend classes with other students for a fee but you don't have to turn in assignments or take tests (you'll be the envy of the lecture hall).
There are lots of adult continuing education opportunities available, many of them free of charge -- so if you always wanted to know more about nutrition or learn Portuguese, now's a good time to do it. There are continuing education programs available for homebound seniors, too, through the aid of other seniors who attend classes on site and later share what they've learned.
Nonprofits such as SeniorNet help seniors learn to use the latest computer and communications technologies. In the course of learning important skills, you'll be able to connect -- and stay connected -- with other like-minded seniors who are also learning how to produce digital photographs, use e-mail, write blogs and find old (and new) friends on social networking Web sites.