7 Ways to Make Friends as a Senior Citizen
After decades of living life, we expect seniors to have some pretty stable friendships. However, that isn't always true. As life goes on, some friends drift apart, some colleagues pass away, and some classmates shift continents. As a result, seniors may often feel friendless and lonely, even if they have a big, loving family! Luckily, there are some ways to make friends as a senior citizen.
Senior citizens can make friends in a number of ways, such as volunteering for community services, visiting senior citizens foundations, joining community centers, and so much more!
Since seniors tend not to have an active life in their later years, it can be hard for them to find new friends. However, having friends is pretty important for keeping up their spirits during the last days of their life. So, let’s dive into how you can make friends as a senior citizen.
Seniors can successfully make friends through the following ways:
1. Volunteering for Community Services
Like many people, seniors may also find it easier to bond with others when they're doing group activities. Volunteering for services at local events is a great way for seniors to spend their free time. Since senior volunteers aren’t assigned any high-pressure tasks, they can find a lot of free time to have fun and enjoy themselves. Hence, volunteering is the perfect opportunity to meet new acquaintances and eventually find new friends!
2. Visiting Senior Citizens' Foundations
Senior citizens’ foundations are like fraternity clubs for the elderly. These foundations take in seniors who have lost or been abandoned by their families. These places also arrange tons of events to raise awareness on issues surrounding seniors, events that interest seniors and host special events for holiday seasons.
Becoming a part of such organizations can bring amazing opportunities for seniors to find friends. They can stroll in on a random Sunday and ask someone for a game of Scrabble. Or they can attend conferences and meet seniors they can click with!
Senior citizens’ foundations have a lot to offer to seniors with different types of interests. So, if you’re looking to find friends with similar interests, these foundations are a great place to start your search!
3. Hanging Out at Local Spots
A local cafe, bookstore, or park might be great places to find new people to be friends with too! Some seniors find it difficult to actively comb through crowds of people and engage in casual chitchat. In that case, volunteering or participating in community events can be a real drag.
So instead of wasting your energy there, you can make it a habit to visit local hangout spots. As you start noticing other regular customers, slowly work up the courage to talk to them and make new friends!
4. Joining Community Centers
Community centers have gyms, sports halls, pools, libraries, parks, and offices for local councils and unions. These are also places where you can find many sorts of people from your local community.
At a community center, seniors can find potential friends that live close to them. Since you live in the same community, you can befriend people that you can meet often. Whether you want to be friends with other seniors or people younger than you, a local community center could be quite resourceful!
5. Taking Part at Hobby Clubs
Another fun way to get in touch with new people is by connecting through common interests. Since seniors usually have a lot of free time at hand, this would be like killing two birds with one stone. You’ll find a new hobby and make some new friends while you’re at it!
We recommend finding some cool hobby clubs nearby. Some may be open to all age groups, while others may be exclusively for seniors. If you’re lucky, you may find some new friends at a culinary arts class or perhaps at a story-writing workshop!
6. Joining Digital Networks
Many things have changed with time, and that includes how we search for friends. There was a time when pen friends were the norm, then came cellphones, and now, we have a range of social networking apps on our phones and laptops.
If you’re looking to make new friends, get more familiar with technology. One way to do so is by using the Ohana app, which is made specifically for seniors. Remember, it's important for seniors to have friendships, whether they explore them online or in person.
7. Becoming a Part of Alumni Associations
If you feel like it's too much of a burden to go find new friends given your old age, don’t worry! You can try reconnecting with some old ones instead. That's what alumni associations are for!
From preschool to college to retirement, senior citizens have been part of many different institutions. However, once you leave, you can lose touch with even your closest friends. Luckily, seniors can get to relive their old times by connecting with their alumni members from different places!
Before we go, we’ll leave you with some simple tips on how to make new friends:
- Keep it simple. As a senior, you may want your friendships to be simple. They shouldn't be too demanding, especially when it comes to one’s health and energy!
- Be easygoing. It's okay to come across as a bit weird or talkative. If you’re trying to make new friends, try not to be too stiff or closeted during the first few meetings.
- Practice Caution. Some people may want to take advantage of friendly seniors. They may have eyes on your money or might have some other ulterior motive behind being friends. Seniors should keep an eye out for red flags, and back off from a conversation wherever they spot them!