Building and maintaining friendships can promote healthier and happier lives for people of all ages. Seniors can experience feelings of loneliness and isolation if they aren’t intentional about building relationships. Here are 4 tips for how to make friends as a senior.
Visit New Places
A local senior’s center, a library, or a coffee shop can be a great place to share a conversation with strangers, establish common ground, and potentially build the foundation for a new friendship. The change in scenery can also help you establish new routines and try new experiences. Be consistent and make it a priority to build time into your schedule to visit daily or weekly and become a regular.
Be a Regular
Wherever you choose to invest your time, becoming a regular allows you to get to know the instructors, staff, or other patrons that tend to visit this location at the same time as you. Doing so not only makes you a household name but could help you find another senior who frequents this location as well. Start with some small talk and ask questions that allow you to get to know this person. Don’t be too intense too fast, but build a foundation as you establish rapport and figure out if you’ll get along. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask them if they’d like to join you for coffee or another low-key activity.
Pursue Your Interests & Hobbies
Try taking a class, workshop, or seminar on something you love. This can be a great way to pursue your hobbies and meet people who have similar interests. For example, if you love to cook, consider taking a cooking class and investing your effort in developing friendships during the class. Host a potluck or invite a few people from your class over for a meal. There’s something about sharing food with others and sitting around a table that allows you to get to know people on a deeper level.
Look for opportunities to continue to gather outside of your routine activity; this gives everyone an opportunity to develop a friendship that goes beyond the activity and increases the potential for a continued friendship after the class has concluded.
Even though it can be nerve-wracking to make the first move, breaking the ice is great practice to build up your courage and self-confidence. Take a chance and try new things—getting out of your comfort zone can open you up to many new and exciting opportunities!
Don’t put too much pressure on new relationships because this can scare people away. Healthy relationships that will uplift and encourage you may take time to develop, but don’t lose hope! Give friendships the time they need to flourish and focus on getting to know the people around you.
At Kaplan Development Group, we work hard to create and foster compassionate and loving communities for the individuals in our care. For more information on our assisted living homes, give us a call at 516 496-1505 or contact us online.