Retirement is an amazing transition for people who miss the days of freedom and abundance of time to do whatever they want.
Unfortunately, many seniors feel as if they don’t have anyone to socialize with or to do fun things with. This doesn’t have to happen, since moving to a new community means that you’ll have lots of other people around who want to make friends and share their favorite hobbies with someone!
Also, building friendships is a fulfilling activity in of itself, and it stimulates brain activity while promoting a longer lifespan. As you can see, socializing has endless benefits for seniors. Thankfully, assisted living homes promote socialization by providing residents with several opportunities to socialize with each other.
Here are some ways that you or your loved one can develop friendships in assisted living homes. The process doesn’t have to be scary!
How to Make Friends in Assisted Living Homes
Utilize the Available Group Activities
One of the greatest amenities available from assisted living homes is the many events to occupy you and help you meet new folks. Every senior living community offers different activities, so it’s important to inquire about the specifics. The following are some that are common ones, however.
There are the classic bingo games as well as art classes and talent shows. Or it could even be as simple as a game of cards! Chances are you’ll find some activities that you love doing. You should take full advantage of these activities. The community might also offer daily strength or exercise training classes, as well as classes for yoga, and more!
Suppose there’s a certain hobby or activity that you’d like to try. In that case, you can show up at any time to meet the people there who surely will have similar interests as you. While you do these fun activities together, friendships will fall naturally into place.
Spend More Time in Common Areas
Rather than heading back to your apartment room to surf the internet, you can do the same thing in the common area. You could even bring some cards and board games to pass the time or use them as conversation starters with whoever happens to be around. There are countless ways you could entertain yourself in your assisted living home’s lounge.
Also, observe how the other residents like to spend their time. If something looks interesting, let them know and ask if you can participate as well. Don’t be scared to talk to someone new, since they probably want to make new friends as well.
Remember that you aren’t just limited to friendships with other residents, as the staff can make excellent friends as well. After all, they are there to support you. So, getting to know them better can benefit you by making you feel more at home in your new living facility.
The simple trick is to start spending more time outside of your apartment. The opportunities to make new friends are everywhere!
Join In New Groups During Mealtimes
Food has the magical effect of bringing different people together. Thus, sharing a meal with your fellow residents is a great way to start conversing and forming new friendships! However, if a conversation begins to take a turn in a direction you don’t like, then don’t hesitate to sit with different people. Just do your best to establish some common ground. Talk about your hobbies and interests (but ask about theirs as well), favorite foods, television shows, sports teams, family and friends, etc.
Remember to introduce yourself to as many people as possible. Since meals will take up a big part of your day, you want to make that time as enjoyable as possible by surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. If you dine with the right people, you’ll enjoy your meal times much more, and you’ll also enhance the time spent with them outside of mealtimes as well!
Adapting to life in assisted living homes doesn’t happen instantly, and neither do relationships, for that matter. So, expect that it will take some time, but don’t feel discouraged about that! The longer you are part of the community, the more you’ll get to know the people in it, and it will be much easier to approach the folks you don’t know yet.
Keep trying new things, new activities that you might not have been interested in in the past. Also, try mixing with people who you never thought that you would spend time with. You might develop a new favorite hobby or even find a new bestie. But if not, you don’t have anything to lose!
Also, try to be as welcoming as possible. Imagine how you would want to be treated if you are new. Just a simple “hi” to a neighbor in the hallway might make their day and could lead to a lot more! In the end, forming new friendships takes time. Don’t push yourself too much.
But remember to keep yourself as the top priority. Relax in your apartment when you need some time to yourself. Don’t occupy yourself too much about whether you are making enough effort or not. Rather, just let the friendships develop naturally.
Assisted living homes are actually great places to keep an active social life and make new and reliable friends. However, as with anything else worthwhile in life, it will take some time! If you feel isolated, you can call upon a friend for some much-needed social interaction. If you are still light on friends, you can call up a family member to catch up on their life and them with yours. These strong relationships should serve as a reminder that there’s more where that came from!