August 1, 2019

Moving to independent living in a senior living community is an exciting time for older adults. With a new, maintenance-free home or apartment, easy-living lifestyle, and amenities and activities always on hand, independent living residents can experience the relaxing retirement they always dreamed of. However, one thing older adults might worry about when moving is losing touch with friends who live outside of the community.

The good news is, it’s not difficult to keep cherished people in your life, regardless of where you live. Make a note of these useful tips, and you and your friends will continue to enjoy your retirement years together!

Make a commitment

Impromptu get-togethers are always fun, but people’s lives are busy, and schedules don’t always mesh. To make sure you stay close with your friends, plan frequent activities together. Perhaps it’s a once-a-week lunch or golf outing. It might be a regular trip to nearby shopping centers or a monthly book club. You can even invite your friends to see your new home or apartment in the senior living community and take advantage of on-campus amenities such as restaurants and walkable gardens.

The trick is to schedule and commit to your planned get-togethers, so you don’t forget or inadvertently schedule over it. Set a reminder alert on your phone or computer, or do it the “old-fashioned” way and pin up an actual calendar.

Take a trip

Traveling together is another way to strengthen and maintain friendships. Even planning the trip can be a bonding experience!

Having companions on a trip only heightens the excitement. You may try new things you wouldn’t normally do on your own and deepen the friendship even more. Trips don’t have to be elaborate or expensive, either. A sight-seeing car trip or long weekend is a shared experience that is sure to enhance your friendship.

Stay connected

Sometimes, friends live too far away to visit on a frequent basis. But thanks to technology, staying connected is easier than ever! Video chatting, emails, text messages, and phone calls are all great ways to stay in touch any time, any place. Schedule a time each week to contact your friends and just check in. Between conversations, you can also keep long-distance friends updated through social media posts.

Find similar passions and interests

Volunteering or joining clubs together creates lasting relationships through shared interests. Giving back to your community by volunteering has actually shown to lead to better senior health. You can fundraise, help keep parks clean, tutor or mentor young people, collect clothing, or join a food kitchen with a friend and get to spend time together at the same time.

To discover the potential clubs or volunteer organizations you might enjoy — and the number of them is nearly endless — make a list of your interests and have your friends do the same. Find the common interests and make a difference in your community together!

Your retirement years are the ideal time to share your interests, passions, and dreams with people that are close to you. Use these tips to maximize the enjoyment of everything your independent living community has to offer you and your friends!