Socializing is a basic human need. No one is meant to be alone, except perhaps for reflective thinkers or solitary artists. Otherwise, people need people, as the famous song reminds us.
Seniors are no different in their need for socializing. That's why so many retirement residences – like independent living and assisted living facilities – make sure their residents stay active and socially in touch.
Sociologists agree that an active social life remains vital as we age. Older adults in their 60s or 70s need to retain a stable network of friends and acquaintances. Socializing provides a feeling of belonging and is a protection against mental illnesses, like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Older adults with enhanced social lives are more capable of keeping up on current news and participating in conversations. Meeting up with old friends and companions is mood supportive.
The Senior Picnic at the Riverfront Community Center in Glastonbury, CT, which took place earlier in August, was meant to satisfy the social needs of seniors in this Hartford suburb. A friendly game of cards was followed from The Digger Stevens Band, a boogie, swing and R&B that plays music from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. A barbecue chicken lunch was provided. People who share meals partake in an important communal custom. A Bingo tournament followed.
Ray Purtell, Glastonbury Parks and Recreation Department Director told ReminderNews - "The Senior Picnic started in the early '80s. It was hamburgers, hot dogs and salads, and the summer playground staff would work it.”
"It's a nice tradition,” Purtell told the media source. “Everyone is active and socializing.”