As we spend most of our adult lives working and following a set routine, retirement can be a difficult adjustment for a lot of older people. Suddenly being in control of how you fill your day can be a daunting prospect.

This article will give you some ideas on what you can do to fill your time in a meaningful and stimulating way.

Volunteering

As you find yourself with more time on your hands, one way of putting it to good use is by volunteering in your local community. This may have been something you had thought about in the past, but lacked the free time to do.

Helping out in your community is a great way to make a difference in someone else’s life and give back to society, learn new skills and share your knowledge, meet new people and essentially leave with a sense of fulfillment and achievement.

Volunteer Ireland

The best way to find out about volunteer projects in your area, is to get in touch with Volunteer Ireland. You can find contact details for your local volunteer centre or volunteer information service by clicking here.

There is an abundance of areas you can get involved in and there’s bound to be something out there that will suit your interests. Volunteer causes range from animal welfare to mental health, arts and culture to helping the homeless. To get an idea of what’s running in your area, Volunteer Ireland provide a search engine.

All you need to do is enter your area, the cause that interests you and the activity you’d like to do. If there’s a match, a list of volunteering opportunities will appear. You click the one that interests you and further information about that role will come up alongside an ‘apply now’ button.

Grandpal

If we're not willing to give ourselves a plug, then who will!

Grandpal is all about social interactions and putting the importance of one to one interactions first. Our community of Pals not only visit older people in need of more social interactions, they meet other Pals in their communities and make great friends. Once per month, we organise Grandpal Get Togethers, encouraging our Pals to connect over Tea and Coffee and to share experiences.

So if you're retired and looking to do something positive with your spare time, why not become a Pal.

Interested in becoming a Pal ?

Become a Pal

Social Outings

Having a social outlet as we age is essential in avoiding loneliness, which if ignored can lead to a whole host of mental and physical issues. For more information on the importance of avoiding isolation as we age and what you can do to help combat it, check out our article How to Help your Older Relative Avoid Isolation.

How to Help your Older Relative Avoid Isolation

There are a range of charities and organisations across the country which provide an opportunity for the ageing population to socialise, and to help in avoiding these feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Friends of the Elderly Ireland

This volunteer based charity organises Social Clubs in the Dublin area for older people to get involved in a range of activities; including singing and dancing, learning to use technology, or simply to pop in for a coffee and a chat. These Social Clubs provide an opportunity to get to know other people from the Dublin area, and maybe a new skill along the way.

Friends of the Elderly Ireland also organise Outings which vary from all day excursions to afternoon trips. These Outings are a fantastic way to meet new people and to discover a new part of our beautiful little island.

For more information on how to get involved in the Social Clubs and to see what Outings are on offer, you can contact Friends of the Elderly Ireland directly on: Email: info@friendsoftheelderly.ie Telephone: 01 8731855

Age and Opportunity

This national organisation runs a programme called Cultural Companions. The programme helps you to find others who are interested in getting involved in cultural activities like going to the theatre, concerts or exhibitions. For many of us, doing these things alone just doesn’t carry the same fulfillment as sharing the experience with others.

The programme works by creating local networks of people who are interested in attending arts and cultural events. The overall aim of the initiative is to provide greater opportunity for older people to enjoy Ireland’s thriving arts and culture scene.

To get a taste for what they offer, check out their Cultural Companion’s Event Guide for 2018/2019.

For more information on how to join, contact Age and Opportunity directly on: Email: info@ageandopportunity.ie Telephone: 01 805 7713

SeniorCare.ie

To find a comprehensive list of the organisations providing Clubs and Groups across the country for older people, SeniorCare.ie has created a search engine which directs you to the contact details for the organisations in each county. To check it out for yourself, just click here.

Learning

As the saying goes, you’re never too old to learn. And that couldn’t be more true than in today’s face paced and changing society. Keeping the mind active becomes more and more important as we age, as a healthy mind leads to a healthy life. A great way to keep your mind ticking over is by learning new skills.

Age Action

This organisation runs a programme called Life Long Learning. Through the University of the Third Age (U3A), Age Action brings people together in an informal setting to create a learning circle, where members gain and impart knowledge between each other through a range of activities and discussion topics decided upon by the members of the group. A range of activities are organised and some examples include tai chi, creative writing, computers, poetry, cultural outings and walking festivals. There are U3A groups across the country. To find your nearest U3A group, just click here.

Get Online

Another great avenue to access an array of learning platforms, is to get yourself online. It’s a fantastic way to learn new skills and keep up to date with what’s going on in today’s society. You can learn anything with the right apps, from a new language to computer science. To read up more on getting online, take a look out our article Get your Folks Online.

Get your Folks Online

Irish Getaways

Discovering new parts of our wonderful island is another fantastic way to fill your time with fulfilling activities. Golden Breaks has been designed by the Irish Hotels Federation to offer great deals to those over 55. There are 6 new offers every weeks to choose from, so you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. These getaways range from tours to spa packages for 1-3 days, and deals start from €79.

For more information on what’s on offer, take a look at their Golden Breaks here or phone on 1890 876769.

Entering this next stage of life can be overwhelming as your lifestyle is about to change drastically. We really hope that by reading this article, you’ve gathered a bit more information on how you can create this new and potentially wonderful lifestyle of later years.

If you’re still feeling a bit unsure or would like some more support on things like managing your finances and changing your lifestyle, the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland offers courses to help you with just that.

You can access their website by clicking here, or contact them directly on: Email: information@rpc.ie
Telephone: 01 478 9471