Friends bring us encouragement, support and love. Humans need these essentials to survive and live a fulfilling life at any age. As Ringo Starr says, ‘I get by with a little help from my friends.’ This saying is even truer as we age.
The New York Times recently ran an article titled Loneliness Can Be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote. In this article the author spoke about the importance of friends in later years of life. The article highlights the benefits new and old friendships bring to seniors. Instead of trying to accommodate a high quantity of friends, the article suggests that humans tend to invest in meaningful relationships as they grow older. Span, Paula (2016, December 30). Loneliness Can Be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/health/loneliness-elderly.html?_r=0
Growing older has enough challenges and without friends and family by your side, these challenges can seem terrifying. Social isolation tends to creep in slowly as friendships become harder to maintain. But seniors do not have to face loneliness. There are still opportunities for meeting new friends throughout later years of life.
Here are a few tips to staying social in later years of life:
Social Networks: Seniors no longer have to leave their house to connect with old and new friends. Though it isn’t proven that online connections provide the same benefits as face-to-face contact, social media websites, such as Facebook, make it easy to find friends and stay in touch. This Facebook research study set out to find a correlation between online social interactions and the health status of individuals based on their Facebook activity and interactions.
Volunteer in your community: Find organizations in your local community where you can volunteer. Helping others can not only make you feel good, but it’s an excellent way to meet friends along the way.
Join a club: Look into organizations in your area that may be of interest. Participating in a knitting club or a gardening club is a good way to meet new people who share similar interests. Local churches and senior centers are good starting places to find clubs focused on activities for older adults.
Take a class: Many local colleges offer continuing education courses for adults. Learning something new can be exciting and presents opportunities to learn alongside classmates who have shared interests.
Friendships at any stage of life are important, but seniors benefit greatly from keeping friendships alive in their later years. Allegro welcomes you to download our monthly activity calendar and join us for an upcoming event to meet friends and acquaintances.