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Are Social Seniors in Indiana Healthier?

September 17, 2015

Are Social Seniors in Indiana Healthier?
As we grow older, staying socially connected may be a little more challenging. Chronic health conditions, physical impairments, problems finding transportation and tight budget can all make it more difficult for older adults in Indiana. But doing so is an important part of staying mentally and physically fit.
 
The Dangers of Isolation and Seniors
 
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2010 highlighting just how important it is for older adults to stay socially connected. Researchers shared how social engagement keeps the brain stimulated. This helps keep cognitive abilities in tact longer.
Research also shows how isolation is a risk factor for health problems in seniors. It can contribute to problems ranging from obesity and diabetes to depression and high blood pressure.
7 Ways for Indiana Seniors to Stay Connected and Social
 
If you are looking for ways to help your Indiana senior loved one make new friends and stay connected with their old ones, here are a few ideas:
  1. Volunteer Work: Donating time and talent to a volunteer cause you believe in is beneficial to young and old alike. The mental health benefits gained from helping others are well documented. Volunteering is also a good way to meet new people and make new friends. Volunteer Match can help you learn more about opportunities in your senior loved one’s local community.
  2. Local Library: People often overlook all the opportunities available at the local library. Most offer a variety of events and programs each month. It often includes movie day, a travel log, a painting group, a writer’s club and more.
  3. Indiana Senior Centers: The Hoosier state is home to many senior centers. Each of them offers a wide range of programs and events for older adults. Most are free or only charge a nominal fee to participate.
  4. Religious Organizations: Most churches and synagogues offer older adults the opportunity to participate in group activities. It might be a senior group, a men’s group or a ladies auxiliary.
  5. Fitness Centers: Another opportunity for staying fit mentally and physically is to join a local fitness center. Most offer special programs for seniors. Check to see if your aging loved one’s health insurance plan includes a membership to Silver Sneakers. This benefit entitles seniors to participate in fitness activities at a variety of clubs for no cost.
  6. Continuing Education: Many local community colleges and universities offer seniors the opportunity to audit classes or to enroll at a significantly discounted price. Local libraries, senior centers, botanical gardens, metro parks and more offer programs and events for a nominal fee. Encourage your older loved one to take advantage of this.
  7. Book Clubs: Another budget-friendly opportunity to meet new people is to join a book club. Most local libraries and bookstores offer them on a regular basis. Some even offer discounts on the book that will be discussed that month.
Our final tip is to visit one of the Five Star Senior Living communities in Indiana. We offer community events for older adults on a regular basis!