Rebuilding Your Social Circle Later in Life

Rebuilding Your Social Circle Later in Life

Maintaining a close circle of friends can have a positive impact on well-being, especially as you grow older. From encouraging you to make better health choices to supporting you on difficult days, friends play a role in determining how long and how well we live.

One challenge older adults face, however, is how to maintain a social circle during or after retirement. Friends might move away to live closer to their adult children and grandchildren. Work relationships may fizzle after retirement. Late-life divorce, a growing trend, can cause a senior to be alone.

The Value of Friendships
Research from the Blue Zones shows that when older adults have close friends, they are more likely to avoid some of the dangers associated with isolation. Those include diabetes, obesity, depression, and even early mortality.

Having friends helps you stay engaged with life and the world around you. From attending local events to exercising and volunteering, social networks give mental and physical well-being a boost. If you are an older adult who is struggling to make new friends during retirement, we have some ideas you might find helpful.

Making New Friends During Retirement

Take a class. Tackling a new hobby gives your brain a healthy workout. It also provides you with an opportunity to meet new people. Think about something you’ve always wanted to learn, and then find a place that offers classes. Community centers, libraries, parks, art museums, and community colleges usually offer inexpensive classes and programs. Be sure to check out our calendar on pages 10-11.

Volunteer work. Another great way to meet like-minded people is by volunteering. Choose an organization or cause you believe in and volunteer to help. You’ll likely find you enjoy the opportunity to share your time and talent. For volunteer opportunities at VSC check out page 19.

Find a fitness group. Friends can influence how well you live. So, connecting with a group of fitness-conscious individuals will likely help you improve your overall well-being. Many health clubs offer senior discounts. Be sure to check out the aquatics program at the high school and the VSC classes on page 13.

Join a club. Shared interests and hobbies can also help friendships grow. If you are a gardener, for example, find a local garden club you can join. Think about your favorite pastimes and explore the clubs available in your area. If you have an idea you’d like to see at VSC contact Alasa Wiest; we love new ideas!!