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5 Tips for Making Friends in Senior Living

friends saying cheers with a glass of wine

There’s nothing quite like a good laugh with a dear friend. Indeed, throughout the various stages of life, friendships bring richness in countless ways.

Grade school peers, college comrades, work buddies, parenting pals — they each play an important role in shaping your life and experiences. Yet arguably, the bonds you cherish in your senior years are among the most precious, for these are the ties that allow you to age with grace.

Making friends in senior living isn’t just a chance to pass the time in good company. It’s a way to support your mental and physical health while promoting your overall quality of life.

Later in July — July 30, to be exact — Freedom Plaza will be celebrating National Friendship Day. In honor of the occasion, we invite you to learn more about the importance of socializing in senior living and how making friends in senior living is a boost for both your body and your mind.

Make Friends with Ease

Many people find it harder to make friends as they grow older. That’s one reason an independent living community is a smart idea, especially for an older adult who lives alone.

If you’re looking for some ways to meet new people, remember living in a senior living community means you’re surrounded by people who are in the same stage of life and are likely to share many of your interests and values. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. 1. Take advantage of community activities, from recreation and entertainment to learning and community service. Sharing an interest in a particular event or activity is a great foundation for striking up a conversation.
  2. 2. Turn mealtime into a social hour. Find an empty seat, introduce yourself and discover what you have in common with your new neighbors.
  3. 3.Seek out other new residents who are in the same situation as you, getting acclimated and ready to begin building relationships.
  4. 4.Talk with your senior independent living community’s staff and ask for an introduction to others who are eager to expand their social circles. For example, if you’re a veteran, you’re bound to form quick bonds with others who have had similar life experiences and share your values of serving your country.
  5. 5.Consider how your skills or talents might make you a valuable resource to your new neighbors, and offer to teach a class or establish a new club.

Make Friends with Purpose

It may seem obvious that having strong social ties leads to happier living, but you may not realize how deep the impact of having friendships in senior living really goes.

A growing body of research shows there are numerous physical and mental health advantages to senior socialization.

With age, it’s common for old friendships to fade and family ties to weaken, and as a result, many seniors are left feeling lonely, maybe for the first time in their lives. Loneliness isn’t just sad; it can actually contribute to serious health problems.

  • Loneliness and stress or anxiety go hand in hand, and those conditions are hard on your heart and immune system.
  • Seniors with a busy social life tend to be more physically active, which promotes sustained agility, mobility and overall wellness.
  • Some research even suggests people with steady social lives live longer.

If that’s not reason enough to start looking for ways to make friends in senior living, keep reading to learn how finding a friendly retirement community is good for your mind — both your mental and cognitive health.

  • Experts believe that social interaction can help offset your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Communicating with friends, playing games and other social activities engage your brain muscle, which means you’re keeping language and other cognitive skills sharp.
  • Loneliness aside, without the support and encouragement of friends, seniors who live in isolation are more likely to experience depression and other mental health challenges.

Make New Friends with Us

You won’t find many places more friendly and welcoming than Freedom Plaza. In fact, making friends in senior living has never been easier. This bustling community in Sun City Center is the ideal spot for active senior living.

A busy activity calendar means there are plenty of ways to meet your neighbors, and with so many resident-led classes, clubs and committees, you’re sure to find your fit. From themed dinner parties and energizing volunteer opportunities to lifelong learning and group fitness classes, you might just lose count of all the different ways to make new friends.

Make plans to visit and see for yourself how quickly you’ll feel right at home.