What We Heard
Participating in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities in the community helps older adults to stay healthy, engaged and informed.
Older people have a broad range of interests. An age friendly community makes available a variety of social activities to cater to those diverse interests, including activities that are accessible for people with different abilities.
Scheduling activities at various times and at convenient and accessible locations served by public transportation options encourages greater participation. Activities must be affordable for older people to allow their participation. Special attention should be paid to communicating and marketing age friendly events using a variety of media.
Participation in social activities helps to prevent social isolation. Most older adults want to socialize and integrate with other age groups and cultures in their communities. Intergenerational activities are mutually enriching and fulfilling for all ages, with older people passing on knowledge, traditions and experience while the young may help seniors with new technology and practices.
Regardless of a person’s age, loneliness is often as debilitating a health condition as having a chronic illness or disease. Sadness and isolation can be combated by ensuring that older adults stay engaged with family and friends through the availability of accessible, affordable and fun social activities.
Goals at a Glance
- Develop self-sustaining networks of residents based on common interests or within a geographic area.
- Encourage those in need to become engaged in community by helping others.
- Create opportunities for socialization and strive to eliminate barriers to participation (transportation, cost, etc.).
- Organize regional and long-distance activities for group engagement, as well as bringing programs to Councils on Aging, community centers, faith-based organizations, civic organizations and others where older adults might already congregate.
- Promote local arts, music and other cultural and academic programs and build bridges to facilitate engagement of seniors as both volunteers and consumers.
- Reach out personally to engage residents of all needs and abilities.
- Build inter-generational networks.