How to Make Friends in Your Senior Care Facility
Moving to a senior care facility can be a traumatic event, as it means adjusting to a whole new place to live at a later stage in life. One of the biggest fears seniors can have is how to keep their social lives in balance, as making new friends is infinitely harder than simply sharing crayons in kindergarten. But does it always have to be thought of as a difficult process? We’re here to show you everything you need to know about making friends so your transition to a senior care facility can be as seamless as possible.
Get Involved Right Away
The longer you wait to settle in, the harder a time you’ll have at making friends. First impressions aren’t the only ones, but they are the most lasting ones, and you want to put the best shoe forward. You don’t have to go overboard and try and make everyone a kindred spirit — in fact, that approach will deter people from you — but just say a friendly hi.
Make sure to look at the activities calendar, too, so you can jump in feet first. There’s almost always something for people of all personalities, whether it’s Bingo, yoga, arts and crafts, or lawn bowling. Peruse the calendar and take part in something right away.
Don’t Expect Fireworks Right off the Bat
An open mind is key, as the residents of your senior care facility are just as wary of you as you are of them. While they’re worried about how a new face will affect the existing balance and you’re worried about how to fit in, you have a distinct advantage: you’re arriving with no history or baggage, just a fresh start.
That being said, don’t force things along and just let life unfold at its own pace. It takes time to develop friendships, but going at it at a relaxed pace will help win you over.
Ask Plenty of Questions
Along with not holing yourself up in your room and remembering to take things at an easy pace, go ahead and ask any question that comes to mind. You’re adjusting to a new place and new people, and there are going to be things that just aren’t secondhand yet; that’s what the staff and other residents are there for.
As a bonus, your question-asking will endear you to others as you make them feel like a fountain of wisdom and knowledge. Everyone wants to feel like they’re important and can help others — just remember not to go overboard with the questions like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning.
Bring Your Family and Friends In
You’re moving to a senior care facility, not an underground bunker on the other side of the world, so have over your nearest and dearest. On one hand, this’ll help ease your transition, as you’ll have the comfort and security of your friends and family behind you.
But on a deeper level, it’s a way to show to the residents you’re a socially adept person who can navigate any situation with ease. One of the most attractive things about any person is their ability to go through life with confidence, wanting to be friends with others but not needing to be friends with others. You can be that person everyone looks to with admiration as someone who’s already got a swinging social life, that person who bounces along with fantastic connections to others.