“You got to have friends the feeling’s of so strong. You got to have friends to make the day last long.”
– Bette Midler, 1973
Friendships really are the key to a higher quality of life, even if they are not as critical to our survival as necessities like food and water. The path to ending loneliness and bonding with others is marked by putting oneself out of a comfort zone. Especially for those who are shy, this can be easier said than done. Moving from a house where a senior may have lived alone for some period of time into an Assisted Living community full of people can either be exciting and inspire anxiety.
“What if they don’t like me? What if there’s no one I have anything in common with?” might be among the thoughts in our heads in that situation.
In hardly no time, a senior will identify someone who shares his or her own interests. Activities Directors specifically design events to bring neighbors together so they can make friends fast. Inside the building, these activities might include church devotionals, crafts or entertainers who visit. You can get a pretty good sense of someone’s personality after a few games of Bingo. There are also outings to local stores and restaurants, which are always more fun when shared with a buddy.
The first step is to chat and relax with residents at Regency. Start a conversation and you might be surprised how much you have in common with others. Most of the time, people will be warm and welcoming to newcomers – especially if the new arrival displays an engaging personality, is interesting or comes from a fascinating background. Our pasts are rich source material for stories to share, even if we may not feel that our lives are all that spectacular while living them.
If someone moves to an Assisted Living community and finds it difficult to make new pals, the staff and Activity Director can no doubt help facilitate new friendships.
Beyond the walls of Regency, there are ways to meet and bond with new people, including clubs or volunteering to help good causes. The more involved you become at Regency, the more opportunities you’ll have to make new friends.
Church stands as a community of its own, with like-minded people craving spiritual connection to the Lord and one another. Perhaps there are also activities that touch on a hobby or interest. Don’t be afraid to try something you’ve never done before! Using technology like the Internet is another way a senior can stay connected and expand his or her friendships.
Although it can be scary to step outside one’s comfort zone, the benefits of having friends are substantial to our mental and physical wellbeing. There’s no reason for someone moving into a community to feel isolated and lonely in their new home. Although it is an adjustment moving to Assisted Living, new friends are a big part of the appeal and the rewards.