HOW quickly the festive season comes and goes.
Already we are in to the second week of the new year and parents are starting to shop for school uniforms, books and all the other items that school children need.
It is a busy time getting the kids ready to attend school, especially if it is their first school attendance.
Older folk, on the other hand, don't have to worry about all that activity of getting the kids ready for school.
They went through it years ago and can now sit back and watch it all happen.
Well, hopefully they can.
For them, the new year brings other considerations to think about. Many of you might have decided there needs to be some changes in your life.
You may be thinking what is it you would like to do with the days?
Travel may be on the agenda this year.
There are a number of community groups who organise travel, either within Australia or overseas for their members. Members may get together and travel in a group.
This is a great way to get around especially if you are on your own.
It means you get to travel to places you want to see with other like-minded people. It is also a great way to meet new people who might eventually become friends.
Maybe you want to join a group that does things different to the groups you have belonged to in the past. You may be looking for more social activity and a way to meet new friends.
No doubt, these organisations provide social outlets, friendship, activities, trips and travel opportunities to their members.
Many of these organisations help alleviate social isolation in older people.
Participation in these activities also keeps people moving which in turn helps with mobility issues as we age.
From all reports, keeping the mind and body active combined with healthy diet is vital to healthy living and longevity of life.
Organisations like U3A in Ipswich have activities that look after both the body and the mind.
For instance, you can get involved in gentle tai chi that helps keep the body moving. Many health experts tout the benefits of tai chi for seniors who have lost mobility and steadiness with age. The ancient Chinese mind-body exercise emphasises slow, measured movements with little impact on the joints and bones. You can also learn about the universe or a different language to help keep the mind agile.
A good place to start is with Tuesday's edition of the Queensland Times newspaper. It has two pages in their community diary section that lists a multitude of organisations, their meeting days and times together with contact details for your information. You may be surprised about the number of different organisations available in this community.