Making New Friends in Assisted Living
If a senior is thinking of moving to Assisted Living community, the prospect of meeting a whole bunch of new people may excite and/or intimidate. Through our active senior living programs, fun outings, and on-site events, making new friends at Regency Retirement Village of Tuscaloosa will be a snap!
Life Coach Celes Chua said there are different types of friendships enjoyed over the course of a lifetime, many of them fading once the context is removed, i.e., when one graduates school or leaves a job. More rare are those pals we are able to talk about anything and everything with.
She said anxiety about meeting new people, also known as shyness, is mostly the imagination being overactive. “If you think about it, about 99% of people are too busy being concerned over the exact same things about themselves to pay attention to you.
To form fast friendships, Chua recommends getting involved in activities that present opportunities to meet new people and become friends. Among the activities in Assisted Living communities are crafts classes, joint exercise, entertainers, visits by outside groups such as schoolchildren, church services, or general get-togethers. We also enjoy scheduled outings to museums, shops and restaurants.
Volunteering is another great way to help out, spreading kindness and warmth.
She said the first step is a simple matter of sharing something about yourself, then giving the other party a chance to share something in return. Sometimes situations provide chances to break the ice like discussing sports during football season or traditions during the holidays.
It’s important to be open-minded and not judge others who might become great friends if given the opportunity. Having friends with different interests or backgrounds can lead to self-discovery and learning about new things.
“Show warmth, love and respect toward everyone you meet,” Chua said. “Do things because you want to, not because you need to. Care for other people like you would to yourself. If you approach others with authenticity, you will attract people who want to connect genuinely.”
Friendship is about giving, not just having a support system for oneself. “A friendship is a supportive union between two people. Be there for your friends where you can,” she said.
It important to make an effort to stay in touch, even if circumstances change. If someone steps up to be your friend on day one at Regency, don’t ignore them once you’ve settled in and made other friends you may like better or have more in common with.
With a little effort and giving back to others, a move to Assisted Living can be the start of an exciting, fun new stage in life!