Community clubs and their benefits for people later in life
Brendoncare’s community clubs help to reduce social isolation and loneliness. They offer older people the opportunity to get out and connect with other people in their local areas.
Learn or try something new
Brendoncare’s community clubs offer a variety of activities, giving members countless opportunities to try something new. From quizzes and bingo, tai chi to kurling, members are always learning new things. They can also meet people interested in the same activities.
Trying out these new skills and being sociable can also help stimulate your brain and help you stay mentally sharp.
Kurling is one of the most popular activities. It brings out the competitive streak in our members, and where lots of laughs are always guaranteed.
Share your passions
Apart from learning new skills, there are also opportunities to share your passions with others in the Brendoncare community through volunteering in a community club or online club.
Brendoncare’s online ‘Benvenuti’ Italian Club is hosted on Zoom by Brendoncare volunteer Cinzia, an archaeologist, anthropologist and English teacher, from her home in Rome. She shares her culture with Brendoncare members.
Cinzia said: “I decided to volunteer for Brendoncare because I wanted to get involved with a charity that had so many people from a generation that has done so much for others including people abroad. I grew up knowing how the British have helped the Italians and got very moved by this. I feel very happy to be part of the club.
“Benvenuti means Welcome in Italian. During the sessions, we explore aspects of Italian culture starting from two of my favourite places, Rome where I am from and Florence where I have been working for many years. We look at art, food, music and language, and there is a chance to learn some Italian, from how to introduce yourself to terms used in food and opera.”
Physical fitness and better eating habits
Staying physically active as you get older offer many benefits. Kurling, seated exercise, tai chi, Pilates and Zumba are just some of the activities available at our community clubs.
Getting the right nutrition is also crucial at any age. Studies show people in later life often eat more food, enjoying healthier options when dining with others. At Brendoncare, we have lunch clubs where members can enjoy a hot meal with friends and make some new friends too.
Form new friendships
Our community clubs allow people in later life to develop strong support networks and meet new people for the first time.
Research shows that people in later life who have strong friendships benefit from strong emotional well-being. They feel that they have people they can rely on and, as a result, they feel happier, more supported and loved, making them more resilient.
Jayne, a Brendoncare Fleet and Crookham Welcome Club member, said: “I have come to this group for about seven weeks. I moved from Aldershot to Fleet with nowhere to go and started feeling sorry for myself.
“The staff here made me feel much better. They work with me, they don’t do things for me, which is what I wanted! I want to say a great big thank you because without them, I think I would be in a worse place.”
Other ways Brendoncare community clubs help reduce loneliness
Online clubs are another way Brendoncare members can connect with people in their local community from the comfort of their own homes.
Kate, Brendoncare community member, said: “I was quite apprehensive about Zoom join for the first time, but it was surprisingly easy. I received an invitation to a meeting by email and just clicked on the link. I used a laptop but it is equally easy with a desktop PC (which would need a webcam), a tablet such as an iPad or a smart phone.
“Going to a Zoom meeting certainly kept me sane during lockdown. I felt connected to other people and much less lonely and isolated. Even though we can now meet face to face, I still like being able to participate from the comfort of my own home and enjoy the interactive learning process.”
There is also the opportunity to volunteer in our homes or clubs. The Centre for Ageing Better reported on the benefits of making a contribution in later life and found evidence that older people who help others are happier as a result.