You’re never too old to make new friends. Seriously! Sure, it can get more difficult to form new social connections after retirement, and social circles can shrink down to a spouse or immediate family members. But while those relationships are absolutely important, you can’t rely on a small social circle to fulfill all of your needs. In fact, social activity and engagement are actually good for mental health.
If social interaction is healthy, and loneliness and isolation are common problems for older adults, then that means there are a lot of people out there looking for friendship, right? Kick-starting your social life might not be as daunting as it seems. The first step to making new friends is putting yourself back out there, but if you’re wondering how or where to do that, then here are some ideas:
Connect with Facebook
Okay, if you don’t have a Facebook profile at this point, then you probably think it’s worthless. But there’s a reason why so many people use the social media platform. It’s one of the most convenient ways to keep in touch with friends and family. When you sign up, you’ll be able to reconnect with old friends, classmates and co-workers. Facebook’s messaging service also allows you to communicate privately with those people whenever you want.
Of course, there are other places on the internet that are helpful for connecting with people. Online communities are great places to find people who have shared interests without having to go through the formalities of introductions. There are a number of online communities for older adults that you can explore. Some are simply for seniors, while others are focused on specific hobbies.
Become Part of Something Bigger
Think back to school, when it was easiest to meet new people. How did you meet those people? Class, sure, but there were also after-school activities that brought likeminded people together. Even though you’re no longer in school, you can still meet people through activities. Consider participating in athletic activities for older adults, volunteering for a cause that you’re passionate about, or joining a church group. There is no shortage of community-oriented activities that are designed specifically for seniors.
Retirement Communities Bring People Together
Retirement and Assisted Living communities aren’t like nursing homes where you’re stuck in the same room all day. The truth is, senior communities are more like apartment complexes – or, in many cases, like college dorms. The staff organizes social events for residents and, if you get out and participate, it’s almost impossible to not make a few friends. Plus, many communities offer Wi-Fi and community computers if you do want to set up that Facebook page.
Are you or a loved one exploring senior and assisted living communities? Melrose Meadows is a certified assisted and independent living community in Iowa City, Iowa. We provide an independent, secure lifestyle for our residents in a vibrant, all-inclusive setting. Schedule a tour today to see if Melrose Meadows is a good fit for your future.