Socializing Can Boost Your Spirits
Staying social in Maine as a senior can present a series of challenges. The winter months can make traveling difficult. Sometimes the fun activities we enjoy require driving when the roads could be bad. The cold weather and snow can be a deterrent from even leaving our house. It gets dark earlier in the winter and driving at night isn’t as easy as it once was. Many seniors don’t drive anymore at all, which can make it tough to get out and about. Despite these reasons, it is still very important to find a way to get out there and be around people. Isolation and loneliness can be detrimental to your health. Studies have shown that isolation and loneliness can lead to deteriorating mental health, less productive sleep, higher blood pressure and depression. We are social beings, staying connected to other people can help us in so many ways, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. A game of cards at the senior center or lunch with friends can really make a difference in your mental well being. It is vital for seniors to get out and be social. Some seniors even get companion pets to combat loneliness. Having a pet to take care of can give you a sense of purpose.
Volunteering or joining a club is a great way to remain active. Find organizations you are interested in, or find a cause you are passionate about and get involved. We have listed several volunteer opportunities on this website. You have a lot of experience and wisdom to share with people. So, do it! Joining a group or club is a great way to make friends. Most groups would love to have new volunteers. If volunteering isn’t really your thing, you could start going to a fitness center. Lots of seniors go to the local fitness centers, the gym is a good place to make friends.
Being active in your church community is another great way to stay connected to people. There’s always a bean supper to go to, or men or women’s bible study group you could join. Join the choir, even if you can’t sing! If you are a Vet go to the VFW hall and have coffee with other people who have served. It is good to talk to people. Say hello. I bet you will find you have lots of things in common once you break the ice. Conversations and laughter can really help lift your spirits especially in the winter months.
It’s important for seniors to find a way to stay involved and plugged into our communities. One good resource to find out what is happening in your area is Thrive Penobscot’s Community Calendar. We keep it updated regularly and try to include all the activities in the area we think you may enjoy. Also, most local papers have coming events articles which let you know what activities are happening in the area. Local libraries have craft clubs and activity groups. Lincoln has the Golden Key Senior Center. They have cribbage tournaments, movie nights, karaoke and so many more fun activities for seniors. They also have a taxi and shuttle service in case you are no longer able to drive. Eastern Agency on Aging’s nutrition program delivers meals through Meals on Wheels and serves meals at Community Cafes in both Lincoln and Millinocket. It is good for the soul to break bread with other people. Fellowship around meals is so important. Take advantage of these programs, it’s a great way to meet people.
Do whatever you can to stay social and involved, even if that just means getting a coffee at a local coffee shop and sitting down to chat with other seniors. Don’t be shy, they are there for the same reasons you are. Take a walk around a store if you are lonely. Take a stroll around town, you are bound to run into someone you know. Maybe you will even make a new friend. Get out there, don’t be shy. It will do you a world of good to interact with other folks.