As children, we are able to make friends from the simplest of conversations, but as we age and life gets busier and more demanding, it becomes more difficult. By the time we hit our senior years and retirement age, we may find ourselves with only a couple of close friends – and much more free time. It’s when this happens that many find they’d like to widen their social circle and make new friends.
Why is it important for older adults to make new friends? One of the biggest reasons is to prevent social isolation. Beyond this, there is an increasing list of benefits to friendship that can make retirement more enjoyable.
- Decreased risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease, dementia and high blood pressure
- Improved mental and physical health
- Enhanced social support and emotional support
- Fewer feelings of loneliness
- Better cognitive health
- Increased happiness and joy
If you’re among the many older adults who want to make new friends but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help.
It can be nerve-wracking to make new friends, but it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Try hanging out in common areas where you’re likely to chat with others nearby, try new things, or hang out with your friends’ friends.
One of the best ways to create social connections and strong friendships is to just spend time doing things you love. Whether you decide to revisit an old hobby that you haven’t enjoyed in quite some time, join a new group that you’ve been considering or try something entirely new, you’re sure to meet others who could become your good friends.
Finding a class that enhances your health and wellness doesn’t just provide many physical and mental health benefits. It’ll also introduce you to those who want to remain active and healthy, too. Take up a yoga, tai chi or a group fitness class to ensure you’re surrounded by others with the same goals as you.
Whether you join book clubs, hold recipe swaps, attend brunches or begin hosting cocktail hours, these weekly meetings can be a great way to get to know new people.
To enhance connection or to help you stay involved when you aren’t able to meet in person, create a social network via Facebook groups or hold virtual meetings. It might not feel the same as meeting face-to-face, but it can provide a short-term solution.
Do you notice you see the same people in passing every day? Stop to chat, or simply say hello; you never know, it could spark a new friendship.
Have you been invited to an event you wouldn’t usually attend? Instead of declining the invite, choose to accept! Has an acquaintance asked you if you’d like to join them for dinner or an outing? Go with them. Not only can turning your usual “no” into a “yes” introduce you to new things you might enjoy, but this can help you meet new people, too.
By focusing on the things that are most important to you, you might find yourself making new friends quickly. Consider volunteering at an animal shelter, helping out at a soup kitchen, volunteering to teach a class, or mentoring others. No matter what you choose, giving back can be a great way to gain new friends while increasing your involvement within your community.
When seniors make a move to Waterstone, they don’t just open the door to a world of possibilities. They open the door to endless opportunities to make new friends and expand their social circle.
With a range of programs and social activities, wellness classes and a walkable location, there are plenty of chances to make new friends. Enjoy one of many cultural or social programs offered daily, try a new class in our mind-body studio, explore the surrounding area, or dine with someone that you’ve just met. No matter what you decide, the choices are all yours.
Learn more about our premier independent living community where you’ll thrive in a beautifully appointed apartment with designer finishes and enjoy connecting with friends in our stunning common areas. Come home to Waterstone of Westchester.