Independent Living Resources

You're Never Too Old to Make New Friends

We all need friends to maintain our health and happiness. The older you get, the harder it may seem to make friends, especially when old friends have moved or are in different life stages. Making new friends when you’re a senior is possible, but you’ll have to put in the effort. Try these steps:

1. Look Local

Have you chatted with your neighbor before but never gotten together? It may be the time to ask her out to lunch to get to know each other better. The same goes for the man you see at the coffee shop all the time. If you’re both there, you might as well get a cup together!

2. Defy Age

You don’t have to be the same age to be friends. If you have something in common with someone years younger than you, explore it. It may surprise you how much age doesn’t matter if you enjoy the same activities.

3. Focus on Your Interests

Do you love to read? Join a book club. Got a knack for painting? Take an art class. Obviously, the people who join the class or club share your interests. That’s something to bring up to start a conversation—and then see where it takes you!

4. Go Back to School

You’re never too old to continue your education and take a class at a local community college. Some colleges and universities even offer special classes and programs for seniors. A class discussion could lead to a chat over coffee later that night.

5. Volunteer

There’s a lot to be said about people who enjoy supporting the same cause. Volunteering can not only make you feel good about helping in the community but it can also be a great place to meet people.

6. Just Ask

If there’s someone you want to be friends with, just ask them if they want to get together. Keep your phone handy and have them put their number in it so you can call or text them later about meeting up

7. Reach out to Old Friends

You may have lost contact with your coworkers after you retired, or you stopped seeing a married friend after the death of your spouse.It’s not too late to send them a message and ask to get together.

8. Say Yes

If you’re interested in making new friends, say yes when someone asks you to do something. You never know what may become of a lunch or 30-minute walk. Taking a short time out of your day to meet up with a potential friend is an investment in a long-term friendship.

9. Join a Gym

There’s nothing like bonding over how much you love (or hate) exercising while doing it. Some gyms have classes specifically for older adults that are lower impact and at convenient times for retirees.Reprinted with permission from LifeCare Services