Having meaningful friendships is one of the great pleasures of life. But once our kids leave the nest and we retire from our careers, the opportunities for regular social interaction – and with it, friendships – seem to disappear. In retirement, if we’re not intentional about making connections with people outside our home, it’s very easy to become isolated.
“When we no longer have a mandatory schedule, like shuttling kids back and forth or going to work each day, we’re taken out of our routines that make social interaction a regular occurrence, so it’s up to each individual to find new ways of connecting meaningfully with friends and family,” says Jake Quigley, Executive Director of Waterstone at the Circle, a luxury independent living community in the heart of Boston, at the crossroads of Beacon Street and Chestnut Hill Avenue. “Socialization is a vital part of being happy and healthy in retirement, which is why so many seniors choose to relocate to a community like Waterstone at the Circle. Moving to a retirement community provides convenience with a maintenance-free lifestyle, encourages socialization with a vibrant social calendar and promotes health and wellness with programs, a fitness center and nutritious dining options.”
In recent years, experts have shown that a meaningful social life is just as important as physical activity and diet when it comes to being healthy in our retirement years. The Greater Good Magazine by Berkeley University, reports that socialization helps seniors in numerous ways, including:
- Encouraging an active lifestyle
- Keeping the brain sharp and active, reducing the risk of cognitive decline
- Providing a sense of purpose in daily life
- Promoting self-care through accountability
- Creating a social network for friendship and support
- Combating feelings of isolation, which can lead to depression
Although there are obviously numerous benefits to staying socially active, seniors can struggle to make these connections happen. After all, these types of interactions very rarely happen on their own – it’s necessary to put ourselves out there and initiate the connection in order to achieve the goal of socialization.
7 Tips for Developing Meaningful Friendships in Retirement
1. Pursue your passions.
Each of us has something that inspires us, and it’s possible you’ve chased a hobby or interest throughout your life (when you could fit it in between work, raising kids and everything else). Now that you’re retired, you have the time to really pursue those passions without guilt. Join a class, rent some studio time or find a club of like-minded people. By exploring your favorite hobbies, you’ll find others who enjoy the same things – definitely a recipe for instant friendships.
2. Try something new.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? A hobby or interest you haven’t been able to pursue until now? In retirement, your time is your own, making it the perfect opportunity to try those things you’ve always wanted to. Just as the above point (pursuing your passions), joining a club or doing a hobby that interests you will bring you together with people who share similar interests.
3. Volunteer for a cause.
Experts have found that volunteering for a cause you believe in provides you with a sense of purpose and a general sense of overall happiness. Whether you’re playing with the puppies and kittens at your local animal shelter or serving up meals at the neighborhood hospice house, volunteering can make you feel fulfilled – and make the world a better place.
4. Become a mentor.
Older adults have so many things to offer the younger generations – and seniors have reported that spending time with younger folks has given them a unique perspective and sense of happiness. Think about how you could become involved with the youth in your area, whether that’s through a church group, local school or community program. Do you have a special talent or skill that the younger people could benefit from? Find out where you could offer your services and help others – you never know; you could become an important force in the life of someone. Not only that, but you may end up forming intergenerational friendships that can keep you young at heart.
5. Become a better neighbor.
Social connections don’t have to be made far from home. In fact, your neighborhood is an excellent location to start looking for connections. Are you fairly active and healthy, but have an older neighbor who lives alone or is a shut-in? Or is there a younger family who’s moved onto your street and could benefit from a babysitter? By reaching out to your neighbors and offering to help, you can create a strong relationship network with the people right next door.
6. Connect with your faith.
Faith and religion are a major part of life for many. By participating in the religious community of your choice, you will find many opportunities to form valuable relationships with others and stay social. Has your participation fallen by the wayside? Don’t worry – it’s never too late to head back to prayer meetings or worship services and form solid, strong friendships with other worshippers.
7. Consider a luxury retirement community like Waterstone at the Circle.
Even if you’re a completely independent, incredibly active senior who needs no assistance to live a full and healthy life, there are benefits you can reap from moving to a community like Waterstone at the Circle. First of all, senior living communities always have a wide variety of events and activities that residents (and guests) can participate in. Another benefit of moving to a senior living community is the maintenance-free lifestyle – by having all the chores and tedious tasks of life taken care of for you, your schedule is completely free to explore the activities and interests you love.
If you’d like to learn more about staying social in your retirement years, or if you’re wondering how a luxury retirement community like Waterstone at the Circle can help you live a vibrant, active and fulfilled life, contact us today at 617.431.1880.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and a vibrant lifestyle with arts and cultural, and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our Independent Living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring. . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call617.431.1880for more information or to schedule a visit to our vibrant Boston Independent Living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!