Making new friends in senior living can be daunting. Singer and songwriter Elton John penned the words, “If your friends are there, everything’s all right.” That’s true in every phase of life, but maybe most significantly as you consider your retirement. Will it be easy to make friends in senior living? How do you go about it?
At Heritage, we have some suggestions to help you forge friendships that can add more joy to your days, as well as a lot more fun! That’s important because, at Heritage Communities, we want to make sure fun is never left out of the lives of our residents, associates, families and everyone we touch.
8 ways to make friends in senior living
Smile when you see someone you don’t know
It sounds too simple but think about it: in your first few months in senior living, you’ll see a lot of new faces. Why not smile at each one? You never know when a new friendship could begin. Even if you only see a fellow resident, staff member, or visitor occasionally, you’re making their day brighter… and yours!
Have a few people over
Want to break the ice with your neighbors or fellow Zumba-goers? Invite them to your apartment for some lemonade, morning coffee, or evening cocktails. Keep it simple and casual; your goal is to just get to know them better. It’s also a great way to learn the ropes of the community and feel part of the group.
Engage in activities
A great way to make friends in senior living is to try a few of the activities to see which appeals to you most. You needn’t feel you will be the “new” kid, as you’ll quickly see there’s no pressure on attendance and you might meet someone new each time you participate. Be sure to choose at least one activity a week that is completely new for you. Learning about something new is a great conversation starter and also an easy way to work your brain!
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Start a new group
Have a particular interest or hobby that you’d love to explore with others, but you don’t see it on the calendar? Talk to the community’s life enrichment team and see if you can suggest adding it to the activity schedule.
Join a book club or regular discussion
Sometimes we just need a little push to speak up when we’re around people we haven’t yet met. Being part of a discussion group is a great way to motivate yourself to engage, and an easy way to make friends in senior living.
Working alongside others in a service capacity opens opportunities for conversation and camaraderie, and it’s good for your mental and physical health. Find out if there are on-site events that need a helping hand, or if your community partners with civic groups on projects in the surrounding area. You have much wisdom and talent to share, and there is always someone who can benefit from your time and effort.
Sit in a different place a few times a week at meals
It’s so easy to get in the habit of doing the same thing the same way every day. But occasionally try something different, like eating with someone new or changing where you sit for dinner. You might even look for other residents who are new to the community and who would appreciate your company. Pretty soon you’ll be the community’s top ambassador!
Join the group for an outing
Group trips to a museum, lunch spot, festival, park, or any other fun destination are perfect opportunities when you want to make friends in senior living. You’re exploring and enjoying time together, which feels good and makes conversations easy. After all, that’s what senior living is all about, giving yourself a carefree, fulfilling lifestyle filled with friendships, fun and happiness!
At Heritage Communities, we know what a difference friends can make in your life.
You are eager to make friends in senior living. And we are here to help you enjoy good times, laughter, and rewarding relationships. We’d love to tell you more.