Transitioning to an assisted living community in many ways increases independence and freedom, including giving you the time to explore a variety of interests, slow down and enjoy your meals (without all the cooking and cleaning), and make new friends. While the thought of “starting over” with friends and neighbors can seem daunting at first, assisted living communities offer plenty of built-in opportunities to help people make some of the most enriching connections of their lives.
Making the change to assisted living? Here are some ways to get started with making new friends.
For many people, taking that first step toward making friends can be the last thing on their mind after going through the stress of a move. However, acting quickly is key to starting off with good social habits that will keep you connected. If you keep to yourself for your first several days or weeks, it will be even harder to leave your room and mix later.
Take the time to smile and greet people in the hallways, even if you’re feeling tired or uncomfortable. Chances are they may be feeling the same way, too! Be sure to attend any and all welcome events offered by the community as well, and make meal time a social event. Nervous about entering the dining hall by yourself? Touch base with other residents or staff before a meal begins so you can arrange to sit with a friendly face.
Dive in to Activities You Enjoy
One of the most celebrated benefits of an assisted living community is having access to a full, vibrant activity calendar right on site. Whether you enjoy arts and crafts, books, exercise, games, or all of the above, you will find many potential friends when you meet over shared interests. If you’re not sure where to get involved, call upon the expertise of the director of activities. After taking some time to get to know you, they should be able to recommend a good fit.
Find Other New People
One of the most effective ways to combat your own loneliness is to help remove the loneliness of others. Pay attention to who the other recent move-ins are and reach out to them. By forming a foundation together, you will not only grow in your friendship, but create a safe space to welcome future newcomers as well.
Close friendships don’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort and a positive attitude, you will create opportunities for conversation and connection. Before long, you will have a hard time imagining how you ever made it so long without your new treasured friends.
Find out more about living arrangements, atmosphere, and activities at Good Shepherd. Learn More