There are no sweeter words to the ears of a senior community activities director than the title of
this post. When our members find enough social, wellness, educational and cultural events to
get them motivated to join in at least a few group activities, then we have done our jobs well.
Engaged minds and bodies go a long way in creating the quality of life we want for our
Over the next several weeks, I will share some easy to execute ideas for activities and events to
satisfy just about everyone. Today, let’s focus on socialization, which is crucial for fending off
feelings of isolation and other mental health issues.
Socialization can include community meetings, game nights, discussions and get-togethers.
They can be as simple or as elaborate as your time and budget allow. The key ingredient is
planning ahead so residents have something to look forward to, regularity so they get used to a
scheduled event on a set basis and a method for mixing things up a bit, so individuals are
offered a seamless opportunity to make new friends.
Here are just some examples that can successfully meet all of those goals and more:
• Promote random seating at your member gatherings. Give everyone a number as they
arrive, assigning them to a specific table. This way they are encouraged to socialize with
people they may not know well.
• Coordinate popular game parties. These can revolve around bridge, canasta, poker,
mah jongg, chess or others.
• Schedule group shopping trips or outings to see a play or movie.
• Help members throw a cocktail party in a common space or private home.
• Hold evening social events reserved for single members to mix with other singles.
In upcoming posts, I will offer ideas on ways to include exercise and wellness, education and
entertainment/culture into your activities mix. After all, engaging our residents often and well
goes a long way toward building resilient, healthy and vibrant senior communities.