You never outgrow the need for friends.
Many new residents of retirement communities express delight at the ready-made friends they find there. It’s easy – almost automatic – to make pals in your building, in exercise classes, at learning events and in the cafe and dining room.
Once getting settled into a new routine and a new way of life, people find their friendship circle has readily expanded. All you have to do is leave your apartment, and you’re suddenly running into people at the mailbox, on the walking trails, at the gym. And before you know it, they’re inviting you over for happy hour and inviting you to join them for dinner. New friends just seem to multiply in retirement communities.
That’s no reason to lose touch with old friends and neighbors. Staying connected just requires a little effort. Here are a few ways for seniors (and really, anyone) to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones. After all, Sunday, Aug. 7 is National Friendship Day.
- Schedule coffees, lunches, happy hours. Be proactive in keeping up with friends who live “off campus.”
- Use your phone. If you no longer live close enough for in-person visits, your phone can be a lifeline. Call, text or email. It doesn’t take much time to say or type: “Thinking of you.”
- Volunteer in the community. It’s a great way to meet people and do good at the same time. Retirement communities such as Generations often post volunteer opportunities for residents to sign up for.
- Take up a new hobby or sport. Retirement community residents often find an array of classes and opportunities available just outside their door. Pilates, meditation, writing, current events lectures – take your pick. Look for ways to expand your mind and move your body. You’ll often find new friends in the process.
- Sign up for events at your retirement community. There are generally loads of events taking place on campus, but there are occasional cultural events (with group discounts!) that happen off campus. If enough people sign up, a bus can even take you to and pick you up from the symphony, opera or theater.
- Organize a book club. There’s lots more time for reading in retirement. And having book discussions is another way to form a community within a community.
- Get (more) involved in a faith community. Generations at Shalom Park offers opportunities to explore the Jewish faith right here on campus.Generations will also have a non-denominational-style room designed for personal worship.
Generations has a long list of amenities that make it desirable. But the friends that await are an intangible not listed among community features. Yet, they are one of the main reasons to consider our community. The people who have reserved their spots are a friendly lot – eager to be the first to call Generations “home.” We hope you’ll consider joining their ranks.