Barbara Fradkin – Hometown News

Q: My Dad needs social interaction. What can we do?

A:  It’s sad to say, but elders who experience loneliness and isolation have more physical ailments. This includes mobility issues and (most importantly) cognitive decline.

As people age, they tend to become less active and their routines — increasingly sedentary. Many find it easier to watch TV alone than to go out with friends or enroll in an exercise group. A healthy social life is very important for seniors. The need for companionship, love and support does not diminish as we grow older! Regular social interaction helps keep us mentally, emotionally and even physically fit. It reduces the risk of depression, decreases anxiety, and helps maintain self-esteem. High levels of socialization in seniors can even positively influence longevity.

So what can seniors do to get active? There are many forms of social activity tailored for them, from technology-focused connections to outings and happy hours. Here are some suggestions from The Experts in Aging at One Senior Place.

  • Join an exercise class or walking group
  • Swimming or water aerobics classes
  • Hire a companion (if you live alone) and go out to lunch weekly
  • Check out the activities at your local senior center
  • Volunteer at the Zoo, library or hospice
  • Join a book club, travel club or social club
  • Take sewing, cooking or art lessons
  • Enroll in a math class or adult enrichment course

How about a part-time job doing something you like? It will allow you to meet people AND earn some extra income. For those living alone, it can be reinvigorating to once again be around others. And if you’re considering a move to a senior community, you’ll find that many offer an amazing array of social activities, day trips and amenities like pools and restaurant style dining.

C’mon. Get off the couch! Start with The Club for Active Seniors — Monday mornings at One Senior Place in Viera. Call 321-751-6771 and in Orlando Call 407-949-6733.

One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging at Barbara Fradkin is a Social Worker, Certified Care Manager and the Director of One Senior Place, Viera.