Eight Ways to Broaden your Flock of Friends

Lifestyle

Eight Ways to Broaden your Flock of Friends

Positive social interaction is essential to a healthy and fulfilling retirement.

January 15, 2016

Friends and family are critical to a happy and healthy retirement, maybe even as important as financial independence. Even with adequate finances, living alone without a robust social circle can threaten healthy aging. Will you rely on family for company? Your current friends? Neighbors? Will you have to widen your social circle as friends move closer to family or into retirement communities? Social interaction is important at any stage of life, but it can be particularly significant and life affirming when you’re in your 60s, 70s and 80s. 

The benefits go beyond the emotional aspects of keeping ourselves busy or entertained, according to research from the Yale Medical Group. In fact, staying social can improve your physical health as well. An active social life can lead to lower risks of heart problems and high blood pressure, fewer incidences of cancer, and deter osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Perhaps, most important, it strengthens connections in your brain, lowering your risk for Alzheimer’s and mental health issues.

Consider some of the suggestions below to find “birds of a feather,” so to speak.

  1. Participate. According to the National Council on Aging, regularly visiting a senior center may improve your overall health and well-being. Senior centers offer a variety of leisure activities and health programs to engage older, active adults.
  2. Volunteer. Volunteer your time and talents to hospitals, animal shelters, schools or libraries. You’ll likely meet fellow retirees and make a difference at the same time. And according to a study published in BMC Public Health, volunteering may improve mental health and help you live longer.
  3. Learn. Institutes of higher learning offer an opportunity to audit college courses, where you could meet friends of all ages. Though, if you’re particularly seeking friends closer to your age, community college classes may be just the ticket.
  4. Caffeinate. Neighborhood coffee shops are great places to meet people you may recognize from walks around your neighborhood or other places in your community.
  5. Get social. As long as you’re careful not to reveal too much personal information that could open you up to fraud, social networking may be able to connect you with individuals with whom you have something in common. There are plenty to choose from, including Facebook and Meetup, which allows you to find and join groups based on a shared interest, career or hobby.
  6. Travel. Consider joining a travel club geared toward fun-loving retirees. Vacationing with peers, who may literally be in the same boat as you, is a great way to meet new friends with similar interests.
  7. Exercise. Take a yoga or aerobics exercise class during the day. Many yoga studios and health clubs have classes geared toward the fitness needs of older adults. Even walking around your neighborhood or gardening can create opportunities for you to introduce yourself to others.
  8. Be open. Ask family and friends, who know you well, to introduce you to others who may have similar personalities or interests.

 

Source: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/develop-friendships-retirement-10942.html

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