Are you planning of moving into a retirement community soon? If so, you may be worried about struggling to make new friends and find like-minded individuals. Loneliness and isolation are some of the difficulties some may face due to aging, which can lead to other issues such as anxiety or depression. It is important to maintain a wide social circle and actively engage with others. However, you need not worry too much as most retirement communities are filled with a myriad of exciting social opportunities, you just need to know how to utilize them! If you are an older adult, read on, as we have some suggestions to help you make new friends in a retirement community.
Take Daily Walks Around the Community and Greet Others
First and foremost, the majority of retirement communities are quite big and provide many chances for you to take leisurely strolls around the compound. For one, this is a good opportunity to get in some physical exercise and keep fit. While doing so, kill two birds with one stone and actively strive to explore different areas of the commune. Doing so will allow you to meet and get to know new community members every day.
When meeting said community members, try your best to remain friendly and open-minded. Instead of being shifty and avoiding eye contact, reach out to them. A simple ‘good morning’ or ‘hello’ can set the stage for a conversation and even a smile or a wave can brighten someone’s day. Small gestures like these can pave the way to help you get to know fellow community members. So, what are you waiting for? Next time you see someone, greet them, and for all you know, you may end up making a new friend!
Invite Community Members to Hang Out
After initiating contact with others, it is important to maintain the relationship. To get closer and spend more time together, you can make the first move and invite them over for a meal or some other activity. It can even be as easy as inviting your next-door neighbor over for a cup of coffee. From there, make conversation and ask them about their life, if they have children, what their career is, etc. Showing interest in them is key to showing that you want to form a genuine connection. You can even invite over a few friends at once so you guys can form a close-knit social circle!
Utilize the Activities Calendar
Many retirement communities have scheduled events such as game night, movie night, fitness classes, gardening societies, and book clubs. Make the most of these opportunities by attending those that interest you. Not only are they enriching and fun, but they are great ways to meet people who have similar interests as you. You can bond over shared interests and get to know one another better.
All in all, making friends is not always easy, but remember to persevere and not give up! The best advice we can give is to remain true to yourself and give things time. Be patient and in no time, you’ll have a social circle of good friends which will greatly benefit you.