Social support for elders is important for their emotional and physical well-being. Support must also encompass more than a physical presence or phone conversations. Studies have shown that social support services should be characterized by activity — or planned activities. Staying active, and involved, is hugely beneficial for seniors as they age.

Many seniors offer their time and energy through volunteerism. Helping others in the community by packaging food at the local food pantry, or providing administrative help at the library, local hospital, or historical society results in giving to others…while giving to yourself. Whether continuing to participate in the monthly book club, sewing club, or investment group — these activities will promote positive self-satisfaction.

Your Local Council on Aging

Local and community based Councils on Aging act as a focal point for elders to participate, and receive, many aging services. These facilities are the “senior centers” for aging activities. Many common services or classroom learning offered at a senior center include health programs (Zumba, nutrition, or Yoga), arts/humanities activities, employment assistance, community action opportunities, transportation services, bereavement groups, volunteer opportunities, education opportunities, financial assistance, senior rights counseling/legal services, regional travel programs and meal programs. These programs and activities promote life long learning, engagement, exercise, and friendships.

Home Care Partners provides private-duty home assistance for our clients. Sometimes our care staff will incorporate the additional and multi-faceted services of the senior centers. Recently, a housebound senior expressed interest in learning more about computers, email, and the internet. Initially, our staff utilized a home computer to review “how all this technology works”. But we soon discovered a computer class being taught at the senior center. So we were able to provide transportation to the weekly classes for our client, who is thrilled to be able to communicate with all her grandchildren via email. Utilizing the local senior citizens center has given her increased access to other programs, and other seniors with similar interests, that she never knew while living in the community for nearly fifty years. She is now active in scheduling social luncheons with her newfound friends, and delights in this whole new world of computers.