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Retirement makes seniors more susceptible to experiencing social isolation and loneliness, which can lead to depression and a shorter life.
Fortunately, senior clubs offer opportunities for older adults to maintain an active social life by connecting them with other seniors.
As a result, older adults will get benefits such as:
- Reduced stress
- Better physical health
- Improved cognitive function
- Longer life
If you’re interested in senior clubs, I’ve written this article so you can fully understand them first.
Understanding Senior Social Clubs
A senior social club is quite straightforward to understand. But let me give you a better overview of what they are.
Definition and Purpose
A senior social club is where seniors can interact with others in the same age range.
They hold activities that give seniors social opportunities that can motivate them to go out and make meaningful connections. They also provide resources and support that some seniors may need.
Thanks to that, they can physically and mentally thrive in retirement.
Types of Senior Social Clubs
Senior clubs have you accomplish certain tasks or have specific purposes. These groups are official, so they have regular meetings and member registries.
A wide variety of clubs cater to seniors with different hobbies and interests. Social groups are also for volunteer work, economic motivations, and religious or political groups.
Benefits of Participation for Seniors
Building and maintaining connections can greatly impact a senior’s overall well-being. Joining an organization will especially be great since it gives them something to regularly look forward to.
Below are some benefits you can expect when you join the right senior social clubs:
- Reduced stress – You can experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression when you connect with others. Face-to-face social networking is more effective than just keeping in touch through phone or online means.
- Better physical health – Older adults who stay connected have a lower risk of obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
- Improved cognitive function – You can keep yourself mentally sharp when you stay social. Supportive relationships can significantly reduce the risk of cognitive impairments and dementia. This is because a social life lets them continue learning and keep their minds active.
- Longer life – Social activities can let a person live longer than those with fewer social connections. On top of that, laughter and taking part in activities you like with like-minded people stimulate the production of feel-good hormones.
Finding the Right Club for You
There are many senior social groups, making it hard to choose which one to join. Fortunately, it can be easy to narrow them down.
Factors to Consider
Below, I’ve listed some factors to consider when considering senior groups to join:
Which clubs are near your own home?
There are thousands of senior centers nationwide, so you can check if you’re interested in anything they’re offering.
If you still have a good social network, you can ask for recommendations on which local senior centers you can join.
Or, if there’s something you really want to join, then see if it’s in your area.
The Red Hat Society has local meetings. Meanwhile, AmeriCorps Seniors can match you with volunteer work near you. The National Council on Aging offers online support, so seniors lead a healthy and financially- stable life.
2. Interests and Hobbies
What do you want to spend time doing?
Do you want to learn new skills like a new language or instrument? Or, have you always wanted to try water aerobics?
Whatever you choose, there’s a club for you.
Joining any community lets many seniors feel involved and accepted. They’ll also keep their mind sharp while learning skills and building and maintaining social connections.
3. Desired Level of Social Interaction
Do you want to sign up for a book club to socialize with other bookworms?
You can look for an online book club if you don’t want to leave your house. You can also find something that requires you to attend meetings face-to-face.
If you want to join an advocacy organization, you can put yourself out there and spread the advocacy. Or, if you’re good at art, you can create materials for flyers and posters.
Regardless of the organization you want to join, there are usually options on how much social networking you want.
Many offer hybrid meetings, so you can have an online community that also holds fun events in person.
4. Costs and Membership Fees
Senior clubs are usually free or have low costs. However, some accept donations or cost more than expected.
For instance, the Red Hat Society and American Birding Association have a yearly membership fee of $30.
Meanwhile, SilverSneakers is free for Americans at least 65 years old with qualifying Medicare plans. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $15 to $50 monthly.
Popular Types of Senior Social Clubs
Whether you want to participate in trivia and word games or be more active with outdoor walking groups, there’s a club for you out there.
Below are a few types of these senior clubs you can choose from:
1. Community-Based Clubs
Community-based clubs usually involve volunteer work.
You can sign up for AmeriCorps Seniors, a government organization that offers service opportunities for people at least 55 years old.
This program pairs your abilities and volunteer preferences with people who need them.
All you have to do is create a profile online and start reviewing service options — from assisting in soup kitchens to mentoring students.
2. Senior Centers
According to the National Institute of Senior Centers, there are 11,000 senior centers in the country. Thanks to that, you should have no problem looking for one near you.
Senior centers are a general kind of senior club. It offers various activities — from exercise classes to arts and crafts workshops.
They also hold various fun activities, such as potluck dinners to bond with others and computer classes to help you understand technology more.
Because of how vast a senior center’s offerings can be, check your local senior center to see if they have something you like.
Some centers even provide transportation for seniors who can’t drive themselves.
You can join the National Council on Aging, which supports thousands of senior centers nationwide.
3. Hobby and Special Interest Clubs
No matter how niche you think your hobby or special interest is, there’s sure to be a community for you.
For instance, you can check out the American Birding Association or Audubon Society if you’re interested in birdwatching. They’re not exclusively for seniors, but you’ll certainly learn how to observe birds.
The American Birding Association even offers birding travel experiences!
Meanwhile, the Red Hat Society is for women of all ages. This group actually reaches across the world, receiving awards and inspiring the creation of the musical HATS! in 2006.
Women in the Red Hat Society attend local chapter events and connect with others online.
You’ll also find a book club or an organization that offers nutrition workshops.
4. Fitness and Sports Clubs
Older adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise weekly.
Fitness classes are a great way to hit that target. Not only that, but you can also make new friends that can help you stay motivated.
SilverSneakers is an exercise program for seniors at least 65 years old. Their classes are specifically tailored for older adults. You can take fitness classes like outdoor walking groups or nutrition workshops.
You can also consider sports clubs if you’re the more sporty type. They can even help connect you to senior sports leagues!
In fact, you can register to qualify for the National Senior Games. They’re typically held every other year.
Some sports you can participate in the National Senior Games include:
- Non-ambulatory cornhole
5. Travel Clubs
Traveling as a group is cheaper than traveling alone. But, more than that, it keeps you active while enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences!
There are senior RV clubs and cruise lines that have special rates for older adults.
You can have a simple senior bus day tour or a weekend trip to the casino. Or, you can have longer trips out of the state or the country.
Check companies like Road Scholar, ElderTreks, and Adventures Abroad to see traveling options for seniors.
6. Online Communities and Forums
You can certainly make new friends through an online community too!
If you want to learn how to handle technology better, join SeniorNet. This nonprofit group helps older adults connect with others by learning about technology. Other chat groups just for seniors are plentiful.
Aside from tips and tricks, you can also attend online events like trivia and word games.
You can even enroll in online classes. Some universities and colleges have continuing education groups, which let seniors participate in courses as they age.
They can even provide more ways, so seniors stay engaged in acquiring new knowledge while still socializing during retirement.
For instance, Waukesha County Technical College in Wisconsin has a Learning in Retirement (LIR) community. There are featured speakers, field trips, concerts, and plays for seniors.
How to Get Involved in Senior Social Clubs
Getting involved in senior clubs is more than signing up for the first one you see. Below is a basic step-by-step on how you can enjoy your club:
Research and Finding Clubs Near You
All clubs are somehow different — even those that cater to the same hobby and interest.
For instance, one book club might have a book set you can borrow at the library. Meanwhile, another one might not yet have a set list of books to read.
The latter book club might be better for you if you want to talk with the group beforehand before deciding on a book to read together.
Don’t be afraid to inquire, whether in person or online. Knowing as much as you can about a club before joining can give you a better idea of what to expect and if it’s something you want.
Asking for Recommendations from Friends and Family
Some clubs are senior-specific, such as the AmeriCorps Seniors and National Senior Games. But some are open to all ages, like the American Birding Association and Audubon Society.
As such, don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for clubs they know about.
You never know — you might find a club that offers cheaper fitness classes or connects you to members around the world.
Attending Club Meetings and Events
You’ll have to attend meetings and events to be really involved in your organization.
This allows you to really connect with people in the same age range. If you do so, you’ll likely be more motivated to attend events.
You’ll also feel closer to the other seniors and a part of the club.
Volunteering Within the Club
If you have ideas for improving the club, volunteering is a good way to share them and put them into action.
But you can also volunteer if you just want to help run the club. It’s also a great way to socialize with other members more. You’ll also feel more at home in your community since you’re more involved.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Senior Social Club Experience
Whether you’re in a free or paid club, you should enjoy it to the fullest! Let’s go over some tips to help you maximize your experience
1. Be Open to Trying New Activities
Clubs tend to have multiple social activities so you can connect with other seniors.
Trying new activities might also let you discover new skills you never knew you had. Trying something new with others can be a great way to start a social network since you can enjoy and improve together.
You might learn you’re better at handling technology than you first thought. Or, you have a knack for knitting.
2. Attend Regularly and Engage with Others
It’s certainly convenient to attend online events, but face-to-face meetings really put you out there.
Either way, attend any event you can and connect with the community. You’ll be able to make new friends to bond with even outside of events!
3. Offer to Help Organize Events and Activities
Retirement gives you way more time than you know what to do with. So, if you can, volunteer to organize events. You’ll also get to share ideas and utilize your skills more.
This makes joining an organization more fulfilling since you’re part of what makes it operate.
4. Encourage Your Friends to Join the Club, Too
Joining a club lets you make new friends with other seniors. However, it might also make the experience more fun if you join with existing friends.
For one, it can stave off the anxiety of being alone in a completely new environment. It can make interacting with other seniors and joining events easier.
Encouraging your friends to join is also a great way of watching out for their well-being too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Clubs offer resources and a fun community to thrive in. To help you understand them more, I’ve answered several questions about them:
Are There Any Age Restrictions for Joining Senior Social Clubs?
Yes, senior clubs have an age restriction since they cater to seniors.
Most senior centers accept older adults at least 50 years of age. Meanwhile, the AmeriCorps Seniors are for people 55 years old and above.
Are Senior Social Clubs Only for Single Seniors or Married Couples?
Senior clubs are for everyone, whether you’re single or married.
As long as you fit the requirements, you can be accepted.
How Can I Find a Senior Social Club That Matches My Interests?
You can search on your own or get recommendations from family and friends.
There are many clubs out there, so you can find something that’s perfect for you.
Do Senior Social Clubs Require a Membership Fee?
Senior clubs tend to have a membership fee.
Local senior centers are free or have a minimal fee. Some are also open to donations. For instance, the Audubon Society requires a donation of at least $20 to become a premium member.
Meanwhile, something more “specialized” might cost you more. The American Birding Association, for example, has a yearly membership of $30.
Are There Opportunities for Seniors to Engage in Volunteer Work Through Social Clubs?
Yes, seniors can engage in volunteer work through clubs. For instance, AmeriCorps Seniors is explicitly made so you can use your skills to help your community.
Meanwhile, the Red Hat Society is also committed to activism and service.
Retirement can be very lonely, which can negatively affect your health. Staying active and connected can improve and maintain your well-being.
Joining the right senior social clubs is an excellent way to do this. You’ll experience benefits such as reduced stress and better cognitive function.
There are thousands of clubs you can join that will cater to your hobbies and interests, both locally and around the world.
If you’re unsure where to start, you can ask friends and family for suggestions on which clubs suit you!