Rebuilding your social life after retirement

Are you over age 50, and often feel lonely or a little disconnected, and would like to do something about it?! 

Maybe you have experienced loss or life transitions and need a boost in getting out and “belonging” somewhere again?

Keep reading.

By now you probably have heard that loneliness is as bad for your health as a 15 cigarette per day habit. The good news is, you can do something about it. 

But first, a little background:

Since loneliness is a byproduct of loss, older adults are more susceptible. The loss of a significant other is a major trigger.  A recent AARP study, for example, reports that 47% of older adults who have lost a partner in the last five years identify as lonely. Post-retirement “existential crises” can also be a trigger, as can any declines in health that can discourage folks from venturing out in the world.

If you identify with any of this you may be lonely, but you are NOT ALONE.

The remedy seems simple … join a class, a senior center, a group. But, if it were that simple we wouldn’t have what the Surgeon General calls an epidemic of loneliness.

First of all, when you are feeling down, motivating yourself to go out into the world and meet new people can feel like a Herculean task. Worse, maybe you did push yourself to get out there, and, because you didn’t know anyone you felt lonelier in the crowd than you did at home.  

Here’s the good part: Westlake Community Services (a mecca for plus 50 social activities) designed a program to reduce these barriers of social connecting. 

We call it the ETC program, an acronym for Engage, Thrive, Connect. Membership is limited, to keep the group size manageable, with meetings twice per month (the 2nd Tuesday at 2 p.m. for an activity and the 4th Friday at 11:30 a.m. for a lunch meeting) over a 6-month period.  

The various meetings and activities provide a customized orientation to our center and more importantly, to each other.  The advantage is, that everyone attending is in the same boat of wanting to be more social, less lonely and to belong somewhere.  Volunteer ambassadors of the center will assist in ice breaker activities helping to optimize the experience for all. 

Our first meeting is scheduled for Friday, April 26, at 11:30 a.m. Call 440-899-3544 to enroll. Seating is limited so don’t delay! This program is offered at no charge due to a generous donation. 

The Westlake Community Services Center is located at 28975 Hilliard Blvd. We are open on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Check our website to view our Pathways Calendar of events:

Lydia Gadd

I am the Director of the Community Services Department for the City of Westlake. I am also a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor.

Read More on Senior Living
Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 9:24 AM, 03.05.2024