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Why senior centers matter now more than ever

See all the benefits that senior centers can have on your health, wellness, and social goals.

A group of individuals participating in a yoga session outside, standing in a yard with their hands lifted upwards.

Maintaining our social connections can be tough, especially as we age. And it’s not just an issue seniors have to face. People of all ages are spending less time in person than they were twenty years ago, according to The Atlantic. This has led to weaker relationships, less time spent with others, and increased feelings of loneliness, especially among seniors.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, health or lifestyle changes can quickly affect our social isolation. Seniors who live alone, have lost a family member, or suffer from a chronic illness are at a higher risk for loneliness than ever before.

These effects extend far beyond our own emotional well-being. It can put older adults at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline.

But senior centers can be a meaningful and reliable place for community building. They help expand our health and social connections and fulfill a sense of belonging when we need it most.

Senior center activities to foster social engagement

These activities include a wide variety of interests and abilities. Each one can help you build a sense of community.

  • Book clubs: You can share your love of reading and connect with others who share similar interests.
  • Volunteer opportunities: Embracing your community allows you to give back, stay active, and maintain a sense of purpose.
  • Music or dance classes: Hearing music with others can be both enjoyable and beneficial for brain health.
  • Games and card clubs: From bridge to bingo, card and board games offer fun ways for seniors like you to socialize and keep your mind sharp.
  • Educational workshops: You can explore topics like health and nutrition to technology and finance.

Senior center activities to foster your fitness

Did you know that it also boosts our mental well-being and self confidence when there’s a supportive environment around us? Check out these activities to keep you active and engaged with others.

  • Beginner yoga classes: These classes focus on gentle stretches, mindful breathing, and relaxation techniques to improve your flexibility, balance, and mobility.
  • Aerobics classes: Try strength training and low-impact cardio to help burn calories and improve overall fitness.
  • Group walks or hikes: Organized group walks or hikes in local parks or trails can promote social interaction while staying physically active.
  • Chair exercises: Chair-based exercises for seniors to help you move while protecting joints and muscles.
  • Stretch and flexibility classes: Increase your range of motion, alleviate stiffness, and reduce the risk of injury.

Even virtual senior fitness classes help us stay active and feel more connected. It's a great option for expanding our own mental well-being from the comfort of your home.

Lifelong learning

Senior centers can offer much more than just socializing and physical activity; they also provide learning opportunities that ensure our minds stay sharp and active.

  • Discussion groups: Engage in group chats where seniors like you can exchange ideas, perspectives, and insights on topics like current events.
  • Learn a new language: Whether it's picking up basic  phrases for travel or broadening horizons, challenging your mind helps you stay mentally fit.
  • Master a new instrument: It’s fun to unlock creativity and expression while enjoying the sounds of music.
  • Local history lessons: Check out your town’s local history, uncovering stories and connections to the past and its heritage.

These proactive approaches to brain health can help delay the onset of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease, allowing you to enjoy the quality of life for longer.

The value of companionship

Feeling lonely can impact our physical and mental health, leading to issues like depression and heart problems. This can affect you if you have lost a spouse or have limited mobility.

When you go to a senior center, you’ll find a supportive environment where older adults can connect, make new friends, and stay active. Knowing that you’re not alone can boost your resilience and sense of purpose. Knowing that people value you is important.

Plus, when you join social activities like group exercises, hobby clubs, and seminars, you can build meaningful relationships—even gaining a sense of belonging with others.

Finding a local senior center

You can find a senior center near you on the National Council on Aging website. Many centers across the country offer first looks or open houses, allowing you to experience your community firsthand before committing.

Having the ability to try out a senior center or a space where you can communicate with others is all about finding a supportive community where you can thrive.

How Devoted can help you

We have licensed representatives available to help you with your questions about Devoted Health Medicare Advantage plans and how to make the most of your health and wellness. Call us at 1-800-451-9768 (TTY 711) for personalized assistance.

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