I think we can all agree that making new friends as a senior takes effort and enthusiasm. Most children and young adults spend the majority of their waking hours at school or work, providing an easy way for them to grow close with a variety of people. But once you’ve gotten your diploma and then your retirement pension, you might find yourself with a free schedule and few friends with which to spend your time. Check out our handy tips to help fill your social calendar.
Making New Friends as a Senior
Join a Club
Despite the age-old saying, “Opposites attract,” nothing brings people together quite like a common interest. In his book The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis writes, “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'” One way to meet other people who are passionate about the same things as you is to join a club. After all, making new friends as a senior is much easier when you have a topic to discuss. In order to figure out what type of club is right for you, take some time to think about the passions and interests that set you apart:
- Do you love to learn about history? Join a historical club or historical society.
- Do your eyes light up when your friends ask you for advice about gardening? Join a garden club.
- Do you love bird-watching for hours on end? Get involved with your local Audobon society.
If you’re having trouble finding clubs to join, contact your county’s library. Often, they can provide you with resources about local clubs.
Similarly, you might consider enrolling in a class at your local community center. You could improve your computer skills, learn a new craft, take part in a writing workshop, listen to a philosophical lecture, and much more. Plus, you can use the opportunity to make friends with some of your classmates.
Give Back to the Community
Getting plugged into a nonprofit is a great way to help others and meet others. Whether you want to join a nonprofit board or simply volunteer, you’ll be sure to meet fellow humanitarians. When looking for a place to donate your time, consider causes that you’re passionate about:
- Solving the Problem of Hunger: Local food banks are great places to give your time. These organizations go to local grocery stores to pick up donated food that is about to expire. They always need help with sorting through the food to make sure it is safe to distribute to food pantries.
- Caring for Animals: Animal shelters often rely on volunteers to walk dogs, socialize cats, or even help animals get adopted at events. You’ll be able to meet other people who share your passion for animals.
- Protecting Nature: If you love being outside, contact your local nature center or park to see if you can volunteer. You could pick up litter, plant trees, maintain gardens, or perhaps even give guided tours to inspire the next generation to honor and care for our planet.
Follow Up with Your New Friends
Once you’ve connected with someone new at a volunteer session or club meeting, don’t forget to gather their contact information. Send them a follow-up text or email or give them a phone call to tell them how much you’ve enjoyed getting to know them so far. Consider asking them to join you for a cup of coffee or a meal.
Another way to stay connected with your new friends is to add them on social media. If you don’t have any social media accounts, it’s never too late to join a site. According to the Pew Research Center’s Social Media Use in 2018 Study, 55 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 55 say they use Facebook. Adding your new (and old) friends on Facebook provides a way for you to interact with one another, which can strengthen your friendships.
Did you know that there are health benefits associated with making new friends as a senior? This is just one reason why providing an engaging community is one of our top priorities at Springhouse Village. We know how important it is to be able to enjoy your retirement in a healthy, lively, and welcoming environment. We make it easy for our residents to be active participants in our community. Whether that means encouraging residents to shop at local farmers markets or assisting them in starting a garden club, we strive to help our residents thrive. To learn more about the activities, amenities, and services we offer, contact Springhouse Village today.