Forty percent of seniors report regularly experiencing loneliness. Loneliness can really sting, and that pain extends well beyond your emotions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calls loneliness an epidemic, with far-reaching consequences for our well-being. Loneliness may even shorten your life. Retirement is your chance to finally live life on your own terms without the demands of employment and raising children. Don’t spend it alone. The right senior social clubs can help you thrive in retirement so you can enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard to earn. Check out these great options.
Think joining a volunteer force such as the Peace Corps is only for the young? Think again. AmeriCorps Seniors works with thousands of seniors to pair their skills with the people who need them most. Many projects involve supporting other seniors, so you can make friends and ensure your peers lead meaningful lives, regardless of ability.
For women who believe age is truly just a number, the Red Hat Society is an adventurous group committed to outings, activism, service, and remaining young at heart. The Red Hat Society welcomes all women 50 and older, but the ethos is distinctly fun, humorous, and forever young.
If you join only one senior organization, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), might be your best bet. This advocacy organization offers education, activities, and even discounts on a wide range of services. Find tips on living well through its monthly magazine and connect to a local chapter to make new friends.
If you’re an athlete, you might think the ship has sailed on competitive performance. Think again. The National Senior Games brings together serious senior athletes and those who are just beginning their training after a lifetime of distraction. Join a local group, then compete in the national games.
Pay attention to the world around you, and you’ll quickly notice an entire world of drama, relationships, triumph, and tragedy unfolding. You only have to look more closely at the birds in your backyard. The Audubon Society encourages people to cultivate mindfulness and environmental stewardship by observing native birds.
If you want to get moving so you can stay healthy and limber, SilverSneakers offers a low-key way to do just that. Go to the gym, walk with other seniors, or even take classes from the comfort of your own home.
A book club can help you keep your mind sharp and active, which may lower your risk of dementia. If you’re eager to read the latest literary novel, a book club can also keep you accountable while offering new perspectives you may never have considered. Contact your local public library or bookstore to connect to a book club.
If you love getting your hands dirty and watching in awe as spring bulbs become summer blossoms, you can sharpen your skills and make friends through a garden club. With chapters all across the globe, there’s almost certainly one in your area. Find your local garden club.
Sometimes loneliness is as much about your living situation as your relationships and lifestyle. A welcoming community means there is always someone around to talk to — and plenty of like-minded adventurous spirits eager for new fun. The right independent living community makes it easy to make friends no matter what you’re into or how you hope to spend retirement. For help finding the perfect independent living community for your needs, download our free guide, “Everything You Need to Know About Independent Living”.