Moving into a retirement community can make you feel like you’re back in middle school, trying to find somewhere to sit at lunch on the first day. Perhaps you’ve left the home you lived in for decades, full of memories, with close friends nearby. Or maybe you’ve moved from another retirement community that just wasn’t a good fit, and you’re hoping that this will be the place you can make connections.
Making new friends always takes some time no matter what stage of life you’re in, but we’ve got some suggestions for making it a little easier. Try out one or all of these tips, and before you know it, you’ll feel right at home!
Join In the Activities
Check out the activity schedule each week and find a few things that interest you. Then show up and join in the fun! You’ll end up meeting people with similar interests, and it’s always easier to chat while you’re working on a project or enjoying a program.
Don’t Play it Safe
Step outside of your comfort zone and let go of any limiting beliefs about yourself. Maybe you think you’re past the age of making new friends, or that you’re not good at talking to people you don’t know. Just remember that you have a lot to offer! Take it one step at a time — ask someone how their day is going, or where they grew up. If the conversation doesn’t flow immediately, don’t worry. Keep reaching out, and eventually you’re sure to create a great group of friends.
Socialize at meal times
The next time you go to lunch or dinner, approach a table and ask if you can join them. People will be happy to say yes! Or, ask your next-door neighbor or someone you met at a previous activity if they’d like to join you for dinner. Meals are a great way to make strong connections.
Seek out other new residents
Chances are, you’re not the only new kid on the block! Find out who else has just moved in, and stop by their place to say hello. Make a plan to take a walk around the community or to join in the next scheduled activity together. Having being new in common will help both of you feel more comfortable.
Choose a community that cares
Making new friends takes time, but it’s a lot easier when you choose a retirement community where the residents and staff all love being there. When you’re visiting communities, be sure to notice how everyone interacts with each other. Do the staff go out of their way to make everyone feel included? Do residents seem to enjoy being around each other?
MHR goes out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome! Read this testimonial from the daughter of one of our newest residents about how MHR staff made her mother feel at home right away.
If you’re looking for a retirement community where you’ll make strong friendships and connections, consider Mars Hill. Contact us, and we’ll be happy to schedule a tour of our community, so you can see all we have to offer!