If you were a Girl Scout, you learned a song that advised, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”
Friends are so important, no matter your age. But did you know friendships can contribute more to a senior’s well-being than family relationships? Maintaining close friendships as we get older helps to alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness that many seniors face once they retire from work and adult children move away. For some, mobility issues also make it harder to get out and about.
Loneliness negatively affects physical and mental health, and it can lead to premature death. Moving to a senior living community can have just the opposite effect because there are always opportunities to socialize with other active (and interesting) residents. However, some older adults worry that retiring to senior living might make it harder to stay connected with long-time friends. Not so!
Moving to a community like Veranda of Pensacola is essentially the same as moving to any other new neighborhood – except now you have much more time to spend with friends!
Maintaining friendships after you move
The best way to stay connected with old friends is to make a deliberate effort. That sounds obvious, but it’s all too easy to let time pass. Don’t let that happen!
Invite your friends to come to see your new digs so they can see for themselves why you chose to move. You can enjoy coffee or a glass of wine and a hoot game of Scrabble in your own residence, or they could join you for a meal or some other community event. And, you can still do all the things you’ve always loved doing together – going to dinner, a play or concert, shopping, hiking or biking, etc.
And speaking of reaching out, regular emails, calls, and Zoom chats are always a good way to catch up, especially with friends who are farther away. So is social media, where you can post news and photos and see their posts as well.
Make it official
Pick dates and times to get together with friends, and mark them on your calendar. Formalizing your plans emphasizes their importance, and you’ll wind up doing more than if you wait “till the time is right.”
Is one of your BFFs a four-legged friend? That’s a relationship you definitely want to maintain, and you can if you move to a pet-friendly senior community such as Veranda of Pensacola. (And, let’s face it, walking your dogs together is another great way to enjoy time with friends or make new ones. Fido can make a new friend, too.)
Making new friends in your new community
It can feel daunting to be the new kid on the block, but there are so many easy and comfortable ways to make new friends in a senior community. The key is to participate. You’re here to enjoy your retirement. And with all the scheduled activities and amenities available, you’re sure to meet up with like-minded residents. All you have to do is step out the door.
Remember that assisted living is designed to help you maintain maximum independence, so there are plenty of ways to fill your days – and make new friends along the way.
You can join a hobby group, a coffee klatch, or the morning walkers. You can attend educational and entertainment events as well as all the happenings that are scheduled just for fun. Every one of them is another chance to meet a new friend. And you needn’t wait to be invited -- can start your own group.
Since so many seniors are volunteer-minded, recruit your new neighbors to help support a local non-profit. You can head out together to join the organization’s walkathon or pack groceries at the food bank. Or you can take on a project within your senior community to help low-income families, the homeless, or soldiers deployed overseas. Working for a common cause is a great way to strike up friendships.
Friends await at Veranda of Pensacola
It can take time to settle in and get in tune with the rhythms of your new home and community. Keeping long-time friends close by and making new acquaintances will smooth your transition and make you wonder why you ever hesitated to make the move. Especially if you choose Veranda of Pensacola. Why not contact us to learn more?