Maintaining an active social life is a crucial part of healthy aging. It encourages good mental health and lowers the risk of depression and isolation.
But it can be challenging to make friends after retirement. Fortunately, senior living communities can help. They have many activities, events, and clubs to keep you connected with your peers!
Participate in activities
Keeping an active social life is essential to maintaining healthy mental health. It also helps to combat feelings of loneliness and depression that are common among seniors.
One great way to meet people and form new relationships is by participating in activities in a retirement community. There are usually many activities, ranging from crafts and games to music and fitness classes. Some of these may require more coordination than others, but the goal is to have fun and get out of the house.
Other social activities that are both fun and engaging for senior citizens include group sing-alongs with songs from various decades, playing games, baking treats together, and even making movies. Many of these activities double as physical exercise, which can help to combat the effects of aging on the body. The key is to find something that fits your personality and schedule. If you feel uncomfortable joining new activities alone, ask a family member to join you for the first few events.
Many seniors have a variety of hobbies and interests that they’ve nurtured throughout their lives. Retirement communities like the Independent Living Wichita Kansas can help them connect with others who share those passions, whether joining a book club, forming an art appreciation society, or organizing a karaoke night.
Getting involved in these groups can also introduce them to new experiences and give them a sense of purpose. That’s particularly important for those who have difficulty dealing with feelings of depression or isolation after retirement.
Having a solid social network means your loved one will have more people to reach out to if they’re feeling down, which may prevent them from spiraling into depression and other health issues. Studies show that people with a rich social life live longer than those without. This is a great reason to encourage your loved ones to attend as many events and activities in their retirement community as possible.
Meet new people
Whether new to retirement or simply looking to broaden your social circle, a friendly smile and the courage to introduce yourself go a long way. Make the most of the opportunities at your senior independent living community with a busy activity calendar, resident-led clubs and committees, lifelong learning courses, and more.
It’s often said that birds of a feather flock together, so try finding common interests and getting to know people who share them. For example, if you see someone in the dining room every day for lunch, become a regular and talk to them. According to research, it can take 50 hours to move from acquaintance to casual friend and more than 200 hours to become a close friend.
If you’re nervous about approaching other residents, look for other new residents or ask a family member to accompany you at your first events and groups. Having a partner can help ease anxieties and boost confidence.
Getting involved in your community is great for mental health and an excellent way to meet new people and stay active. Many retirement communities offer a variety of community service opportunities to help you find something that fits your schedule. There are countless options, from helping with a local sports team to leading a fitness class.
You can even volunteer at a local animal shelter, a great way to get outside and socialize with other pet lovers. You can volunteer at a church or mosque for those who prioritize their faith. Try painting or art classes if you want a more creative outlet.
Many retirement communities offer interest-based social clubs and fitness classes. Joining a book club, movie-watching group, or religious service is a great way to make new friends and build connections. Alternatively, you can start your club to discuss topics that you’re passionate about.