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3 Simple Ways to Build Friendships in Senior Living

April 8, 2022

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When we think about a healthy lifestyle, we often imagine plenty of physical activity, mental wellness and maintaining a balanced diet. While this is true, it’s not the whole picture. Another critical aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle is socialization. 

From reducing feelings of anxiety, promoting self-esteem, and providing a sense of purpose to boosting cognitive health and even encouraging you to stay more physically active, building friendships and connecting with others contributes to a healthy lifestyle in so many ways. 

Of course, as we age, it can become more challenging to stay socially active in our daily lives. Leaving the workforce, moving, or health concerns can impact a person’s ability to build and maintain relationships. The good news is that senior living could be the answer!

Even though a senior living community can provide you with the socialization opportunities you want and need, it can still be nerve-wracking to think about forming a new circle of friends. 

Our team at Franciscan Ministries understands that this process can be intimidating for some, so we are sharing a few tips that can help you adjust to your new community and form meaningful connections with fellow residents.

Rely on Past Experiences

We have all gone through transitions at some point in life. Whether you moved with your family as a child and had to transfer schools or made a career change as an adult, you have had to adapt to a new environment or circumstances. With these changes came the need for you to form new connections and build new relationships.

It may help ease your transition into your new senior living community to think about it like any other move you have made in your life. No matter what the circumstances are, it all comes down to the same things: building friendships and connecting with others. 

Think back to all the big moves you have made in your life. Ask yourself how you made friends and built meaningful connections with the people around you. If you approach this transition with the same mindset, you can draw from these past experiences and form your circle of friends, just like you did then.

Take Advantage of Community Activities

It’s harder to connect with others if you spend all of your time alone in your living space or apartment. Luckily, senior living communities, like the ones managed by Franciscan Ministries, make building friendships easy by offering a wide variety of activities and amenities for residents to enjoy.

One of the best ways to meet other residents and form your circle of friends is to participate in the activities and events that interest you. For example, if you’re an avid book reader, see if the community offers a book club – if not, start one! 

By doing so, not only will you get to meet your neighbors, but you will also get to meet individuals who share similar interests with you. If you meet someone with a common interest, that could be a solid foundation for a lasting friendship. View Franciscan Communities to see what each of them has to offer!

Hang Out in Common Areas

Even if you are not participating in an activity, you shouldn’t spend all your time in your apartment. Instead, choose to hang out in your senior living community’s common areas – even if you are simply reading a book or using a tablet.

You never know who you might meet, but your chances of building friendships are higher if you spend your free time in common areas rather than by yourself.

Everyone socializes and forms connections in different ways, so it is important to be patient with yourself. Take your time, and do not get discouraged if it takes a little longer to form your circle of friends in your new community.

Senior living is great for individuals who want to live in a community setting where socialization and connection are a part of daily life. To learn more about what we have to offer at Franciscan Communities, we invite you to visit our website or contact our team today!