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How to Help Seniors Socially Thrive: A Caregiver’s Guide
Elder Care

How to Help Seniors Socially Thrive: A Caregiver’s Guide


Ideas for senior social activities & useful tips to help them get out there & make new friends

The older we get, the more important human connection becomes. 

Unfortunately, however, many seniors find it hard to make friends and maintain a social life due to a number of age-related factors, such as health and mobility issues, loss of friends and family members, and transportation limitations.

Luckily, as a caregiver, there are ways to encourage your elderly loved one to stay socially active and foster healthy relationships. After reading this article, you’ll have an arsenal of tips to help them live a thriving social life.


Create a Supportive Environment

The best place to start is to have open and honest conversations with your loved one about their social and emotional needs.

What do they like to do for fun? How do they like to get active? Do their interests provide opportunities to meet people and make friends? What do they want out of their social life?

Ask questions like these to find out what they’re looking for and listen to whatever concerns they have so you can do your best to address them.

Throughout the process, provide encouragement and support them on their journey however you can, whether by providing transportation, setting them up with the technology they need, or looking up local programs and activities they can get involved in.


Find Senior Social Activities That Align With Their Interests

Odds are, there are all sorts of senior social activities in your area waiting to be found; you just have to know what to look for.

Local Senior Centers & Community Programs

To start, look up senior community centers and recreational programs in your area. You’ll find a variety of senior social activities your loved one can enjoy, including group exercise classes, continuing education courses, book clubs, gardening clubs, arts and crafts workshops, and much more. 

These resources are especially helpful because they give seniors the opportunity to have fun, learn new things, and meet and connect with people their age.

Sports, Group Exercise, & Other Physical Activities

Sports and other forms of exercise can also serve as valuable senior social activities. 

Low-impact sports, like pickleball and golf, and group activities like walking, cycling, yoga, and tai chi are fun ways to connect with friends while soaking up some sun.


If giving back to their community is important to them, what better way to contribute while connecting with like-minded people than volunteering? 

Helping out at soup kitchens or food banks, building local gardens, and participating in neighborhood, beach, or other local area cleanups are a few good examples.

Church Groups & Other Faith-Based Activities

Religious organizations offer plenty of ways for seniors to make friends and get involved in their communities—church groups, choirs, volunteer efforts, and more. If your loved one attends a local church, encourage them to find out what activities they host.


Connect With Family, Friends, & Neighbors

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but we all lead busy lives, and if we don’t make the time, we may not get to spend enough quality time with the ones we love.

Encourage your elderly loved one to set up get-togethers with family, friends, and neighbors. They can be anything from simple house visits to lunch dates to something exciting like mini golf. 

Family dinners, movie nights, and good old-fashioned walks are other great options that can help them build connections and make memories with the ones they care about.


Introduce Them to Online Senior Social Activities

Senior social activities don’t always have to be face-to-face. In fact, socializing online can be just as fulfilling. 

If your loved one is open to it, encourage them to set up a social media account to connect with friends, family, and new people in their area. Platforms like Facebook have plenty of groups full of seniors looking to make friends and get active.

Not to mention, there are all sorts of online games they can play with friends and loved ones. For example, if they like chess, you can help them set up an account on chess.com to do puzzles, educational courses, and play against computers or other people around the world.

Words With Friends and Scrabble are other great examples. These games provide a unique opportunity for your elderly loved one to stay socially active while stimulating their mind.


A Guide to Being Their Guide

A big part of being a caregiver is striking a balance between helping your loved one and allowing them to make decisions to meet their needs independently. 

With the tips in this article, you can provide them with the support they need to confidently navigate their social life, make meaningful connections, and stave off the isolation that so many seniors struggle with.

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