As adults move into their golden years, it’s often difficult to make new friends. Senior Connections fade as old friends move or pass away, family members get busy with their lives, and a quiet retirement replaces workplace camaraderie. If seniors aren’t careful, these years can become very solitary. Loneliness can cause depression and other serious health risks – especially if they aren’t living in a senior community that focuses on their needs. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active and connected. Here are just a few.
You’re Not Alone
Believe it or not, you’re not the only person hoping to make new friends! Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself; others may be waiting for you to talk first.
Go Back to Work
If you have the energy or interest, consider looking for a part-time job. Even a few hours a week will get you out in the community meeting people. Retirees are “un-retiring” in record numbers – chances are you’ll meet fellow workers in your age group.
If the thought of punching a clock again makes you dizzy, consider volunteering with a nonprofit organization. Choose something close to your heart – a museum, library, animal shelter, etc. – and spend some time giving back. The hours are usually flexible, and others who share your passion will surround you. Nonprofits rarely turn down volunteers, so give one a call.
Take a Class or Join a Group
Is there a subject you’ve always wanted to learn? Do you have a hobby like gardening, cooking, or reading? A great way to make connections is to take a class or join a group. Check with your area YMCA, senior center, or local college to find book clubs, exercise classes, sewing circles, continuing education classes, and more. It’s more comfortable getting to know people when you have something in common.
Most churches and synagogues offer groups of similar age and experience. These groups are ways to meet through Bible study classes, fellowship after services, widows and widowers’ groups, coffee groups, etc. And if you love to sing, consider joining the choir – it’s not only a great way to meet people, it’s also good aerobic exercise!
If you prefer to be a homebody, get a computer, and create a Facebook page. Facebook makes it easier to stay connected to family and friends. Look up your old college roommate or that guy you used to work with. It’s also the perfect way to organize get-togethers and make plans to do something fun together.
Also, you can facetime with others (think grandkids) on your computer. Watch them grow up, laugh at their Halloween costumes, see them do a cartwheel, or be proud of the “A” on their test. It’s the next best thing to being there.
There are dozens of travel and touring companies that are tailored to seniors’ needs and interests. If you enjoy “hitting the road,” you’ll meet interesting people along the way and may even make lifelong friends. Check with the local senior center, college alumni associations, or the cruise lines. They can direct you to the perfect vacation. Bon, voyage!
Villa St. Francis
At Villa St. Francis, our residents enjoy active and enriching social lives. We offer book clubs, craft classes, lectures, guest musicians, and more, on-site. For those who love excursions, groups go to performing arts performances, shopping, and on sight-seeing trips around the area. Other fun activities include card games, bird watching, fitness classes, an on-site library, and computers.