Why is making new friends important?
Humans are, at their core, inherently social creatures. We crave being near each other, having meaningful friendships and relationships, and having an emotional connection with one another. Feeling like you don’t have that support can have severely detrimental effects, like declining mental health and acuity, and even declining mental health.
For seniors in senior living communities, it is especially important that they feel happy, safe, and included in what they now see as their new home. For many seniors, it can be difficult to connect with their families as often as when they lived independently, it may be harder to get out and get active, or many other reasons.
Those of us here at the Madison Heights senior apartments at the Reserve at Redrun believe that it is crucial for your senior loved one’s physical and mental health to be able to connect with other seniors in their community. However, sometimes they might need a little extra encouragement.
Are you a senior wanting to be more involved or a loved one trying to get your senior more active in their community? Here are some tips that might help:
Tip #1: Participate in your community’s social events calendar.
Retirement communities are chock full of classes to take, things to do, and events to participate in. Don’t be afraid to get involved!
Being in community activities will not only stimulate your brain and keep you active, finding things that you like to do and doing them with others will help you find friends with common interests. Do you like to cook? Sign up for one of the community’s cooking classes and learn some new techniques! Or, if you’re really advanced, then maybe volunteer to teach one of the classes! You’ll have no shortage of people around you who enjoy doing the same things that you like to do, and that makes it easy to make new friends.
But don’t be afraid to try something new, too! Bonding with someone while trying to do something new and out of your comfort zone is a surefire way to make new friends. Give a yoga or tai chi class a try, or if you’ve never done any kind of art, maybe try a painting class. The possibilities are endless! Not only is it fun to get involved, but you’ll make some awesome connections along the way.
Tip #2: Don’t eat in your room – get out and have dinner with the others!
It can be really tempting in a new place to want to isolate yourself. In a place like the Madison Heights senior apartments, being surrounded by so many people all the times can be a little overwhelming.
While it’s okay to have dinner on your own every now and then, don’t be afraid to make mealtimes a great social event for you! Join a new table and get to know each other. Bond about the foods that you like, and tell stories about great memories that you have over meals. Mealtimes are great social activities!
If you’re a little nervous to put yourself out there so much, maybe invite a family member or a different friend to come and join you at first to act as a buffer. That way, you’ll still be able to interact with the others in the community without overwhelming yourself right away. Baby steps is all it will take to lead to a great group of friends!
Tip #3: Start volunteering in your community.
There is no better way to make strong, meaningful connections with other people than through volunteering. Giving up your time, skills, and knowledge to be able to help other people is something that really shows the kindness of your character for everyone to be able to see.
And volunteering doesn’t have to be done solo! Reach out to your activities coordinator at your retirement community to see how you might be able to get more involved. If you’re a member of a church or another religious organization, see if there’s a way for you to get involved with their volunteer program.
Working together for a common cause for the benefit of others is a great way to make lasting friendships! Plus, it makes you feel like you’re doing something amazing for the community, and that’s a win-win.
Tip #4: Seek out other new residents in the community to connect with.
If you’re looking for the best people to make new friends with, search for other new residents in the community. Chances are, they’re feeling just as confused and overwhelmed as you are. It’s easier to connect with someone who also doesn’t yet have any established connections in the community! This way, you can learn the ropes together, figure out what exactly being in this new community means together, and have each other for support as you adjust.
Tip #5: Attend a local church or religious service.
If you are religious, attending church services can be an excellent way to create and retain friendships. Sharing the same religious beliefs gives an awesome boost to people who are looking to be friends who share the same values and belief systems as they do. Plus, church organizations will often have other outreach events, like dinners, volunteering, or other ways to connect with other people in the church.
Reserve at Redrun – Madison Heights Senior Apartments
Here at our Madison Heights senior apartments, we believe that it’s more important than ever that you or your loved one be able to establish friendships in their retirement. Having an awesome place to live just isn’t as much fun if you don’t have anyone to share it with!
We’re fortunate to be able to bring several great resources to make new friends, like classes, restaurants and coffee shops, and many different social events. Here at Reserve at Redrun, our social calendar is always full!If you or your loved one are interested in becoming a resident here or seeing all of what we have to offer, then contact us today!