Many people associate aging with physical health complications, like an aching back, arthritis pains, or cognitive decline. While considering the possible bodily ailments older folk may encounter is essential, it’s also crucial that seniors tend to their mental and emotional states.
As you age, you may experience feelings of loneliness, depression, or anxiety, all of which can wreak havoc on your overall wellbeing. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to mitigate unpleasant feelings. One tried-and-true cure-all for social isolation is mingling with other seniors in your area. However, despite bustling elderly communities nationwide, some senior citizens find it difficult to make friends, causing them to miss out on meaningful, beneficial relationships.
If you’re finding it challenging to engage with other elders in your area, read on for six sure-fire tips to making and keeping genuine friendships.
Stay connected via cell phone
In a world ripe with technology, staying connected is easier than ever. However, for seniors intimidated by high-tech computers and complex cell phones, using devices can feel more like a burden than a helping hand. Luckily, senior-friendly phones like those from Lively Direct offer accessibility features and simple functions, allowing even the most technophobic people to reap the benefits of the digital age.
Cell phones allow seniors to keep tabs on friends and connect virtually without leaving the comfort of their home. Additionally, you can download various social media apps allowing you to connect with like-minded people locally or globally.
Befriend your neighbors
An excellent way to build meaningful relationships as an older adult is getting to know your neighbors. Not only is setting aside time to greet members of your community an excellent way to make friends, but it’s also a great way to get involved in local groups and activities. Take a stroll down your cul de sac and spark small talk with those around you for long-lasting friendships.
For seniors looking to get involved in their local community while making friends, volunteering can be a valuable, worthwhile venture. There are plenty of senior-friendly sites, from food banks to homeless shelters to youth mentoring programs that enable you to build relationships while helping your community.
Ask open-ended questions
A simple—yet effective—way to connect with like-minded people on a deeper level is to ask open-ended non-generic questions. Although talking about yourself is necessary when getting to know someone, it’s vital to take a genuine interest in the person you’re befriending. Ask people about their childhoods, learn about their culture, or gain insight into their pet peeves. Once you’ve come to know them on a deeper level, you can begin to dive into more personal subjects and build a lasting friendship.
Join a club
There are endless groups and clubs available for seniors to enjoy and meet a wide variety of people. Between book clubs, fitness courses, outdoor organizations, and gaming groups, the possibilities are endless for elderly folk looking to socialize while learning new hobbies.
While making friends as a senior citizen may seem intimidating, there are plenty of exciting avenues you can take to developing friendships. Between utilizing technology, volunteering, joining clubs, and community building, your social life will thrive.