As we age, it can be easy to fall into a routine and limit our social interactions and activities. However, joining a club or organization can provide numerous benefits for older adults.
Maintaining social connections
One of the primary benefits of joining a club or organization is the opportunity to maintain and even improve social connections. According to a study published in the Journal of Aging and Health, older adults who had strong social connections had a 50% lower risk of dying prematurely compared to those with weaker social connections (Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman, 2000). In addition, social connections have been linked to improved mental and physical health, including lower rates of depression and anxiety, and a decreased risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010).
Staying active and engaged
Another benefit of joining a club or organization is the opportunity to stay active and engaged. Participating in group activities and events can help to prevent feelings of isolation and boredom, and can provide a sense of purpose and meaning. In addition, research has shown that staying physically and mentally active can help to reduce the risk of developing cognitive decline and dementia (Larson et al., 2006).
Developing new skills and interests
Joining a club or organization can also provide the opportunity to learn new skills and develop new interests. Many clubs and organizations offer classes, workshops, and other educational opportunities, which can help to stimulate the brain and keep it active. Additionally, learning new things can provide a sense of accomplishment and boost self-esteem.
Meeting new people
Finally, joining a club or organization can provide the opportunity to meet new people and broaden your social circle. This can be especially beneficial for those who have recently retired or have experienced a significant life change, such as the loss of a spouse.
Joining a club or organization can provide numerous benefits for older adults, including the opportunity to maintain and improve social connections, stay active and engaged, develop new skills and interests, and meet new people. By participating in group activities and events, older adults can enjoy a sense of purpose and meaning, and may even experience improved mental and physical health.
Berkman, L. F., Glass, T., Brissette, I., & Seeman, T. E. (2000). From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium. Social Science & Medicine, 51(6), 843-857.
Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., & Layton, J. B. (2010). Social relationships and mortality risk: A meta-analytic review. PLoS Medicine, 7(7), e1000316.
Larson, E. B., Wang, L., Bowen, J. D., McCormick, W. C., Teri, L., Crane, P., & Kukull, W. A. (2006). Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older. Annals of Internal Medicine, 144(2), 73-81.