As we grow older, we often find ourselves spending more time at home alone. Being lonely or socially isolated is not good for your overall health. For example, it can increase feelings of depression or anxiety, which can have a negative impact on many other aspects of our health.
There are plenty of places to look for opportunities to engage in activities you enjoy or to try something completely new. Following are ideas that might work for you. Some of these include activities that can be enjoyed from a distance using a phone or computer. So even if you’re in a rural area or have other restrictions, you can still find ways to engage in activities you like.
Some tips for staying socially connected:
- Find an activity that you enjoy, restart an old hobby, or take a class to learn something new. This is a great way to connect with people that have a similar interest
- Stay in touch with family, friends, and neighbours in person, by email… even social media. Sending letters or cards is another good way to keep up friendships.
- If you’re not tech-savvy consider signing up for a class to help you learn how to use technology including email or social media. A great place to start is your local public library, council or community centre
- Stay physically active and include group exercise, such as joining a walking club or an exercise program for older adults. Join a COTA Victoria’s Living Longer Living Stronger™ strength and balance exercise program for older adults.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbours
- Check out resources and programs at your local Neighbourhood House, community and senior centres, public libraries or local council
- Become a volunteer at a local not for profit organisation. Volunteering is a great form of civic engagement that builds on your experience and breaks down social isolation, while providing you with a sense of accomplishment and belonging to the community.
If you need any help, COTA Victoria is here for you. Visit www.cotavic.org.au or call our Information Line on 1300 13 50 90 for ideas on how to keep connected in your local area.