It was a brisk October day when Sandy and her husband moved into their new senior living community. They were just beginning their retirement years but planning ahead was a huge motivation for selling their home and investing into their future. Even though they were still healthy and active, the couple wanted to make sure they found a home that was specially designed to support them throughout their aging years, come what may. But what they didn’t expect was the amazing community of friends they would soon encounter.
Many seniors like the idea of a support system as they age. Senior communities may offer assisted living, supportive care services or nursing home capability as their residents age and require some extra assistance. The idea of remaining independent and active with resources on hand is very attractive. But the added bonus of having a community of neighbors around you as a support system is often overlooked. Imagine living in a home surrounded by neighbors who are also your friends. Setting up visits or creating common interest groups is not difficult when you are all in the same stage of life and living in close proximity. Let’s take a look.
Maintaining friendships is very healthy both mentally and physically. Inspiring each other, challenging each other and sharing stories together adds that spark that keeps life interesting and worth living. This is what is unique about a senior living community is that there are many opportunities that provide the ability to make friends easily. These friends will be there to support you as you go through all of life’s challenges.
Restaurants and Cafés
Senior living communities have the unique aspect of allowing people to connect over meals. Many communities have several restaurant options to choose from with dining layouts that invite social interaction. What better way to make new friends than to chat over a meal, or tell stories while having some drinks? Since you all live near each other, it’s not difficult to set up a “next time” either. Or perhaps sharing a table with other friends may become a daily activity! Retirement offers the ability to have extra time on hand to have good times and enjoy time with friends.
Interest groups. Senior communities tend to have shared interests resulting in the creation of groups – created by seniors, and designed especially for seniors of all stages and abilities. Fitness, photography, travel, game nights – you name it. Or you could start your own group! Whatever your interest, it’s easy to build friends and stay abreast of what is happening in your community when you are actively involved with other community members.
Place of Worship. Your community or a community you are checking out may be faith based or at least have a chapel on site. You may come together for worship, prayer, or fellowship a regularly as you like. Having like minded friends is so important as you have provide each other with encouragement and support.
Classes. Some senior communities offer classes on topics that may interest seniors. They may be just a single session or a regular weekly occurrence. For example, a specialist on a topic that may interest seniors such as preventing fall risk may present valuable information. Or, you may find that aquatic exercise classes are fun and beneficial. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with others during these classes and you might find that you look forward to participating each week. Take advantage of these retirement years and start looking for ways to connect with others. Check out your community’s monthly schedule for classes offered and be sure to try some new activities out! You’ll build friendships and find meaning in encouraging others.
Special events. Find out if your community offers special events every month. It may be a ladies tea, car show, Mexican fiesta, or a holiday event. It can be exciting to look forward to a special day, see which of your friends would like to attend with you or make new friends when you go. Sometimes, family members are even invited. Being around people can be energizing and inspiring especially if there is good food and fun times! Albuquerque offers seniors the unique opportunity to experience 4 distinct seasons, lots of history and culture.
Senior communities can offer so much in terms of remaining socially connected for a life time. You’ll build friends who will be your neighbors and network of support for each other. Just because you are now in retirement doesn’t mean that your life has to be boring or isolated. Find a community that is welcoming and inclusive. One that encourages people to connect and emphasizes the value of remaining socially involved. You’ll find so much more meaning and value in life!