It has recently been noted by scientists & journalists that while we are living in a very advanced society as far as social media technology is concerned, most people are incredibly lonely. It is one of the loneliest times to be alive on our planet despite the quantity of people & the advanced number of ways to interact with others! How can this be? Oftentimes it is because people choose to interact using devices instead of actually getting together with other humans face to face. I understand. It's easier. If you have to drive long distances to meet up with someone, you put it off or find other alternatives. If both of you have extremely busy schedules, you choose to interact through a device instead of carving time out of your schedule. But, is this best? Especially when it comes to our aging population?
If you have been to a rural community event recently, you will notice that many elderly people make it a point to be involved in what is going on in their surrounding areas. I was recently at a fundraiser in an outlying area for a group of first responders. Approximately ½ to 2/3 of the attendees were elderly. They were not there to be recruited as first responders...they were there to meet up with neighbors and remain involved in what was going on in the community. The volunteers that organized the gathering certainly appreciated their attendance, but they were not the only ones that benefited from the experience. Community Events can help the elderly in a number of ways.
First: It helps them to maintain social connections during a lonely time of life. Perhaps many of their family & close friends have passed on, but they may re-connect with others that they've been acquainted with in the past or perhaps even make a new acquaintance or friend.
Second: It gets them out & about. Life during aging can certainly become mundane. Community events help to break up the monotony & change up the schedule a bit, which gives all of us a bit of excitement in our lives!
Third: It helps them to know that they're still a part of the greater community. Knowing that you're part of something bigger can give comfort in a sense of belonging that few other things can match.
Fourth: It helps them to know that they can contribute. There are almost always little ways that they can help at community events. Perhaps helping at a fair they can sit at the table & check in items to be judged. Perhaps they can help price items for a bake sale for a fundraiser. Perhaps they could help with decorating tables. There are a number of ways to contribute, even with just being present at an event. The organizers will then know that it was worth their time & energy to make the event special.
It used to be that community events were much more common than they are today. Perhaps the younger generations can learn something from those who still see the benefit of gathering together with those in your vicinity.