7 ways to maintain friendships in retirement

How to build your social circle in a retirement village

You may already know that it’s so important to stay connected after you move into retirement. Yet for some people, that’s more easily said than done!

If starting new friendships doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll find that when you live in a retirement community, there are many different ways for you to reach out and expand your social circle now that you’ve retired.

There are so many opportunities to make new friends in a retirement village. And that’s good news – there are any number of studies that demonstrate the positive health and wellbeing effects of staying social active as you age.

Here are some of the very easy ways you can get the person-to-person contact you need in your retirement to feel fulfilled, happy and uplifted.

1) Reinvigorate old friendships before starting new ones

As we get older, it can be easy to lose contact with people over the years and fade out of their lives. So if you’re lucky enough to have had fantastic friends in your life, why not reach out to them? They might just be waiting for your invitation!

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Make the effort to organise a regular catch up, even if it’s just a cuppa or a chat over the phone. Find what brings you both joy and fill your days with more of that.

You might want to get out of the house and explore different cafés, take the dogs for a walk together, or have a monthly ‘date day’ to somewhere new. Having a commitment to a friend will also ensure you make it happen. You’ll have someone who is relying on you and vice versa.

2) Meet people with similar interests by joining a group

Joining a group can help you take that first step into your community and enjoy a whole host of activities, special interests, meetings and events.

What's it REALLY like to live in a retirement village?

Meeting regularly to do an activity you enjoy will give you a real boost and something to look forward to. Start by looking for common interest groups; or if you’re feeling adventurous, seek out groups that are a little outside your comfort zone such as meditation, DIY car repairs, aqua aerobics or basket weaving!

Think of what you loved when you were younger, or perhaps seek out a new interest. Most towns have a club for just about everything filled with members who love to socialise and share their expertise.

3) If you can’t find a group – start your own!

If being with groups of people lifts your spirits, then find ways to make that happen. If you like entertaining, then entertain. Pot luck dinners are wonderful (and inexpensive) and everyone can take turns at hosting. Movie nights (whether at home or at the cinema) are fun as you can dissect the film afterwards over a meal.

Invite friends to join you for activities you would usually do alone such as golf, fishing, walking or cycling – which by the way can be safer in numbers.

4) Use your spare time productively by volunteering

Local charities and groups are always putting the call out for volunteers – and there’s no better way to feel connected than to offer your services and skills to do good for others. In fact most of them would not be able to continue their good work without volunteer support.

Think about which charity most appeals to you, whether it’s helping farmers, fighting for freedom of speech, or looking after our veterans. Do a little research on what’s available in your area and reach out your hand to help.

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When you band together with people in an effort to help others, you will find your time passes more quickly, your step becomes lighter, and you go to bed more fulfilled, knowing you helped make a difference.

5) Offer to organise a group outing or holiday

Travelling with a group is safer, cheaper and everything is organised for you – it’s the smart way to go. There are now many travel companies specialising in group travel for over 60’s – most even have a tour guide to keep you informed and entertained along the way.

You’ll meet people from a wide range of backgrounds who may just become life-long friends. And once you have Facebook down pat, you’ll be able to keep in touch wherever you are!

6) Keep in touch with friends on Facebook

While it’s not quite as good as physical human contact, Facebook is still a great way to connect (and reconnect) with friends and family. More over 60’s than ever are using Facebook to keep up on family news, find long lost friends, send instant messages and chat via video.

What's it REALLY like to live in a retirement village?

Check with your local library or community centre to see if they offer classes. You’ll find it doesn’t take long to learn the basics – you’ll be uploading your selfies in no time!

7) Look into the benefits of moving to a retirement village

When you move into a retirement community, you’ll have many social benefits to enjoy. Even the smallest villages have regular activities where you can meet people, learn a new skill or just have some fun. Larger villages are more like resorts, with so many things to do you’ll have to buy a diary just to keep track!

And of course, you don’t have to do it all – you can pick and choose whatever takes your fancy. The added benefit of larger retirement community is you’re more likely to meet people you click with; people from similar backgrounds or with interests and values that align with yours.

Visit Kensington Gardens and find friendships in a retirement community

Retirement living has come such a long way in recent years. Kensington Gardens Albury and Shepparton were built for active retirees, people who want to enjoy every moment, join in fun activities with like-minded friends, learn new skills and take off on adventures!

We invite you to come for a visit and see for yourself whether our retirement communities are a good fit for you.

If you’d like to see Kensington Gardens for yourself, arrange your personal tour by calling us today or get in touch online to book a time to come in and visit us.

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