Top 5 Ways for the Aging to Remain Socially Engaged


1
Find a New Hobby (or Rediscover an Old One)
Scrapbooking not for you? The mountains might be calling.
Scrapbooking not for you? The mountains might be calling.
© iStockphoto/Photawa

Many seniors find they have more free time than they did in the past, and a good way to spend that time is pursuing a new -- or long-forgotten -- hobby or interest. Whether the activity is scrapbooking, painting or photography, communities of people with shared passions will form around it.

Senior centers and community groups often offer lessons in painting, singing, fiction writing and creating folk art. No matter what hobby you pursue, it'll be a good way to socialize with people, and you'll never want for an easy conversation starter. Another good way to reach out to others is to research your genealogy. There are many dedicated clubs and online genealogy groups that can provide you with all sorts of information about your family tree.

It may also be time to scratch the travel itch, if that's always been your secret desire. Throughout the world, there are Elderhostel programs that offer travel and educational opportunities to seniors. Cruise trips for seniors abound, and there are nomadic communities of RV owners who cross the nation (and continuously cross paths with each other). Travel clubs enable members to take trips together as a group, or you could take a day trip with a good friend or someone you'd like to know better.

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Sources

  • Crooks, Valerie C. "Social Network, Cognitive Function, and Dementia Incidence Among Elderly Women." May 29, 2008.http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/7/1221
  • Dal Santo, Teresa S., PH.D. "Senior Center Literature Review." California Commission on Aging. Feb. 4, 2009.http://www.ncoa.org/userfiles/file/Literature_Review_of_Senior_Centers.pdf
  • Lee, Gary R., et al. "Well-Being among the Elderly." 1987. http://roa.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/9/4/459
  • National Council on Aging. "Healthy Aging: A Good Investment." 2004. http://www.healthyagingprograms.org/resources/HealthyLiving_GoodInvestment_booklet.pdf
  • National Institute on Aging. "Alzheimer's Disease: Treatment." Feb. 5, 2009. (April 18, 2009) http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/AlzheimersInformation/Treatment/
  • National Institute on Aging. "Diet, Exercise, Stimulating Environment Help Old Dogs Learn." Jan. 18, 2005. http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers/ResearchInformation/NewsReleases/Archives/PR2005/PR20050118diet.htm
  • National Institute on Aging. "The Health & Retirement Study: Growing Older in America." 2007. http://www.nia.nih.gov/about/living-long-well-21st-century-strategic-directions-research-aging/research-suggests-positive
  • Peace Corps. "Older Applicants." (April 19, 2009) http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whovol.older
  • Senior Corps. April 13, 2009.http://www.seniorcorps.gov/Default.asp
  • Senior Journal. "Founder of Women's Football Now Starting Wii Bowling Money Site for Senior citizens." Dec. 22, 2008.http://seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Sports/2008/20081222-Founder.htm
  • SeniorNet. April 16, 2009.http://www.seniornet.org/jsnet/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1
  • University of Minnesota. "Auditing courses." April 16, 2009. http://onestop.umn.edu/registration/guidelines/audit_courses.html

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