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Senior Living: 5 Tips for Making New Friends

Friends talking

Maintaining friendships and having a small group of confidants is good for your health. Friendships offer a variety of health benefits including a longer life, a sharper  mind, and a natural coping mechanism for whatever life throws at you.

If making friends has always come easily for you, you’ll quickly realize that finding a new tribe is even easier in a senior living community. If making new friends has never been your strong suit, there’s good news for you as well. The best communities for senior living in Long Island provide opportunities to meet people, but here are a few tips for turning those new acquaintances into friends.

Meet the Staff

Introducing yourself to someone new can feel a bit uncomfortable, so getting to know a few staff members first may be the simplest way to start. And there’s an added benefit to striking up a conversation with a staff member: He or she will be able to introduce you to your neighbors.

Take Time

A recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships determined that it takes about 50 hours of socializing for a friendship to blossom. So, when you strike up a casual conversation with a neighbor, remember that building meaningful relationships take time. Ask questions of your new acquaintance and really listen, knowing you’ll need to spend a fair amount of hours conversing to add this new person to your friends list.

Use Meal Time

Mingling in small groups can feel awkward so having a reason to gather can make all the difference. Bearing in mind that developing friendships requires at least 50 hours of socializing, make the most of meal time by inviting that intriguing neighbor to share a meal with you. Meal times give you a common place and time to connect with little thought required.

Try New Things

In the top senior living communities, you will find plenty of planned activities. So, get involved! The best thing about jumping into a new task such as taking a yoga class or learning to shoot pool is you will be around others seeking a common goal: To learn and grow. It’s easy to share a laugh with someone as you both struggle to get the hang of it. Once you’ve broken into a fit of uncontrolled laughter with others, you’re halfway to building a meaningful relationship.

Seniors dining

Bring Friends

Some residents choose senior living arrangements based on the fact that their friends already live there, but if that’s not the case for you, plan on inviting your old friends to visit, dine, and experience your senior living community with you, either as guests or as future residents. The benefits are twofold. Making new friends is often easier when you have someone by your side, and having old friends stop by regularly provides many of the same benefits as making new friends.

Joining a senior living community is often an emotional time, but the promise and anticipation of making new friends is an exciting prospect. In the best senior living residences, you’ll be surrounded by others who are eager to turn new acquaintances into friends. If you’re looking for a new place to hang your hat, begin your search at Oyster Bay Senior Campus, where you’ll find warm, kind staff and a variety of weekly activities on and off campus to help you foster new friendships. Schedule a visit today!

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Oyster Bay Senior Campus continues to evolve during the coronavirus pandemic. We have and continue to go to great lengths to protect our residents and staff. We are currently accepting new admissions to accommodate residents who require additional support due to mild cognitive or residents with memory care needs in a secure environment.