At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services, we know that fostering new friendships can be difficult for a senior. We also know the impacts of meaningful social connections are priceless for our care receivers. Studies show that seniors who are more social live longer, have a lower risk of developing dementia, and enjoy better mental health!
It is a fact that as we age, our social circle naturally grows smaller. As adults, there is simply less time to focus on nurturing friendships. The bonds that are kept, however, are often stronger and more satisfying than those formed when we are young. But what if you find yourself lacking a close group of friends as you enter your Golden Years?
First, understand that you have company. According to a recent study from the AARP, one-third of adults over the age of fifty-five feel alone. Now, this is not exactly a “fun fact,” but it does go to show that there are LOTS of seniors looking to meet new people, just like you! Making friends as a senior is often more difficult than when you were a child, but there are lots of ways to meet people and spread your social butterfly wings. Below, we dive into some of the ways Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services encourage those we serve to connect.
Join The Club!
Nowadays, there is a social club for everything! These groups exist for anything your heart desires — golfing, reading books, bird watching, painting, exercise classes, lunch groups, outings, shopping, sewing – the list goes on! Whether you join to advance a hobby or to learn something new, becoming a member is a wonderful way to meet people who share similar interests.
For some of our Seniors Helping Seniors® care receivers, however, being the “new person” can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable. But with the right attitude, you can make a great first impression! Try these tips to start:
- Make eye contact. This shows that you are paying attention and indicates you respect the other person.
- Smile! Showing off your pearly whites is welcoming and puts others at ease.
- Be sincere. Do not force it if a connection does not feel right or pretend to enjoy something you do not.
Still feeling nervous. Ask your Seniors Helping Seniors® companion to tag along! Having a friend in tow can put you at ease and help facilitate a conversation with people you have just met.
Social media groups provide a space to meet like-minded seniors as well. Like in-person clubs, there is a group for every niche you can think of. And if what you are searching for does not yet exist, start it up yourself! Online groups are a great place to chat about common interests, share photos and information, and might even spur a face-to-face get-together!
Additionally, social media is a convenient way to learn about in-person events going on around the community. Keep an eye out for garage sales, live music in the park, or pickleball league sign-ups!
If you struggle with using modern technology or social media platforms, you are not alone there either. Ask a Seniors Helping Seniors® caregiver to lend a hand. Two heads are better than one!
Find Your “Spot”
Explore places around town that interest you, like coffee shops, museums, or bookstores. When you find a spot you love, start going there regularly. There are other ‘regulars’ who frequent the establishment as well and may have hobbies like your own. Strike up a conversation by asking what they are drinking or inquiring about the plot of their book. With time, you may find you both have a lot in common, turning this chance meeting into a “Same time next week?” kind of relationship.
Do not forget — our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers make excellent companions too! They love trying new things and expanding on hobbies, so do not hesitate to get them in on the fun. Because we spend time getting to know each caregiver through a detailed interview process, you and your caregiver have shared hobbies and interests that will make bonding a breeze!
The bottom line is it is never too late to make a new friend! Though this process can be uncomfortable and difficult at times, the rewards you will experience make it all worthwhile.