According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 28% of adults 65 and older live alone. Senior isolation is a real problem in the U.S. with nearly 11 million older adults lacking consistent social interaction. This problem will only continue to grow as Baby Boomers retire and the older adult population continues to grow.
There are numerous health risks associated with social isolation in seniors. Studies have shown that it can increase the mortality rate, cause a decline in physical health and greatly impacts mental stability - frequently leading to depression and pessimism.
The good news is the YMCA is here to support this thriving community by bringing them together and encouraging healthy activities. In the South San Diego, the YMCA has been an instrumental community partner for older adults and family wellness. As with other locations countywide, the South County YMCA’s have a robust YMCA Active Adults (YAA) program.
“We support YAA members in accomplishing many different types of things. Sometimes our wellness staff helps them recuperate from an injury or surgery and other times we setup events to bring people together,” said Laura Muñoz Humphreys, Executive Director at the South Bay Family YMCA.
With everything from chair yoga to low-impact water fitness to social activities including book clubs and pot lucks, older adults have numerous opportunities to meet their health goals while nurturing social connections. “We have so much for older adults. We really enjoy seeing them laugh and smile when they come together,” continued Humphreys.
The month of September is a great time to try the Y. From September 24 to 28, the Y will be holding special group exercise classes, wellness lectures, health screenings and member appreciation giveaways in honor of National Active Aging Week. These special activities are a great way to learn more about health and wellness for older adults and meet new people through social events. Additionally, if you join the Y in September, you will receive up to $50 off a YMCA program of your choice.
For more information about National Active Aging Week at the Y or to learn about membership, contact our Welcome Center at (619) 421-9622.