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Activities for Loners and Introverted Seniors

senior living activitiesAccording to Psychology today, introverts feel drained by social encounters and energized by solitary, creative pursuits. Their disposition is often misconstrued as shyness, social phobia. They may be able to socialize, but choose not to. Loners are people who avoid social interaction.

Most retirement communities have some residents who are ‘loners’ or ‘introverts.’ They prefer to be alone and do not seek out the company of others.

About one in four people is considered either a loner or an introvert. There are many reasons for being a loner or introvert – the reasons can be sensitivity, extreme shyness, a traumatic and negative experience, or a social disorder such as social phobia or anxiety.

Some people enjoy their own company, and they want to spend their time reading quietly in their room, or drawing or looking at their stamp collections.  

However, there are also people who would benefit from social interaction, and it is important to have activities available for them to choose from.

Activities for loners and introverts, for retirement community organizers to plan:

  • Playing Cards.

This activity allows reflection and decision-making, therefore allows the introvert to be in his comfort zone, while in a social setting.

  • Start a cooking class,

and ensure that all the participants have the opportunity to share their own past experiences with similar dishes.

  • Bird Watching.

Encourage photography and note-taking to share with the group at a later date.

  • Bicycling

through the neighborhood, if the participants’ health and motor skills allow, is a good group activity which does not force too much conversation. Therefore the introvert can ease into it even if new to the community.

  • Drawing/Sketching,

even without any particular talent for drawing, it is a relaxing, low-key activity to do in a group setting. Coloring books are a nice idea as well.

  • Online classes

– offer technology classes as a group and share the experience.

  • Movie Watching.

New or old movies can be enjoyed and discussed as a group.

  • Visit a museum

in the nearest town. Senior citizen rates are almost always available.

  • Hiking or walking

through the retirement community. Spending time outside also exposes the seniors to fresh air and sunshine. Make sure the residents are properly dressed, wear sunscreen and bring a bottle of water.

  • Book Clubs

allow shy seniors to spend quiet time reading on their own, and then they have the opportunity to discuss key points as a group.

  • Road Trips

to nearby cities can be fun. Visit zoos, botanical gardens, historical sites and take pictures to capture the moments.

  • Retirement community social events

such as brunches to welcome new neighbors or to celebrate holidays or special events are also places to ease into a social setting.

 

If the resident feels anxious about participating in any of these activities, don’t force them. Start slowly and just do a little bit more each day. Encourage them to speak to their doctor if they have physical manifestations of anxiety.

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