Social contacts and leisure activities, crucial to individual wellbeing and quality of life, are pursued by most of the population through a wide variety of social networks, cultural, sports, educational, entertainment and travel facilities. Although many older people continue or increase such activities on retirement, social opportunities are reduced for some people in later life through loss of work contacts, bereavement, disabilities or lack of financial resources. Service providers therefore offer facilities outside the home or in people’s homes to compensate for such lack or loss of social contacts, and to help maintain older people’s abilities to live independently. The services reviewed in this chapter include social day centres and clubs, leisure and sports activities, educational and cultural opportunities, holidays and volunteering.
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