It happens sooner than most people think. The youngest child is off to college and parents are left trying to remember what they did with all of those empty hours before they had the kids.

Often times they’ve lost track of friendships through the child-rearing years, when they were so exhausted by meeting the scheduling demands of every day that there was no energy left for their own activities. This can leave many feeling lonely and unsure of how to find a new social network.

 

Community engagement and social activity are known to be powerful deterrents to depression in older adults. Here are some great ideas for finding new connections and staying social as we age:

 

  • Volunteer- The benefits of volunteering go beyond social interaction. Doing something good for another is a known mood enhancer and contributes to the greater community. A love for children? Schools are always looking for volunteers to read with children, act as safety officers, or help out with events. An animal lover? Any animal shelter will be more than happy to have someone spend some time helping to care for homeless pets. A reading interest? The local library could probably use a helpful hand.
  • Join a Club- A life-long knitter, or a great chess player? The local newspaper’s events calendar is a great place to look for gatherings that suit individual interests.
  • Take a Class- Learning something new not only helps to keep the brain healthy, but also provides the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. Many community centers offer classes taught by local experts on a variety of topics.
  • Get a Roommate- If single, moving in with a roommate or two might be worth considering. Not only will it help with the bills, but it will provide a daily opportunity to connect with others.

 

Remaining active and staying connected is a healthy choice for many reasons. While each community will have different opportunities, it is likely that there’s a good fit out there for everyone.

 

Learn more about some of the best, local 55+ communities in and around The Woodlands, Texas today.