What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, its social connection that keeps us living well in our later years.
At Centacare we support our clients to age well in their own home by staying active in their communities and connected to friends and social networks. In a presentation to Brisbane South residents on 24 February, Centacare Service Delivery Manager Jeff Kesby shared his top tips for increasing social connections in later life.
Find your purpose
It’s important we continue to find meaning in life as we age. Research shows that those with a sense of purpose are less likely to experience social isolation. Activities keep our minds working well and hobbies and interests are inherently social in nature. What makes you get up in the morning? Is it a love of photography? Playing cards with your neighbours? Pottering around in the garden? Perhaps there are opportunities for you to share your skills and experience in a community volunteering role? The possibilities are endless!
Take advantage of flexible respite
If you spend time caring for someone else, you may have less energy to look after yourself and your own social needs. You may be able to access in-home or community based support for the person you care for. Knowing your loved one is in safe hands, you will enjoy the opportunity to focus on your own wellbeing and what’s important for you.
Make fitness social
Exercise becomes particularly important as we get older and there are plenty of ways to stay active while socialising with friends. Consider joining a walking group or a low-impact fitness class such as aqua aerobics, aqua pilates or body balance. If you struggle with mobility or have not exercised in a while, it’s a good idea to see a physiotherapist before you begin.
Make the most of extra help
Many people are unaware of the services that can help them improve their social connections and live active and fulfilled lives in their own home and community. Maybe some help around the house would help you get out more? Maybe you’d like the opportunity to connect with people through day trips or a fitness class?
Centacare can help you understand what funding might be available to you and guide you through the application process. As a registered provider of services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages, we provide all kinds of great services and can work in partnership with you to help design your best life and live well longer.
Phone 1300 236 822 to find out how we can help you.