For Senior Men, Friendship and Wellbeing Closely Linked

“Men’s Club” Connects Seniors Through Shared Interests, Commonality

After a lifetime of working, raising families and enjoying hobbies with friends, many senior men find themselves feeling lonely and listless after retirement. Changes in daily routine, coupled with the loss of work relationships or the loss of a spouse, can cause some senior men to become depressed or anxious about the future, which can lead to serious health ramifications.

An Active Social Life Contributes Greatly to Quality of Life

Interestingly, many men shy away from the very thing that could help them reconnect with life and foster a new sense of identity – friendship. Social interaction and friendship are two major components linked to happiness and wellbeing. Studies have shown that an active social life can contribute positively to both mental and physical health while promoting a sense of belonging.

An active social life is key to improved cognitive health, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and decreased physical pain. Feeling integrated into a larger community also helps individuals connect through conversation and shared interests, and creates a safe space for open communication. All of these things contribute greatly to a meaningful and purposeful life experience.

Activities and Events — Just for the Guys

Provision Living at St. Louis Hills has created a Men’s Club at their assisted living and memory care community as a way to promote socialization and friendship among male residents. When it comes to senior living community populations, women generally outnumber men. This can make it especially difficult for male seniors to feel connected to their neighbors and find like-minded companions.

Ann James, activities manager at St. Louis Hills, recognized early on that her particular group of male residents was very active and interested in friendship. “In general, male residents tend to be a little more quiet and reserved, but the group that we have now is very social and proactive about planning things. This is their home and we want to accommodate them and make sure the events we plan will keep them active and enjoying life,” says James.

The group started as a Monday morning coffee meet-up — just for men — where they could gather to discuss current events, life at St. Louis Hills and various other topics.

For James, this was a revelation. “We have tried a few different types of groups, but this is the first time that we’ve had this much interest from the male residents,” she admits. “They showed up faithfully each week, and we realized that they were truly interested in maintaining the new friendships they’d formed within the group.”

James is pleased that these residents have been able to come together and find friendship in her community and she welcomes their input.

“They think it’s fantastic that they’re able to get out and be on their own — just the guys — having breakfast in a favorite local restaurant and talking about things that interest them,” she explains. “We’ve purchased a BBQ pit for the group and they’re going to grill outside. We’re also planning a fishing trip soon.”

Weekly activities for the St. Louis Hills Men’s Club include:

Coffee Hour
Each Monday from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.

Men’s Movie
Each Wednesday beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Billiards and Beer
Each Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

If you would like more information on Men’s Club, or the variety of enriching activities, events and programs available at Provision Living at St. Louis Hills, please contact Ann James, activities manager: (314) 647-6600 or ajames@provisionliving.com.

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