As we age, our social circles tend to shrink. This can be a difficult adjustment for many people, especially those who have spent their whole lives surrounded by close friends and family.
With aging can come many changes that leave individuals without their closest companions, leading to feelings of isolation in both physical and mental realms. If you’re over the age of 60 and looking to build new relationships, there are plenty of ways to make it happen. Let’s explore the importance of a strong social network in later years as well as several ideas for forming new friendships after 60.
Effects of Loneliness for the Elderly
Loneliness among seniors is a common, yet often overlooked health concern. The elderly are especially vulnerable to loneliness because they have fewer opportunities for social contact than younger adults due to work, childcare and transportation issues. In fact, the AARP estimates that about one-third of people over age 45 experiences the feeling of loneliness.
Loneliness can lead to a cascade of detrimental health effects, from increased risk of mortality to depression and cognitive decline. This is especially concerning in the context of an aging population for which loneliness could become a major risk factor for many diseases associated with longevity.
In considering these issues surrounding loneliness, it is vital to recognize its prevalence among seniors and address it through concrete measures such as social network interventions, medical screening processes consisting of questions about social well-being, and active promotion of connectedness within any particular community.
Ways to Make Friends After 60
Volunteer in the Community
One of the best ways to meet new people is by volunteering your time at a local organization or charity. Doing so allows you to give back while also making connections with other people in your community who share similar interests and values as you do. You can find volunteer opportunities near you through sites like VolunteerMatch or Idealist.org.
Consider meeting new folks by attending a group exercise class at a local YMCA, gym, or other organization. Doing so may offer plenty of health-related benefits – both physical and emotional – while also giving you an opportunity to connect with people who are likely in a similar life stage as yourself. Popular classes often include water aerobics, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and more; each of these can help tone your muscles, increase flexibility and vitality, improve morale, and create a sense of community. Regardless of how fit or inflexible you feel right now, there’s sure to be a class that suits your abilities – so why not make some friends along the way?
Reach Out to Old Friends
As we age, our social networks may become stagnant. However, reconnecting with our long-lost acquaintances can be a fun and easy way to expand our friend circle as we enter our senior years. After all, these are people who have common memories and interests from times gone by, which can easily be reignited and further built upon. Simply making an effort to reach out and attend reunions can open many doors to fresh new friendships and experiences. If you’re looking for new friends after age 60, consider reinvigorating your existing social network first.
Seek Out Local Events
Look around your city for special events that cater to older adults, such as concerts in the park, game nights at a local coffee shop, or movie screenings at an art gallery. Many cities have dedicated organizations that host events specifically designed for seniors that offer an opportunity for socializing and networking with others your age. You can usually find these events listed on your city’s website or through local newspapers and magazines.
Join a Club or Group
Joining a club or group is another great way to meet new people after 60. There are many different types of clubs and groups out there – from book clubs and knitting circles to hiking groups and bridge leagues – that provide plenty of opportunities for socializing with like-minded individuals in your area. Check out Meetup, Facebook, or an alternative platform and see what kind of groups are available near you.
Get Involved in a Religious Organization
If you’re looking to create new relationships while deepening or establishing your faith, joining, or attending a church or other religious organization can be just what you need. Establishing strong ties with the congregation can also provide a support system for times of difficulty, providing not only companionship but helpful resources as needed. By engaging in regularly held services and activities, attendance at church can offer benefits that help sustain well-being during life’s journey.
Making new friends after 60 doesn’t have to feel impossible—it just takes some effort. From volunteering your time at a local organization or charity, seeking out local events geared towards seniors, or joining a club or group that caters to your interests, there are many ways for people over 60 to help foster meaningful connections with others their age. With enough determination and enthusiasm, building relationships after 60 can be both rewarding and enjoyable.
If you’re working to make new friends and still struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness, companion care can provide a great alternative way to fill the gap. Elderly HomeCare offers a host of senior home care services to older adults who need support with companionship, daily tasks, non-medical healthcare, and other needs.
Contact our team of caregivers at (847) 796-6685 to inquire about our companion care services or to book a free in-home evaluation.