In every community there are groups and projects that give people, particularly older adults, avenues to make new friends and keep loneliness at bay.
When living your later years, it’s easy to think that your social circle can’t get any bigger. As retirement gets underway and friends pass away, sadly an empty diary can increasingly become a reality. Or perhaps you simply haven’t felt like getting out much over the past few years, which has stopped you from meeting new people.
Friendship isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ that fills our days with fun and laughter; it plays a part in our physical health. Loneliness has been linked to several health problems including high blood pressure, obesity and depression. Companionship is crucial to wellbeing, particularly in old age, so ageing adults have a lot to gain from spending time with others.
Some elderly people may have lost confidence when it comes to making new friends. But there’s a whole community of people in the same position, which over the years has birthed various initiatives to give elderly people a chance to socialise.
How do I find new people to socialise with?
Whatever your preferences and favourite pastimes, there are sociable activities to get involved with, which will get you meeting new people. Here are some ideas:
- Groups for older people: There are activities in most communities, set up with the main purpose to engage elderly people. Charities such as Age UK and certain community groups hold social activities such as lunch clubs and tea dances for those that want to chat with others and have some fun. For more practical elderly people, Age UK’s ‘Men in Sheds’ exists in communities across the country: an environment that allows members do activities like woodwork, alongside some good conversation and a cup of tea.
- Hobbies groups: Whether your passions lie in arts and crafts, reading or singing, there could be a group nearby where you can apply these pursuits. Immediately you will be in the presence of likeminded people, so it’s only natural for friendships to develop.
- Join an elderly exercise class: Various community groups and leisure centres offer classes dedicated specifically to ageing adults who want to get fit. From Pilates to chair-based exercises, people of all abilities will find something they enjoy.
- Get volunteering: There are a range of organisations that would benefit from an extra pair of hands. It’s not just charity shops and libraries that appreciate help; have a search for any community projects taking place that you can get involved with. Volunteering can open up your social life to a whole new network of kind-hearted people, who want to support the community just like you.
Old age can and should be a positive time, and for many that means keeping your social life busy. Often it requires a conscious effort to get out there and see what’s on offer; and it’s totally worth it! By getting involved with community activities, friendships are likely to follow, expanding your social circle with fellow local people.
Our companionship care helps give clients a fulfilled social life.