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Making Friends as a Senior

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A group of older adults at a senior living community sit around a table laughing and playing cards together

Friendships are an integral part of life, no matter the age. As we age, the value of companionship cannot be emphasized enough. It brings joy, comfort, and a myriad of health benefits, keeping us vibrant and engaged with life. There are many things you can do to make friends as a senior such as:

  • Leaning into your interests
  • Volunteering
  • Education
  • Involving technology
  • Physical activity
  • Community events

The Importance of Friendships

When a person ages, their social groups frequently undergo major changes as a result of retirement, the death of a loved one, or relocation. In this setting, friendships take on a new significance beyond simple recreational activities and become essential to daily mental and emotional health. 

The Science Behind Being Social as a Senior

Studies have shown that seniors with active social lives tend to have lower risks of developing depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, engaging with friends encourages physical activity and can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Therefore, maintaining and developing new friendships is essential for enhancing quality of life during these golden years.

More on Companionship

Why do friendships hold such significance as we age? Companionship can help alleviate loneliness, reduce stress, and improve one’s outlook on life. For seniors, having a robust social network can contribute to better mental health, delay cognitive decline, and even increase lifespan. Now, more than any other time, investing in friendships can reap rewards that are both emotionally enriching and health-promoting. It’s good to know the people around you, and to talk with them!

How to Make Friends as a Senior

Engaging in activities you enjoy is a great starting point for making new friends. Here are a few ways to connect with people as a senior: 

1) Embrace Your Interests

Indulging in hobbies you love can be a doorway to new friendships. Whether it’s art, music, gardening, or reading, joining clubs or groups that focus on your interests can help you connect with like-minded individuals.

2) Volunteer

Offering your time to a cause can be immensely fulfilling. Volunteering provides an opportunity not just to give back but also to meet and bond with others who share similar values. You’re working together, and working towards helping others.

3) Explore Educational Opportunities

It’s never too late to learn something new. Many community colleges and educational institutions offer classes for older adults. These are excellent places to make friends while expanding your knowledge and skills.

4) Getting Tech-Savvy

Technology has opened new avenues for connection. Learning to use social media platforms, online forums, or virtual communities can help you stay connected with friends and family, as well as meet new people in a similar situation from the comfort of your home.

5) Staying Physically Active

Join a gym, take a dance class, or participate in group exercises designed for older adults. Physical activity isn’t just good for your health; it’s also a social activity that can help you meet others, providing regularity and recognition in the weekly rhythms.

6) Attend Community Events

Keep an eye out for events in your local community. Fairs, farmers’ markets, concerts, and club meetings are great places to socialize and encounter potential friends.

7) Be Open and Approachable

A warm smile goes a long way. Be open to starting conversations and receptive to others—sometimes a simple “hello” can lead to a lasting friendship.

8) Utilize Your Existing Network

Don’t underestimate the power of networks. Reach out to old colleagues, reconnect with past friends, and attend reunions to renew and maybe even deepen these connections.

9) Practice Patience & Persistence

Building friendships takes time. If an attempt to socialize doesn’t pan out, don’t be discouraged. Keep trying, and remember that every interaction is a step closer to finding a friend.

10) Embrace the Power of Friendship

Recognize the beneficial impact of friendships on your life and actively work towards nurturing them. The support and camaraderie found in friends can be incredibly empowering.

Maintaining Friendships

Maintaining friendships as we get older requires effort, but the rewards are truly worth it. Here are a few considerations for maintaining friendships:

  • Consistent communication is key—regular phone calls, emails, or text messages can help keep the connection alive, even when it’s not possible to meet in person. 
  • Joining social clubs or group activities that meet on a regular basis can also provide a structured way to see friends often.
  •  Being a good listener and showing genuine interest in your friends’ lives cultivates deeper, more meaningful relationships. 

It’s the quality of friendships, not the quantity, that matters most. By making an effort to stay connected and showing that you care, you can maintain lasting friendships that enrich your life immeasurably.

A group of older adults doing yoga outdoors with their hands raised while sitting.

Weaving the Web of Connection

Friendships are precious at any stage of life, but as a senior, they shine as beacons of light through the days. With a little effort and the willingness to step outside of your comfort zone, you can enrich your later years with the kind of friendships that resonate with laughter, support, and enduring companionship.

We encourage our readers to take the first step today. Reach out to someone, join a new group, or simply share this post with others who might benefit from it. Contact Brooklyn Pointe today to talk about the social programs we offer in our communities! The power of friendship is just a conversation away.

Written by Angela Clark

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