It’s a common occurrence for Seniors to find themselves with a completely new set of friends as they age. Maybe some childhood friends keep up with each other by phone or email. However, more often than not, due to retirements, deaths of friends and family as they become older, and moves into retirement homes, most Seniors find themselves starting over in the friend department at some point. This can be challenging! After retirement, older adults have less “opportunities” to mingle with others at work or while networking. They also might become less mobile as they retire, and be less prone to venture out to make friends. Sometimes, it can take some creative problem solving to begin finding new friends and cultivating meaningful relationships even as you reach your twilight years.

Here are some tips to beginning and navigating new friendships as you age:

1. Give more than you take

    • There is nothing quite like a generous spirit. Start your new friendships by being the first to offer to bring cookies, the first to offer to grab the door, or even the first person to reach out in the first place!

2. Ask questions

    • Everyone loves to talk about themselves! Ask your new acquaintance how they came to live where they live, what their family is like, the hobbies they enjoy, and any other questions that come from your conversations!

3. Be the friend you want to have

    • Try to ask yourself, “what qualities do I enjoy in a friend?” These qualities are usually important to like-minded people as well. Seek to cultivate in yourself those things you look for in others as well!

4. Try a new hobby

    • Some of the reason why it can be more difficult to find new friends as you age is because of the lack of socialization present after retirement. Pick up knitting, start a new book, begin golfing, or just have a few friends over to craft or chat! This can be a great way to start your own new group.

5. Volunteer

    • Is there a cause you are passionate about? Join an organization or nonprofit as a part-time volunteer and get to know those you work with. This can be a great way to meet people with similar interests.

6. Visit a local hangout

    • Coffee shops and diners can be great places to meet other regulars who are looking for connections. Try enjoying a weekly cup of coffee and chatting with other patrons who happen to be in the shop.

No matter what you chose to do to begin making new relationships as you enter your twilight years, find an activity you enjoy, and find others that enjoy the same activity! Friendship is all about generosity and loyalty, so making friends now can be just as natural as it was when you were younger. You are worth getting to know, and there are endless opportunities for connection in your community, you just have to take the leap!

Sources:

5 Tips for Making New Friends After Retirement

https://www.aarp.org/relationships/friends/info-04-2011/never-too-old-for-friends.html

https://seniors.lovetoknow.com/senior-life/good-places-seniors-meet-people

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