Friendships are important no matter what your age. Not only can they add joy and enrich your life, they are also good for both your physical and emotional health.
Research has documented that those with strong relationships have a reduced risk of depression, high blood pressure and may even live longer. And the benefits don’t stop there. Consider these additional advantages that friendships provide:
Help in preventing loneliness
Increasing your sense of belonging and purpose
Boosting your happiness
Reducing your stress
Improving your self-confidence and self-worth
Helping you through the harder times of life
Providing a good influence and encouragement
Source: Mayo Clinic
Even though we know how beneficial having friends can be, we may find ourselves lacking in relationships as we grow older. We might also discover that it is not as easy as it once was to make new friends.
But at a time when they become even more important, age can actually adversely influence our ability to create new relationships. The following are a few changes in life that can make it more difficult:
When you’re working or have children in school, you may find there are more opportunities to meet new people and form friendships naturally.
You may have lost a few friendships along the way because you were busy with work, raising children or other family responsibilities. Now you have the time but might not have the friends.
As we grow older, it might not be as easy to go to the different activities or social events that you always enjoyed. Transportation can also become an obstacle.
If your health affects your mobility or if you live alone or in an area where there aren’t as many people, it can be easier to become isolated.
If you’re finding yourself without as many friendships as you would like or if you’d like to expand your social network, there are steps you can take. Consider these 5 suggestions to help you meet more people and increase the chances of discovering future friends:
It does require some effort on your part to make friends but it first takes a commitment that you will make this a priority. Motivate yourself by understanding how important these relationships can be for your health.
And don’t forget how much more enjoyable life is when you have people in your life to share it with. Once you’re determined, begin looking for ways you can make it happen.
You’ll need to go to where the people are. Take a look in your neighborhood or community and explore the places that will allow you to meet others.
Not everyone you come across will become a friend, of course, but you will soon find those who you have something in common with or share similar interests. Look for organizations, social events or other activities that naturally draw lots of people.
Think about your hobbies or areas of interests and consider what opportunities there may be to meet others who get together and share in similar activities.
You may want to consider joining a class, sport or volunteering for a special organization so that you can not only enjoy yourself but also have the chance to meet others. And don’t forget old friendships or acquaintances you once shared pastimes with but have now lost touch.
In today’s virtual world, there are no geographic boundaries. You can be friends with those who live across the country or a continent. There are limitless opportunities to expand your friendships through social media or by joining a virtual group.
Any passion or hobby likely has an on-line presence. Even though we typically believe that face-to-face is best, great friendships can still be formed in a digital world.
We often make many friends over the years but at times we may need to improve the friendship that we offer in return. It’s not uncommon to let friendships slide as we get busy or other responsibilities get in the way.
Unintentionally, we may make an effort to take care of our friendships only when we find the time. It’s important to value these relationships and make sure they are recognized. Schedule time together.
If you or your parents are lonely or feeling more isolated and would like to increase the number of meaningful relationships, an assisted living community could be the perfect answer.
You’ll find they provide great opportunities all in one place. Not only are there lots of people who have similar life experiences, you’ll discover several social events and many monthly activities to take part in that will not only be of interest but will also allow a chance to naturally meet others.
An assisted living community can be a great choice if you or a parent is beginning to feel lonely or finding it harder to make friends. With the opportunities to stay active, eat healthy, make new friends and have fun, it’s little surprise that quality of life also improves for many residents. And of course, there is help with any needed basic daily activities.
At Ingleside at King Farm Assisted Living, we believe in a whole-person approach and our well-being philosophy ensures everyone is treated with the respect that allows independence and choice. All of our staff members are trained to compassionately engage with our residents, assisting them when needed and supporting them to age well always.
If your family is considering assisted living, we invite you to download our free resource, Just the Facts: Your Guide to Assisted Living.
Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.