Making friends as a kid was easy. It helped that you spent several hours a day in school together. That kind of friend-making persisted through college and your work career. Now that you’re retired, it might be more of a challenge to make new friends. Ironically, this is when having friends is essential. Recent studies have found then when older adults fall into isolation it can impact their health. Social interaction then helps promote better physical and mental health. That in turn can support living a longer and happier life. This is why making friends as a senior should be a priority. Here’s how to make it happen.
The first place you should look for new friends is with your old friends. You might have lost touch over the years but now is the perfect time to reconnect and revitalize those friendships. Start with a Facebook search to see what those friends are up to. If they live in a different city or state, then you can connect over Skype and Facetime. Once you reestablish those connections, you want to keep up with them. Make a point to schedule regular chats or meet-ups for coffee.
Are you friends with your neighbors? That would mean something beyond just saying “hi” as you go into your home. Maybe you can invite your neighbors over for tea. As you go for a walk in the neighborhood for exercise, try to strike up a conversation with folks you meet along the way. Yes, you have to reach out to make friends but that’s a good thing!
There is no doubt plenty of opportunities to volunteer in your community. That is another great way to be active and make friends. Some of those friends could be the folks with who you are volunteering. Friendships can also be formed with the people you are directly helping out. There might be a senior center near where you live that will have plenty of like-minded potential friends to meet.
Take a Class
Are you near a community college? You might find a few classes that you can take where you would meet some potential new friends. Would they be younger? Possibly but there is nothing wrong with that. There might also be classes and workshops offered by local museums and other businesses. That is a good place to find friends who share your same interests.
Return to Religious Services
If it has been a while since you regularly attended church or temple, then it might be time to go back. That is where you should find a thriving community with many opportunities to connect with people who share your beliefs.
When it comes to making new friends, you might have to take the first step. Remember, the goal is to be socially active. That can take many forms with many people!