How to Make New Friends in Your Retirement Community (1)

How to Make New Friends in Your Retirement Community

One of the biggest benefits to retirement community living is the opportunity to meet new friends and create meaningful relationships with neighbors. However, it is common for new residents to feel a bit of trepidation as they wonder how they will meet new people and start these new friendships. If you are feeling a bit worried, we’re here to provide reassurance that anyone – extrovert, introvert or somewhere in between – can find interesting neighbors to get to know at a retirement community. Here’s how to do it.

Why Meet New People

Creating connections with neighbors and peers can significantly increase your emotional and physical health. In fact, research over the past five years has demonstrated that a healthy social life is a crucial part of healthy aging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that social isolation and feelings of loneliness can lead to increased risk of depression and anxiety, more rapid cognitive decline, increased risk of heart disease and even an increased risk of premature death. Staying connected to others can help you stay healthy for longer.

Where to Meet New Neighbors

When you first move into a retirement community, take advantage of all the community spaces. These large and small areas throughout the retirement community campus are designed to increase connection between neighbors and encourage gathering. For example, grab your cup of coffee and newspaper and read it at Grandmother’s Garden or in the living room  in the morning. You’ll find that you’re striking up a conversation with someone in no time. Similarly, you can meet people by hanging out in the Sweet Shoppe on campus, in the recreation or activity spaces or even strolling along paths throughout the community.

Share New Experiences

Retirement communities can also make starting a conversation a bit easier thanks to a vibrant life enrichment calendar. Sharing an experience, whether a live performance or a crafting time, can start the connection process between participants. Don’t be afraid of trying something new that seems interesting to you on the community calendar; you can emerge with a new experience under your belt and maybe even a new friend.

Break Out of Routine

If you are already living in a retirement community and are looking for ways to meet some more neighbors, try stepping out of your normal routine. Can you attend a new exercise class or activity? Could you take a new route to the dining room or try a new hobby class? You never know how a simple change in your routine could introduce you to a few new opportunities and people.

Take Advantage of the Welcome

New residents at a retirement community are typically a source for a bit of excitement and curiosity for other residents. It’s exciting when someone new moves into the neighborhood! Take advantage of this by saying hello and introducing yourself as the new resident throughout the community. You’ll find that other residents are happy to get to know you, offer a bit of advice or even save you a seat at Bingo.

At The Glen, we work closely with new residents to ensure they are transitioning into retirement community life just the way they want to. We never force anyone to attend events or make new friends; we let you take the lead and we offer the support or advice as you need it.

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