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How Can Your Elderly Loved One Make New Friends?

By Jeff Hill, 9:00 am on September 12, 2016

Social stimulation is important for the elderly because it helps stave off feelings of isolation and loneliness. However, some seniors may not have friends who live nearby, which creates the need to make some new ones. This process is likely easier than your senior loved one thinks, and Phoenix respite care experts have some tips to help him or her build new friendships.

Focus on Common Interests

One of the best ways seniors can make friends is engaging in activities they are passionate about. This is an especially good option for seniors who have free time to pursue some of their favorite hobbies, sports, or other activities. Whether your loved one enjoys going to concerts or reading books, he or she should easily be able to find nearby groups with seniors who have similar interests.

Accept Invitations

One mistake many seniors make is turning down invitations if they are unsure about the activity or the people who are going. Even if your loved one doesn’t have an amazing time at a particular event, moving outside of his or her comfort zone is crucial for making new friends. Just getting out of the house can increase your loved one’s chances of meeting new people and finding friends in unexpected places.

Get on Social Media

According to a 2015 study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of adults over 65 are now using social media. This makes it an excellent platform for seniors hoping to meet people with common interests. If your loved one is not comfortable with technology, you or a caregiver in Phoenix can help him or her set up an account on a popular social networking site in just minutes. Your loved one can then begin searching for local groups or even old friends. 

Use a Pet to Meet People

Your loved one might be surprised to find out just how effective a pet can be as an icebreaker. Dog lovers often stop to speak with each other on the street, and some even schedule play dates for their pets at the local park. As an added benefit, making friends with other animal lovers can give your loved one a reason to get outside, soak up the sun, and even get in a little exercise.

To learn about how regular social stimulation can keep your loved one happy and healthy, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our hourly and live-in caregivers make wonderful companions and are trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks. For more information on elder care Phoenix seniors can count on, call 602.388.1085 today to speak with a friendly Care Manager.