November 29, 2021

How Do I Get My Seniors to Socialize?

Wellness
Retention
Active Lifestyle

Are you asking yourself how to get your seniors to socialize? Being in charge of a senior community is a really rewarding job and you get to meet some wonderful people who have led incredible lives. 


However, one of the challenges is getting seniors to socialize with each other. That's why we've put together this blog post with some socialization tips for seniors to get them more engaged in activities. Here's how to help them feel included and reduce social isolation and feelings of loneliness. 

Why Socializing as We Age is Important

Socializing with one other is vital for health and wellbeing at every age. Loneliness has been found to be a major cause of physical illness and hospitalization in older people, especially when they are socially isolated, and highlights the importance of socialization for older adults.


During the Covid-19 lockdown, both these problems were increased, either by care homes closing to families visiting or people being unable to leave their homes. Good social and physical interventions are an integral part of senior care to keep people as healthy as possible.


Top Tips to Get Older Adults and Seniors to Socialize 

1. Start With Something Simple

If you are wondering “how do I get my seniors to socialize?” then you’re in the right place. It's not easy to get seniors to engage when they would rather be in their room. But, trying a few simple things in a communal area may get people talking and out of their shell.

 

Leave a jigsaw puzzle on a table so people can join in to fit pieces as and when they want. These types of activities also improve cognitive thought and bonding. Let's Stick Together is a sticker-by-number activity that anyone can do!

This is a Let's Stick Together virtual sticker board the Televeda community worked on last week! 

You could also organize a low-key happy hour event with a cocktail, drink, or "mocktail" for seniors to enjoy. On Televeda, we host holiday get togethers as a low pressure way for people to say hi.

 

Another idea is to have a coffee morning with some treats for an hour where people can come and enjoy the food and talk to each other. Keeping the timing brief allows people to interact with others but also to use their personal time as they wish, and to make sure most people attend at the same time.

2. Plan Social Activities 


Here are some tips to get your seniors to participate in social activities at your senior community

  • Find out what your group of seniors enjoys doing. Make a point of asking your seniors for suggestions, finding out their interests, and building activities around that. 
  • Combining physical exercise routines with social activities is an excellent way to tone muscles and get people to improve their balance and move more. 
  • Try out some wellness games that boost health while socializing.
  • Gardening is another activity that gets people talking and keeps them active. Get a few raised beds and let the seniors plant them with bulbs, plants, or even vegetables that they have to collaborate on to care for.
  • Try conversation openers, like a movie night or a reminiscence workshop where seniors can think about things they used to do. These are also good conversational openers that can encourage conversations that go beyond planned hangouts. 
  • Some senior centers have pets that stimulate conversations and ponding. It' also possible to get animal visits to seniors for a fun activity that will make anyone smile. These visits have been shown to positively affect wellbeing.

3. Try Virtual Programming

Televeda's virtual art class hosted every week.

Look into virtual programming. You can help seniors get more comfortable with technology so they can talk to family and friends or listen to online discussions and concerts. They can also join in online workshops and other activities.

At Televeda, we provide monthly activity calendars of curated, expert-led events hosted on our accessible live streaming software we designed specifically to work for people that don't love technology. Of course, we aren’t just the software or classes: we’re the tech support, event managers, content curators, and data analyzers--all to help improve organizations' operational efficiencies and keep senior communities making new friends.

4. Work With the Local Community

Your local community will have a range of ways to interact with seniors and get them to socialize, like: 

  • If you have someone who used to visit a special interest club and is still able to do so, link them up with the local group. 
  • If you have access to a minibus or other transportation, it might be possible to arrange visits to local places. Of course keep in mind current local health policies 
  • Outdoor parks and places with views are also likely to be popular and get people talking. Be sure to check out places beforehand for bathrooms and seating so it is accessible.
  • School partnerships are a helpful way to raise awareness of the needs of older people with children but also so seniors can interact with others. With kids prone to saying funny things, it could be a hit and could also prompt some of the seniors to do something they might not have done before.
  • Joining in a community event such as entering a local competition, volunteering, or even joining a committee.


Get Seniors to Socialize With Help From Televeda


While socializing for older adults is incredibly important, you also need to be mindful that some people like to keep their personal space and will want to be alone sometimes. Getting a balance is important, especially when you have introverts in your group.


In that case, try events that promote togetherness, without the pressure, like a writing class, an art class, or something else where people are building skills individually, but together.


Keeping senior people active and socially interacting is vital for their health and wellbeing. It boosts morale, reduces boredom, and keeps people mentally and physically active. You can be really creative with the activities you choose and include seniors in the process.


Our team is passionate about helping people stay connected with their loved ones, no matter what stage they are in the aging process. Book a free demo today so we can help support the socialization of your community and reduce social isolation. 

 


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