Winter in New England.
It’s cold, the weather is nasty, it’s flu season.
These are just some of the reasons why the individuals we service typically feel socially isolated during the winter months. Recent studies suggest this can be dangerous. According to a New York Times article written by Dr. Dhruv Khullar,
“A wave of new research suggests social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones.”
Here are some ideas to help combat socialization and keep your loved ones as healthy as possible.
1. Craft for a cause.
Our organization recently held an event at an assisted living facility where we invited both residents and individuals in alternative living situations to unite in making Valentine’s for a local area nursing home.
You will find that people are more willing to participate outside of the home in activities if they know they’re helping others. Plus, in this type of atmosphere, there’s the opportunity to socialize while working on cognitive and motor skills. All you need is some construction paper, writing utensils, stickers, and a willingness to put a smile on someone else’s face!
2. Join a club
Senior centers reside in almost every community. Senior centers are an amazing resource for entertainment (and most serve lunch!). Whether someone you know is into Bingo, Knitting, Walking, etc. there’s typically a club within the center already established. If a senior center is not the right demographic or fit, churches and libraries host FREE activities for people of all ages on a regular basis. This is another great way to stay mentally and physically fit.
You name a non-profit, and it’s a 99% guarantee they’re looking for volunteers. Whether it’s being a buddy to someone in a under served community, to knitting hats for newborn babies in the hospital, or performing light administrative duties in an office. There are so many ways you can sharpen your skills and do the things you love without being home bound.