The region’s senior citizens are being urged to be more social.
Studies have shown that having a more active social life can extend a person’s lifespan as well as having a positive effect on quality of life and can help with avoiding Alzheimer’s disease.
An easy way to become more social is to join a club.
Probus is a social club for retirees and currently has 130000 members across Australia and New Zealand.
There are Probus clubs in Seymour, Broadford and Yea and all welcome new members.
Probus chairman Douglas Geekie said there were positive health benefits in joining a social club and he’d seen the changes in new members.
‘‘The more you socialise, the more opportunities you find to maintain an active, exciting retirement even if your idea of a great time is just sitting down and chatting over afternoon tea,’’ Mr Geekie said.
‘‘Being part of a group means there’s more people to stimulate ideas and plan interesting activities based on your likes and dislikes, and even if you’re not keen on doing things with a large group of people, a club will still give you the chance to make new individual friends.’’
Mr Geekie went on to give his five best reasons for joining a club like Probus.
■Socialising reduces stress and can lower blood pressure.
Being with people you like helps lower stress, which in turn can help your blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risks. Relaxing with friends can help improve your health.
■Socialising can improve cognitive function.
Keeping a sharp mind is as simple as having regular conversations with friends or joining in with group activities. Simply playing Scrabble or dominoes, or going on regular outings are all good ways of improving cognitive function and could even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
■Being a member of a club can improve your physical fitness.
Even if your social activity isn’t considered to be formal exercise, socialising still gets you up and out of the house. This helps improve physical fitness and mobility.
■An active social life can slow declining health.
According to a study conducted by the Centre for Advancing Health, being social can slow the progression of declining health. Participants in the study with active social lives maintained good health longer, or developed problems later in life than participants who were isolated and anti-social.
■Club membership can reduce the incidence of depression.
Depression is common in older adults, and finding ways to combat depression is important as we age. Keeping busy, especially at something you can enjoy with others, is the easiest way of doing this. Surround yourself with positive relationships that enrich your daily life.
The Seymour Probus club meets at 10am every third Tuesday of the month at the Seymour Senior Citizens Hall on Anzac Ave.
The Broadford club meets at 10am every second Monday at Broadford Bowling Club.
The Yea club meets at 10am on the first Thursday of each month at the RSL clubrooms.
For more information about Probus visit probussouthpacific.org/