senior women laughing on a walk together outside

5 Ways To Create and Maintain Social Connections in Independent Living

When you move into Independent Living at a senior living community, you have so much to look forward to. You’ll have a new, maintenance-free lifestyle; access to exercise classes and fitness equipment to stay active; and all kinds of social events.

However, when you first join the community, you may wonder how to break the ice with others as a new resident, as well as keep up with your friends and family. Read on to learn about five easy ways to create and maintain social connections in Independent Living.

1. Join a Club

Bonding over similar interests and hobbies is a great way to meet new people and spend time doing something you love to do – or try something new. There are all kinds of opportunities to join a club that resonates with you.

Here are a few examples of clubs you can join:

  • Walking Club – Twice a month, residents enjoy local walking areas such as the Lake Forest Sports Park, the Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, and Woodbridge South Lake.
  • Sunshine Craft Club – Residents create holiday greeting cards and crafts for the Assisted Living residents next door.
  • Billiards Group – The Billiards group meets twice a month for practice and holds a monthly billiards tournament.
  • Men’s Club and Ladies’ Club – These separate groups allow the men and women in the community to meet and discuss interesting topics within their clubs.
  • Book Club – Residents meet to discuss their ideas about the book they’re reading.

You could also form a new club if you found residents with similar interests in a subject or activity and would like to establish an official group.

senior woman in the billiards club at freedom village

2. Go to Events

Even the most vivacious people who love to be the life of the party can be nervous to attend an event where they don’t know many people – or any. Your community may host a new resident event or a social where you can get acquainted with fellow residents.

Events that include an activity or theme are fun to attend, and all you need to do is introduce yourself to a few people. Your fellow residents may also continue to introduce you to others, and before you know it, you’ll have new friends by the end of the event.

Exercise classes, trips, games, music – there are all kinds of activities and events planned in your community. You’ll have so many options to choose from to fill your day with fun and engaging activities.

3. Stay Connected With Loved Ones

Set time aside to connect with your loved ones. Planned phone calls, video chats, and in-person visits will help you stay up to date with everyone – and they’ll all be very excited to hear about all you’ve been up to in your new home.

It’s also good to connect with your support system so they can provide encouragement for you to be as involved as possible with your community – or you may find that you’re encouraging others to do the same in their community.

Peggy, a resident of Freedom Village, reached out to her sister Jeanne’s senior living community Facebook page, asking about the kinds of activities they offered. After doing her research, Peggy encouraged her sister to be more involved and recommended activities for Jeanne to try. Both sisters lead active and fulfilling lifestyles at their communities.

4. Make Plans

You don’t have to wait for a community event or activity to fill your social calendar. Making plans with friends gives you the chance to change up your daily routine and spend quality time with others.

  • Watch a movie
  • Cook a meal
  • Meet for coffee
  • Plan a trip outside the community

Having some plans on your calendar for the week gives you something new to look forward to. If you need a change of scenery, look at all the fun things the Lake Forest area in Orange County has to offer.

seniors chatting at a restaurant

5. Stroll Through the Community

You never know who you’ll run into when you go for a walk in your community. Not only will you get exercise and become an expert on every nook and cranny of the campus, but you’ll likely see some familiar faces from previous clubs or events.

A spontaneous walk can lead to new interactions and you may end up chatting with a friend for the next hour. The gorgeous location of Freedom Village allows for perfect walking weather year round.

For pet owners, this is a great opportunity to take your furry companion for a walk. Freedom Village is a pet-friendly community and you’re sure to meet other pet owners and make new friends when you’re walking your dog.

The Benefits of Socialization

Having an active social life where you regularly spend time with friends greatly benefits your physical and mental well-being.

Studies show that valuing friendships is related to better functioning in older adults. Socializing leads to benefits like:

  • Lowering blood pressure and inflammation
  • Helping get restful sleep
  • Decreasing the risk of heart disease
  • Improving mental health

With all the opportunities to make new friends and maintain those friendships in Independent Living at Freedom Village, you can create the retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

Visit Us at Freedom Village

Independent Living at Freedom Village helps you connect with friends new and old. We invite you to join us for an upcoming event and see for yourself! Schedule a tour today.