Making and keeping friends as an adult can take a lot of effort. Everyone has busy lives, and you might not be a huge fan of spending all your time in social situations.
If you already find it difficult to stay connected to other people as an adult, it can become even harder as you get older.
Although you might be happy with your own company a lot of the time, staying social and connected to others is good for your health and happiness.
Whether you’re thinking about how to stay social as you age or considering how to help your older relatives, there are lots of ways to ensure you have others to spend time with.
Make Use of the Internet
In the 21st century, there’s no need to leave your home to be social with others. Aside from talking on the phone with people you know, you also have the internet to use. You can use it to find new friends and to speaking to both friends and relatives.
You have forums, video chat, internet phone calls, and other online methods for making friends and keeping in touch. The internet allows you to be social whenever you want, with people all over the world, without having to leave home – but also when you’re out and about.
Stay in Work or Business
Reaching retirement age doesn’t have to mean you stop working completely. Many retirees use their new free time to start a business, while others decide to stay in work part-time or even full-time.
Working helps to keep you busy, which is a great reason to keep going for many people. When you work, you’ll have the opportunity to socialize with colleagues, customers and various others.
If you do decide to retire, you might prefer to take the opportunity to start a business. It can be a great way to meet new people but be in charge of your time at the same time.
Choose a Vibrant Community
Where you live can make a big difference to how you stay social. Living within a community where there’s plenty going on and lots of people to meet up with can help you to avoid isolation.
Many people decide to move after retirement or when they reach a certain age. Your children might leave home or you might be thinking about relocating to a smaller home or quieter neighborhood.
Some people want to make sure they have access to support and social activities like those at Parc Provence. A retirement community or assisted living community can be the best place for many. As well as ensuring there are other people for you to meet and spend time with, older people can get any care or support they might require.
Volunteer Your Time
Not everyone likes the idea of staying in work when they reach retirement age. However, as an alternative, you might want to consider becoming a volunteer.
It can give you a purpose and a way to connect with people, without having to have someone else as your boss. If you decide to volunteer, you can usually give as much or as little of your time as you like.
You could volunteer directly with people, or you could do something else that allows you to work with others but also keep to yourself if you want to. You also get to do a good deed, which can be very fulfilling.
Engage with Family
It’s not always easy to keep in touch with family as you get older. Your relatives have their own lives and can sometimes struggle to find the time to visit or even talk to you.
But it’s easier for everyone to stay in touch and engage with each other if you’re organized and make plans. Firstly, it’s useful to make use of whichever methods of communication everyone finds most convenient.
A weekly phone call might not be the preferred way to stay in touch. Regular short messages through various apps, emailing or perhaps sometimes video calls might be better. And to make sure you see each other in person, you should make plans far in advance.
Join a Club or Society
There are always interesting clubs or societies that you can join that help you to stay active and social. Whatever you like to do, you can probably find other people to do it with.
Even if you can’t find people to meet up with in person, you can find online communities where you can share your passions.
There are all kinds of clubs and societies that you can join, whether you like walking, cycling, reading, playing board games, or anything else. Even if you’re not a particularly social person, just the quiet company of people who enjoy the same things as you can be enjoyable.
Access Community Places
Lots of places within your community can be great for meeting people. For example, you could start with your local library. They can often have events, clubs or social groups that can give you something to do and help you to make friends.
Other places that you might consider exploring include museums, local events or community centers. Getting involved with your local community is a great way to be engaged and to make sure you always have people who care about you. If you become a presence in your community, people will appreciate your contributions.
Learn New Things
Learning something new can be an excellent way to stay social. You can meet new people when you’re learning, and it can help you to socialize with others in a few others ways too.
For example, you might learn to do some kind of craft. You could take lessons with others or join a group that will help you learn.
You might go to events related to what you’re learning or it could even lead you to start a business. Connecting with other learners or people who can teach you new things can help you to engage with others.
Find a New Hobby or Rediscover an Old Hobby
Having hobbies is important if you want to keep your mind and perhaps your body active as you get older. A lot of people pick up new hobbies when they stop working or are working less than they did before.
Others find joy in picking up the hobbies that they used to enjoy but that they gave up for one reason or another. Life can get busy or your hobby can get expensive, so you drop it to concentrate on other things. But as you get older, you might find yourself enjoying these hobbies again and meeting new people through them.
Balance Close Friends and a Wider Social Group
One thing to consider when you’re trying to stay social as you age is how many people you should socialize with. Most adults find that they have a few good friends, rather than a huge social network.
When you’re older, it’s a good idea to make sure that as well as your few good friends, you also have a wider social group. While it’s good to have amazing friends, you don’t want to only rely on a couple of people. If they can’t be there for you, you could end up feeling completely alone.
Traveling is a fantastic way to meet new people. If you’re more outgoing or you want to broaden your horizons, you can make friends all over the world.
Many choose to travel after they retire or even while still working. If you don’t have children to support and you can do what you want with your time, you can fulfill any traveling goals that you might have. Even introverts can enjoy meeting new people on their travels.
Own a Pet
Another way you could meet new people is by owning a pet. Getting a dog, in particular, can help you to get out and about. But just owning a pet also helps you to stay social.
Your pet might not be a person, but it’s still a living thing that you can socialize with. Evidence shows that petting a cat or dog has therapeutic effects, and you can spend time playing with your pet too. Owning a pet means you have to take good care of them, taking them to the vets and other places too.
One of the reasons to have friends as you get older is to have support from other people. But you can’t expect others to support you if you don’t return the favor. If you want to remain socially engaged, you should be willing to be there for other people too.
Whether it’s your friends or people who you know in your community, doing kind things for them when they need help is good for both you and them. If you’re there for others, they might be there for you when you need them.
If you want to stay social as you get older, you have a variety of ways to do it. Remaining socially active is good for your health and will help you avoid the impact of loneliness.