Senior living offers older adults many ways to lead a more fulfilling and carefree life, and one that is often underestimated is the opportunity to create new relationships. At the same time, however, seniors may anticipate the opportunity to make friends in senior living with a bit of anxiety, even fear. There are some simple ways to make friends in senior living that can really help.
One of the best ways to make friends in senior living is to simply smile and greet other residents as if they are already a friend or acquaintance. A smile has other amazing benefits. According to the psychologytoday.com article, “The 9 Superpowers of Your Smile,” smiling not only signals to others that that person is someone they want to know, research has found smiling can boost moods, is more powerful than chocolate for stimulating the brain, and can even help achieve a longer life. So smile! There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!
For those seniors who tend to be introverted, it can be even more difficult to make friends in senior living, and our team members know it. At Thrive our team members are always available to introduce new residents and help them become acclimated to their new home and smooth the transition. We know that some seniors need more privacy than others, but we stand ready to help whether that means meeting new neighbors or helping to find the class or activity that best suits a new resident’s social desires. Whatever it takes, we stand ready to help make it painless for everyone to make friends in senior living. Find out more in our blog, “Introverts and Senior Living: Why It’s a Surprisingly Good Fit.”
Having a routine can also help make friends in senior living because it allows seniors to consistently spend time with others who share their interests. As noted in our blog, “The Surprising Benefits of a Daily Routine in Retirement,” routines can also help improve organization, bolster feelings of control, reduce stress, and assist with setting and reaching goals. So routines can not only offer opportunities to make friends in senior living, but also the gratification that comes from feeling good and achieving goals in the company of friends.
For those who enjoy nature, spending time outdoors is another way to make friends in senior living. It may be as simple as joining a walking or gardening club, going for a swim in the pool, starting a birdwatching group, or stepping up to yoga on the lawn. Best of all, being outdoors can also help improve overall health. Our blog, “Sunshine Time: The Benefits of Getting Outdoors for Older Adults,” looks at what being outdoors has to offer including getting enough natural light (a.k.a. sunshine), which is key to overall mental and physical well-being, fresh air which can be invigorating, and then there’s the aspect of just being in the natural world, which is known to lower blood pressure, boost moods, lower stress, and even reduce anxiety and depression.
One of the greatest assets of senior living today is how mealtimes are not only great for enjoying nutritious and delicious chef-prepared meals, but also upbeat social occasions where it’s easy to meet and make friends in senior living. For example, at Thrive Senior Living we offer meals in our beautiful formal dining room as well as snacks and lighter fare in our Bistro where residents can get together for Happy Hour or quiet conversation. At Thrive we make meals an essential component in our overall plan to provide a healthy, social and independent lifestyle. For a more in-depth look at how we do it, check out our blog, “Eat Well, Get Fit, Have Fun!”
Retirement is often a time that seniors want to embrace something more, something purposeful and fulfilling. Whether that means volunteering for a cause that’s important to them, jumping into life-long learning, starting a new hobby or restarting an old one, or finally getting in shape with a consistent exercise routine, each possibility offers the opportunity to make friends in senior living. Living with purpose, however, has other advantages to consider, like those described in our blog, “Purposeful Living in Retirement.” When seeking a purposeful life, it’s almost impossible not to make friends in senior living because everyone has so much to share.
The best senior living communities like Thrive are wonderful places to live well and reap the benefits of good friends and great times. Download our guide, “Successful Transitions to Senior Living,” then contact a community near you to schedule a tour.