Having a network of close friends as you enter your senior years can help you feel better and younger for longer. No matter our ages, having positive relationships can help improve our health and wellbeing.
However, maintaining friendships as we age can be difficult. People can move or pass away, leaving many of us isolated and lacking in friendships.
Finding new friends isn’t easy at any age and it can be especially difficult for seniors who are unlikely to work and less likely to socialize in traditional places such as bars.
Thankfully, there are still many avenues open for seniors who want to meet new seniors and establish new friendships. Whether you’re looking for friends or something more, here are 13 ways for seniors to meet other seniors.
1. Join A Seniors Only Fitness Class
Joining a seniors-only fitness class can not only help you meet others but can also help you stay as fit and healthy as possible.
Keeping active as you age is very important but it can be daunting to join a gym or fitness class that is full of younger people.
Many health clubs, gyms, and community centers offer classes that are tailored exclusively to seniors and these are a great way to meet new people and keep up your fitness levels.
Look for low-stress activities such as pilates, yoga, water aerobics, and cycling classes.
Outside of actual fitness classes, you can also look for walking clubs that combine exercise, fresh air, and beautiful scenery with the opportunity to talk with others as you walk.
Even if you’re new to exercising, these classes should be able to accommodate you and help you increase your fitness levels.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people of all ages. Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean that your services and skills won’t be accepted as there are plenty of opportunities for seniors to volunteer.
Look around for local charities, organizations, and community groups and see if they need any help. Many seniors find volunteering to not only be a way to meet new people but to also be a very fulfilling and useful way to spend their time.
Even if you have mobility issues, there are still volunteering opportunities available.
Many places such as libraries and charity stores have volunteer opportunities where the volunteer can remain seated and you can use these moments to meet both other volunteers as well as visitors and patrons.
3. Join A Book/Movie/TV Club
Sometimes, meeting new people isn’t the difficult part and instead, it’s knowing what to say and how to break the ice. That’s where joining a club based around books, movies, or TV can be very useful.
When everyone is gathered together to talk about a specific topic, you don’t need to worry about what to say or how to break the ice because you already have a topic you can use. These clubs are also a great way of finding people that have similar interests to you.
There are many ways you can join a club. There are many already established clubs throughout the country and they’re always willing and able to accept new members.
You can find these by looking through information at your local library, community center, colleges, or newspapers. There are also many virtual clubs you can join.
If you already know a couple of like-minded people you can start your own club and make it accessible for more people to join.
4. Join A Senior Dating Site
If you’re looking for someone to be more than a friend, then a dating site specifically for seniors can help. There are an increasing number of dating sites that are exclusively for older people with some setting minimum age requirements of 50 or 60 years old.
You can also meet many new friends on these sites as well, sometimes.
There may be a membership fee associated with joining the dating sites and you will need to be tech-savvy enough to set up your profile and account from a smartphone or a website.
Once set up, however, you’ll have access to the profiles of many seniors in your area and can begin conversations with them.
Chatting online is a great way to discover if you have anything in common with someone else and can be a great help for anyone who is nervous about meeting new people in person.
Gardening is a very rewarding hobby that can also help keep you active. You can grow your own vegetables and save some money, or you can just make your home more beautiful by planting some flowers and shrubs.
Many communities have gardening clubs that you can join. You’ll not only learn new gardening techniques and ideas but you’ll be able to meet new people that share your gardening interests.
If you have a flower or gardening center in your area, you can contact them to see if they have any gardening activities or classes that you can join.
If you don’t have your own garden, there are often community gardens that you can volunteer at or even spaces that you can hire and tend to yourself. Maintaining a garden will help you stay active and meet new people.
6. Support Groups
Growing old brings many changes to your life that can often be difficult to deal with. Feelings of isolation or instances of poor health can make us feel alone and depressed but support groups can help you feel like you’re not alone.
There are many support groups out there for all ages and there are just as many that are specifically for seniors.
You can meet people in a similar situation to yourself and this will help you socialize and make new friends as well as improve your mental health.
There are support groups for specific issues but also more general ones. You can choose the best fit for you and hopefully find a strong support network.
7. Community Senior Centers
There are many community senior centers throughout the country and there is bound to be one in your region. They may be affiliated with a church or with the city hall, but there is sure to be one near you.
These centers will run a wide variety of activities that you can participate in and many of them have activities specifically for seniors. Coffee mornings and knitting groups are just two of the many activities that you can choose from.
Senior centers can help you meet new seniors in your area in a safe and relaxed environment.
8. Virtual Activity Platforms
If you live in an isolated place or have some mobility issues, it can often be difficult to meet people in person and take part in activities. Thankfully, there are several virtual activity platforms that allow you to participate in events from the comfort of your own home.
These have especially increased in number since the COVID-19 pandemic.
You will need a computer and the capability to stream so it can be tricky to set these platforms up but once you have, you’ll find a world of content. You can play online games, take part in group exercises or hobby classes, or attend interesting lectures from various experts.
9. Adult Education Courses
Many community colleges offer adult education courses and some may even have classes that are specifically for seniors. These courses can be free or are often greatly discounted for seniors that wish to take them.
There are a wide variety of courses that you can take. You can brush up on some of the more academic subjects such as English or math or even learn how to use a computer and to program code.
If you’re looking for something that is a little more fun and don’t mind taking non-credit courses, there will be a wide variety of options available to you. You can learn a new skill or hobby such as ceramics, painting, gardening, or culinary arts.
Adult education courses are great for meeting new people because you can be sure that everyone in the room shares at least one common interest.
It’s easier to talk to someone about something that you’re both doing than it can be to think of a random topic and you might find that your classmates will soon become friends.
10. Senior Travel Clubs and Cruises
If you want to get out of the house and use your retirement to see more of the world, then you can join a senior travel club. These travel clubs don’t only offer long-distance travel and vacations but also organize day trips to local sites and activities.
You can join a trip that is a little more physical, such as hiking or rowing tours, or trips that are more hobby based. Many of the day trips take seniors to local tourist attractions as well as breweries, casinos, and gardens.
You’ll have the opportunity to choose from several tours and trips so there’s sure to be something that will appeal to you.
11. Get a Presence Online
Getting online is an easy way to connect with lots of different people quickly. You don’t need to worry about arranging face-to-face meetings and can speak to people whenever you have the time and energy.
There are many different ways that you can connect online.
For seniors and older users, Facebook is the most popular social network and you can connect with people you already know as well as meet new people through the numerous groups and pages available on Facebook.
In many communities, Facebook is a hub for community notices and arranging events. You can check to see what events are happening around you and join them if you wish.
There are also other ways to connect online. You can look for senior-friendly chat rooms or online discussion groups. There are other social media sites such as Twitter that are designed for strangers to speak to each other and make connections.
12. Join a Pen Pal Program
If the internet is confusing to you or you don’t have a computer at home, then you can communicate through more traditional methods. Much of the world may be online these days but there is still a market for handwritten letters.
It can be a little difficult to find pen pal programs that are still running but there are still some out there. You can create a network of correspondents to share opinions, recipes, or even book reviews.
Getting a new letter can be a thrilling event no matter how many letters you’ve received over the years.
13. Attend Religious Services And Join Faith-Based Activities
Churches and other places of religious worship can be a great way to create new relationships and a sense of community. For many, simply attending services and speaking to other people there can be enough to build new relationships and friendships.
Most churches will also have a thriving community built around them and you can join in with various regular activities. Look for brunches and dinners as well as volunteering programs offered by the church.
It’s not unusual for churches to have activities specifically designed for seniors, either. You may find that your local church arranges many social events, outings, and day trips just for seniors. It’s easy to fill up your social calendar with religious services and activities if you want to.
In this article, we looked at how seniors meet other seniors. We listed 13 different ways for seniors to meet new people and no matter what your hobbies are or what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be something that will work for you.
For extroverted seniors, you can look at joining a seniors-only travel club, but if this seems too daunting for you, you can try a faith-based activity or start with online or written communication.
We hope that whatever idea you choose, it will help you build some meaningful and important relationships with other seniors.