Social activities and clubs for seniors

One of the great things about retirement is having plenty of spare time for a vibrant social life. Here are some great ideas to help you to get out and about with like-minded people in your community.

Staying socially active after retirement is not only satisfying – it could also help keep your mind and body healthy. And with an almost unlimited amount of organisations to join, depending on your areas of interest, staying socially involved has never been easier.

Keep moving

Regular exercise can keep you fit and help you stay independent as you age. And if you’re having fun and socialising while you do it, you’re much more likely to keep up with it. Here are a few options:

Dance – Whether it’s salsa or swing, ballroom or belly dance, there’s likely to be a club or organisation in your area that offers the style of dance you’re after. Check the phone book or look online to find local dance classes.

Sports – Lawn bowls, tennis, badminton and golf are other popular active options, and there are swimming groups of all different levels that you can join.

Walking – Bushwalking is also a great way to keep in shape. Check to see if there are bushwalking organisations in your area to find out where good walking tracks are. Many communities also have free walking groups run by the Heart Foundation.

Alternatively, you could go to your local fitness centre and take up strength training. And if you have a disability, check with your local fitness centre or community centre for fitness activities that cater for you.

Reading and writing

If you’d prefer a more sedentary hobby, why not join a book club? Here, you’ll meet regularly with others to discuss a novel that the group has chosen to read. If you can’t find a book club in your area, consider starting your own. You could do it with friends or open it up to your local community.

Take a course

A great way to keep your mind active is to learn something new. You could take a course in a political, cultural or historical topic you’ve always wanted to know more about.

Many colleges and universities have lifelong learning programs, where classes are rich with discussion, guest speakers, and field trips. The Catalyst Foundation (formerly Seniors Information Service) has a list of lifelong learning options for you to explore.

You could also learn a new practical skill like knitting, quilting, scrapbooking or photography. Your friends and family will appreciate the new gifts you can make for them!

Find your passion

Have you always been interested in antique collecting, the arts, music, cooking, gardening, fishing or crafts? Now is the perfect time for you to invest in something for you, while spending time with others too.

You may also like to volunteer with an organisation you believe in, or spend time mentoring other people who can learn from your skills.

More resources for finding activities

The Australian Government’s myagedcare site has a wealth of information on activities for older people, and there are also state-based websites you can check.

Check out My Community Directory, which provides information on activities all around Australia. You can search by category and location, and they include such groups as ‘Friendship Clubs’, over 50s groups and seniors associations.

Your local ‘living and learning’ centre can also help you discover what is available in your area.

You’ll find there are plenty of things for retirees to do – including activities that you didn’t even know existed.