Socialization And Aging

Socialization and Aging Ė How important is socialization?

Many studies have been done on socialization and aging. The newest study reveals that a person cannot acquire social skills without a life-long exposure to social situations. You canít expect elderly people, who have been a ďhomebodyĒ all their lives, to suddenly have a desire to spend time in a senior citizen center, day in/day out, being sociable. It may take a time of transition before she/he feels ready for more social environments.

An elderly person has already established the degree of interaction with others that they desire. It is a lifetime of learning to socialize with others in work, play, and other activities.

As we age, our circle of friends usually becomes smaller. The reason for this is that friends can pass away or become incapacitated to a point of not being able to drive. The spouse that is left behind comes to depend upon their children or other family members for activities and stimulation.

Here are some helpful tips:
  • Participate in senior groups. Contact your local fitness center, town hall, or information center for ideas of groups that meet in your community. Senior centers have been established to help ease the transition of aging. They plan activities such as exercise, meals, games, and trips.

  • Learn new skills. Itís important to realize that as you age, you need to be involved in learning new abilities and seeking brain stimulation. Learning a different language is a good exercise for your mind. Brain teasers, cards, and mathematical puzzles are good too.

  • Find a part-time job or a volunteer position. Studies have shown that people who have had a variety of jobs are more apt to be interested in continuing socially as they age. Those who are more sedentary may have a more difficult time adjusting to a lonelier time of their lives.

  • Attend church. Church is a great place to find support groups for the elderly. I canít think of a better book to stimulate your mind than the Bible. Itís been around for at least four thousand years and is still a best seller.
Peace comes to the aging when you realize that the next step is the best yet to come.

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