A variety of reasons are responsible: friends and family pass away, relocate or become more isolated. Skills required to comfortably meet new people may be rusty, but it is important to have a social life in your later years.
Research shows the importance of interacting with others during all stages of life. Physical, mental and emotional health is affected positively by having social relationships. Self-esteem and even lifespans are impacted by having social contacts. So, where are these friends you haven’t met yet and just how do you meet them?
Get into the Right Mindset
It is helpful to be willing to meet other people. This may be intimidating or awkward at first but the fun increases with “practice.” If you are open to meeting new people it won’t be long before you are making acquaintances even in the oddest of places. Enjoy yourself and be open to the idea someone new Is waiting to meet you and share commonalities.
Get involved in activities where you will meet new people. For example, if you live near a college, look into taking a class that interests you. Community education classes may be available in the elementary and high schools in your community. Cooking and craft classes will help you learn something new while offering you the opportunity to meet other people. Community education sometimes offers day trips for Seniors so take advantage of them. Choose a destination you’ll enjoy and meet new friends.
Teach a Class
Put the skills you have developed over the years to good use. Contact community education and find out if you could teach a class. Painting, woodworking, tax formulas, how to travel abroad, composing a letter, any skill you would like to share with others is an opportunity for sharing expertise while meeting others interested in the same subjects.
Explore the Senior Center
Movies have stereotyped Senior Centers over the years as places where only elderly go to play bingo or shuffleboard. While these may be offered, there are a wide variety of other activities such as chair exercise, tai chi, yoga, travel, dance lessons, musical presentations, history classes, trips to points of interest and community meals. Take advantage of what is offered. You may be energized just by being around other people who are wanting to be involved in the same activities.
Did you know volunteering has proven to increase the health of those who volunteer? There are many opportunities. Find one speaking to your heart. Volunteer organizations are always looking for people to help and this is a wonderful way to meet new friends. Volunteer to read to children, be a companion for an elderly person, pamper lost pets at the animal shelter and more. The Corporation for National and Community Service has a branch called Senior Corps where Seniors join to volunteer time to help the local community in a variety of ways.
Participate in Your House of Faith
Places of worship have opportunities for you to meet others through study groups, serving on committees, social events, and small interest groups. Discover what is available and make a commitment. Volunteering is good for the soul.
Check Out Meetup Groups
Online social groups connect “like” people. Meetup.com matches individuals with the same interests as you. Meetup groups bring together people who love dancing, photography, writing, poetry, cooking, travel, etc. You have the option to connect with a meetup group for Seniors or group sharing an interest you have.
Friendship Has No Age Barriers
If looking for a romantic relationship try going online to one of the many dating sites for Seniors. If you are only interested in a friendship, don’t build age barriers as friends come in all ages. Older friends have wisdom to share and younger ones understand the new technology and visions. Meeting others who are interesting to you and interested in you broadens horizons and enriches life for everyone.
Bridge to Better Living has a variety of resources for Senior citizens. When looking for information on Retirement Living Options and ready to make the transition to Senior Living. Bridge to Better Living is just a call away. Contact us for more information on our no-cost service.