When older adults are considering a move to a retirement community, some are less excited about the social opportunities than others. Many times, that is because they are introverts. Because retirement communities offer so many benefits, it’s important not to let worries keep an older adult from making this move.
If you or a senior loved one is thinking about moving to a retirement community, we have a few suggestions for meeting new friends.
Tips for Making New Friends in Senior Living
1. Greet everyone.
Instead of avoiding eye contact with people in the hallways or common areas, smile and say “hello.” These small gestures can help you get to know fellow residents, families, and staff. For someone shy, this might be tough. The good news is the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
2. Take a daily walk throughout the community.
Most retirement communities are fairly large and offer many opportunities for walks. Instead of staying in your apartment, pick a new destination each day and take a walk. You’ll likely enjoy getting to know the community while meeting new people and making new friends.
3. Eat meals with different people each day.
Mealtimes give seniors an easy way to meet new people. While you will encounter many established groups, most will welcome a new guest for a meal. If you aren’t sure which tables might be the most receptive, ask the dining staff for suggestions.
4. Review the activities calendar.
Most retirement communities have thriving life enrichment programs. Activities range from fitness exercises to art classes, religious studies, movie nights, and outings to local restaurants.
Review the weekly activity calendar and choose one activity a day. If you are reluctant to go alone, ask a family member to join you. You could also ask the life enrichment director to introduce you to residents who usually attend the events you find interesting. That can make it easier to go alone.
5. Invite fellow residents to stop by.
Making friends in your new retirement community can be as easy as inviting a new neighbor over for coffee. Ask them about their life, career, and family. If you do this with a few fellow residents each week, you’ll have a new circle of friends in no time!
6. Be patient with and kind to yourself.
Moving can be difficult at any age, but especially during retirement. Our best advice is to give yourself time to transition. Some days will be better than others. Turn to friends and loved ones for support when you need it.
Choosing a Retirement Community
Because we understand how complex the search for a retirement community can be, we offer the advice of our experienced senior care advisors for free. Call us at 800-304-8061 to get started today!
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