Make connections with the help of AARP this summer


By Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director

Mike Festa of AARP Massachusetts highlights AARP's summer 2024 events to help make connections.
Mike Festa

With summer in full swing, AARP Massachusetts is here to help you make the most of the season and make some connections. We know those social connections are important and can improve your life. So, we have activities planned to help you enjoy the lazy days of summer.

If you’d like to hear some jazz, we’re a proud sponsor of the Cambridge Jazz Festival July 27 & 28. Come to Danehy Park, hear some great music and say hi to us at the AARP booth. 

If you want to stop and smell the roses, AARP Days at the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill are back! There are three dates in September (including one Saturday for the first time) you and five friends can gain free admission. We had hundreds of people show up back in May. So, you’ll want to sign up before we hit capacity. You can find the dates and times as well as links to register at

There’s no need to scream for ice cream. We’re holding ice cream socials this summer so you can get the scoop on Social Security. If you register, you can get a free cone and stop by our table to learn more about the program and how you can help protect and save it. We have a number of ice cream shops set up for this. You can find locations, dates and times at

We’ll have more events throughout the summer, too. You can find links to register at

Social connections are important for older adults because they can help with health and longevity. Connection can help people feel engaged with their communities and friends and family. Research shows that social isolation can lead to poor physical and mental health.

Loneliness has been linked to many negative health consequences, including a higher risk of developing dementia, depression, even heart disease. It can have the same impact on your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, a report from the U.S. surgeon general says. And new research suggests that loneliness may cause the body to age faster.

Social isolation is more than feeling lonely. It’s the result of feeling disconnected from support groups of family, friends and community. This summer, join us and make some connections.

Finally, this is my last column as AARP Massachusetts State Director. I hope you have enjoyed these columns highlighting the work AARP does here in Massachusetts. AARP is dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. We work to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to those 50-plus and their families: health and financial security, and personal fulfillment. In the past years here in Massachusetts, we have pushed for more help for family caregivers, expanding retirement savings options and comprehensive reforms in nursing homes. There is still work to be done. There is no doubt that the best job I ever had was with AARP. The extraordinary talent and passion I have witnessed firsthand continues to inspire me.



Staying sharp: brain health & AARP (

Fighting more fraud than ever before (

Explore AARP Massachusetts volunteer opportunities (