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Healthy Aging

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Staying connected

A senior woman and a middle-age woman chatting happily in a kitchen over coffee cups

If getting to and from social outlets is a problem for you, your local Area Agency on Aging can help you find transportation services.

Keeping up with friendships and social connections — and making new ones — is important to your quality of life and overall well-being. Although social networks often get smaller as people age, having a close friend or family member who you can easily talk with can help you to feel cared for and valued. Social support can protect you from isolation, loneliness, and depression.

Participating in social or productive activities that you enjoy may also help maintain your well-being. For instance, older adults who participate in activities they find meaningful, like volunteering, report feeling healthier and happier. Group physical activity, such as a dance class or walking group, can foster social relationships. Physical activity also boosts your physical and mental health. Learn more about staying physically active in later life in our Staying active section.

Senior centers, community recreation centers, and places of worship are places to look for social groups or ways to get involved. The National Institute on Aging provides these examples of social and productive activities that you may like:

  • Volunteering at a library, hospital, school, or other organization
  • Joining a senior center
  • Playing cards and other games with your friends
  • Going to the theater, a movie, or a sporting event
  • Traveling with a group of older adults, perhaps a retiree group
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Gardening in your backyard or at a community park
  • Organizing a park clean-up through your local recreation center
  • Taking a cooking class
  • Singing in a choral group
  • Joining a local theater troupe
  • Forming or joining a book club
  • Going dancing
  • Taking a group exercise class
  • Playing a musical instrument, learning a new instrument
  • Joining a group interested in a hobby like knitting or scrapbooking
  • Getting a part-time job

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More information on Staying connected

Read more from womenshealth.gov

  • Mental Health - This section of womenshealth.gov provides information on taking care of your mental health throughout the different stages of your life.

Explore other publications and websites

  • Aging in the Know: Psychological and Social Issues (Copyright © The AGS Foundation for Health in Aging) - This publication explains how the mind ages as we age. It deals with learning, memory, reaction time, intelligence, and life skills. In addition, it provides information on some common stressors of aging, such as caregiving, loss and grief, changing roles, and social status. It gives tips for how to deal with these life changes and the types of healthy behaviors that are important.
  • Girlfriends' Health and Safety Tips - You and your girlfriends can help each other keep both mentally and physically fit. This fact sheet has information about how you can support and inform the women that are close to you.
  • Health and Aging Organizations - This comprehensive online directory provides contact information for organizations that provide support and services to older adults.

Connect with other organizations

Content last updated: August 12, 2010.

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