Staying social and active in the community can be rewarding, especially as we grow older. A 1999 study by Harvard researcher Thomas Glass found that socializing is just as important for seniors’ well-being as exercise. This sometimes proves challenging for seniors with hearing loss who may find it difficult to hear in a group setting. As summer is right around the corner, here are some social activities for seniors with hearing loss that help promote fitness and mental well-being:

1. Gardening
Gardening is a great way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cite gardening as a moderate-level exercise. Even those with arthritis may benefit from gardening! The CDC says people who engage in 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity per week may experience relief from the pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Not only is it good for your body, but it’s great for socializing as well. Friends and family could help you plan your garden and see it to fruition. Grandchildren can be involved helping to plant, water and weed the garden. And the neighbors stopping by to admire your handiwork lends to the sense of community!

2. Exercise classes
Many senior centers, communities or YMCA locations offer exercise classes targeted directly to help seniors stay in shape. They’re also great environments for you to meet new friends or catch up with old ones. Yoga or stretching also provides a nice, relaxing way to spend time with others, getting fit together.

Swimming can also be a fun, low-impact way to stay in shape while enjoying the company of others. Water exercise has been shown to reduce joint pain and help people with osteoarthritis, among other benefits. Water aerobics is just one type of senior-friendly water class. Remember that pool environments sometimes make it difficult to hear, and if you wear hearing aids, be aware of what you can and can’t do around water. But if you go with a good friend, you’re sure to both enjoy the experience.

3. Art class
According to a report by The Assisted Living Federation Of America and the American Art Therapy Association, learning to paint can be a good way for seniors to express themselves and initiate communication with friends and family. It can also be a great way to relieve stress and stimulate your mind. Art is known for its therapeutic properties, so to take advantage of this, grab a few pals and check around for art classes. Painting, sculpting and poetry classes can be great for the body and the mind.

These are only a few examples of what seniors with hearing loss can do with friends and family this summer. Be sure to look around your community and see what your local centers have to offer!

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