Friday, January 2, 2009

Social Seniors

Part of my blog’s focus is to discuss different avenues of social networking. I am enjoying this assignment because there are so many varied and interesting areas of socializing in our world inside and outside of the internet. Social Networking has no age limits. No matter what your age, there is still something you can do to be a part of your community.

My Grandma is 79 years old and despite back problems and other difficulties she is still an integral part of her community, reaching out to help others. She has served as a member of the guardian ad litem, a program or group of people which meets to help individuals in the community, for many years.

It’s hard to transition to a different period of your life no matter what age grouping that puts you in. But for many seniors, feelings of isolation and loneliness are familiar as more and more of their family members move away or physical challenges limit the activities they’ve been involved in throughout their lifetime.

My previous blog is a great starting point for the senior who wants to learn how to be connected to friends on the internet. I also wanted to discuss a few ideas to look for in your own community.

Everyone wants to feel loved and needed. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t claim they are extremely busy with life, and so it’s hard to make as many visits as we’d like. Everyone and Senior Citizens in particular, thrive on their interaction with others. But that’s not the topic I want to discuss here. I want to share one important point: We can either wait for someone to come and visit us or we can reach out to others.

Here are a few ideas of how seniors can get in on social networking.
Follow the link to learn how to connect on the internet with a group of like-minded friends through yourLDSneighborhood's social networking group.

Join a book group—I love to hear about people’s favorite books and I might have missed out on some of my most favorite reads if I hadn’t talked to other people about reading. You can join Rachelle’s book club here! I’m going to be doing some fun things this year with my book club.

Tutor or mentor a student—ask around your neighborhood and either volunteer or charge a small fee to tutor a student in an area you are knowledgeable in.

Volunteer at elementary schools—many schools have programs geared toward reading. You can volunteer for just an hour a week or 30 minutes a day to read with a child in the school setting.

Teaching a class in your community—Don’t underestimate your talents and skills, many people are interested in learning new skills whatever that may be. I have learned many skills from interacting with the older (and wiser) generation. One of my most favorite learning experiences is when I learned the art of making hand-dipped chocolates with flavored centers from a lady who had made chocolates for nearly 50 years!

Take a class to learn a new skill—most cities have a senior citizen program which offers classes, but there are also other classes offered for anyone through your local school district. You’re never too old to learn something new.

All of these ideas provide a way for seniors to meet new people, enrich their lives and others, and become fun social seniors.

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