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How to Create New Friendships in the Senior Years

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

It’s important for seniors to have strong friendships, as loneliness can affect mental and emotional health. However, building new friendships after age 65 may seem difficult, and many seniors simply don’t try. When seniors make the effort to forge new friendships, they often find making friends is easier than they expected.

Oftentimes, professional caregivers can become trusted friends to the seniors they care for, Nashville, TN, non-medical in-home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Here are a few steps older adults can take to make new friends. 

Take a Class at the Local Community College

Retirement is the perfect time to pursue new interests. Community colleges offer a wide assortment of interesting classes, and they’re also a great venue for making new friends. Seniors should select classes that allow for social interaction, like pottery making or watercolor painting. In a casual classroom setting, it’s easy to bond over shared interests. 

Sign Up for a Gym Membership

The local gym isn’t merely a way to stay healthy. It’s also a great place to forge new friendships. Seniors interested in meeting people should select a group exercise class suitable for their fitness level. Many seniors enjoy water aerobics and beginner’s yoga. If they attend on a weekly basis, striking up a conversation with other gym members is simple. They’ll be grabbing a post-workout smoothie with their new friends in no time. 

Volunteer

There are many organizations in need of volunteers, ranging from animal shelters to soup kitchens. Seniors should look for a volunteer opportunity that suits their skills and interests. They’re sure to meet other like-minded individuals, and they’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing they’re giving back to the community. 

If your loved one needs transportation to volunteer opportunities or social events, consider hiring a professional caregiver. A Nashville caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver can address these and many other health-related concerns.

Find a Part-Time Job

Even if seniors have retired from their full-time jobs, it doesn’t mean they can’t find a fun part-time position. Book lovers can take a job at the library for a few hours every week, which gives them the opportunity to chat with other literary-minded people. Seniors who are skilled with a set of tools can find handyman work, which puts them in contact with plenty of new, interesting people. Taking on a part-time job is a great way for seniors to get out of the house, earn some extra money, and make new acquaintances. 

Organize a Neighborhood Get-Together

Seniors who aren’t well acquainted with their neighbors should make an effort to get to know them better. They could ask a few of them over for a potluck dinner, or they could even organize a block party. With a bit of initiative, seniors might discover they can forge lasting friendships with the people who live next door. 

Join a Place of Worship or Religious Organization

For seniors who are religious, joining a nearby place of worship is one of the quickest ways to meet like-minded friends. There are many ways to get involved in faith-based organizations, from singing in the choir to helping out at the annual bake sale. Seniors should find the way they can best contribute to their chosen place of worship and offer their services. New friendships are sure to follow. 

Making new friends and staying social can boost a senior’s mental wellbeing and reduce the risk of dementia. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia home care. Nashville seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance. For more information on CTM and our elderly dementia care programs, please call (615) 656-4999 today to schedule a free consultation.