Staying Connected and Making New Friends
Having a close circle of trusted friends makes life more enjoyable at every age. As we age, those relationships impact our mental and physical well-being even more. “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need — crucial to both well-being and survival,” according to Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Brigham Young University. Approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are estimated to be suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study.
As we go through different seasons of life, our social networks change. Seniors frequently encounter relocation or the loss of close friends and longtime neighbors. It can all add up to a senior feeling lonely and isolated.
Here are a few ideas for expanding your social network during your senior years:
- Volunteer: Signing up for a volunteer project allows you to connect with people of all ages. Intergenerational friendships can result from volunteering your time with a youth-related cause.
- Take a Class: Mastering a new hobby or skill helps protect your cognitive health. If you accomplish that by taking a class, you can also enjoy the added benefit of meeting new people. Think about those things you’ve always been interested in exploring but never had time to do when you were working or raising a family. Learning a musical instrument, taking a painting or drawing class, or studying a foreign language are a few examples.
- Physical activity: Fitness clubs and senior centers often have activities and events designed exclusively for older members. For example, taking an aquatic class for seniors can help manage the pain of arthritis while allowing you to meet new people. Tai chi, chair yoga, and walking groups are others to explore.
- Join a club: Connecting with other seniors who share your passion for a hobby can also lead to new friendships. Your local library or area agency on aging might be able to help you find a club or organization dedicated to your favorite pastime.
Discover a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities at The Village at Sugar Land. Our residents eagerly anticipate daily activities, enjoying the company of peers. With transportation for field trips, we invite you to explore our community. Contact us at [email protected] or call 281-729-8800 for a lunch tour and feel relaxed in an activity participation with your loved one.