How to Find New Friends After 65

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Written by Jenn Fernandez
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5 minutes

When you’re committed to your health as you age, you take your medication and supplements every day, make sure you do your daily workouts, and eat right. But what about your social life? Are you getting your daily dose of friendship?

A 2020 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine stated that more than ¼ of adults 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.1 Whether living alone, partners and friends passing away, or being affected by illness or disease, there’s a variety of factors that may lead to seniors experiencing social isolation.

You may have found it easy to make new friends at school or work in your younger years, or through your children and partner in your middle age. After retirement, you may have noticed it becoming increasingly difficult to find new friends, or even know where to look.

If you find making new friends after 65 challenging or are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, you’re not alone! We’ve put together these simple tips to help you find new friends at this stage in life.

The Importance of Friendship At Any Age

As social creatures, friendship is a vital part of our daily lives and overall health throughout our lives. A good friend provides a sense of belonging and love while offering you much needed social support, especially in your times of need. Plus, they make life more fun! Engaging in and cultivating meaningful relationships and connecting with your community helps to prevent feelings of loneliness, which becomes increasingly important as we get older and our social circles tend to decrease in size.

Additionally, recent studies have shown a link between heart health, socialization, and loneliness. In fact, a 2022 report by the American Heart Association found that social isolation and loneliness are linked to coronary heart disease and stroke mortality.2

Defining Friendship For You

As we age, life takes us through many changes - beyond just our health. Sometimes, it seems like our interests, priorities, hobbies, and social circle experience shifts with each passing decade. If it’s been a while since you last put yourself out there to make new friends, you may have new and different needs than you used to when it comes to friendships. Asking yourself the following questions can help you redefine what you’re looking for in friendship after 65:

  • What character traits and qualities do you want your friends to have?
  • What hobbies and pastimes do you want to share with your friends?
  • How much time are you hoping to spend with your friends each week?
  • How often do you want to talk with your friends?
  • How do you want to feel when spending time with your friends?
  • Are there any character traits and qualities that you’d like to avoid?

Your answers to these questions can then help you navigate meeting new people and deciding whether or not it’s worth spending time and energy creating a friendship with them.

Finding New Friends After 65

So, you are ready to get out there and find new friends. But, where do you find new friends after 65? Some quick online research can lead you to a plethora of opportunities to meet new friends based on your interests, hobbies, and personal values.

Join Meetups

Finding like-minded friends with similar interests has become much easier with online platforms like meetup.com and Facebook groups. On both platforms, you can search for existing groups to join or even start your own around a focused interest, hobby, or activity. Imagine being part of a group of theater lovers that goes to one new play a month together. Or, maybe a group that enjoys dancing and takes a weekly lesson together. Whatever you’re into or want to explore, with millions of groups on both platforms, you’ll be sure to find a group worth giving a shot!

Get Active

Signing up for a new exercise class or joining your local recreation center is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people who are also prioritizing their health. Plus, working out and staying in shape is much more fun when you have someone to share the journey with!

Volunteer

Helping your community through volunteer work is a popular pastime for many adults over 65. By choosing a cause or organization that is important to you, you’ll increase your chances of meeting fellow volunteers who share your values. Not only will you make a positive impact and make new friends, you’ll also get to try new things and learn new skills, depending on the cause you choose.

Read More: Can Volunteering Benefit Your Health?

Visit Your Senior Citizen Center

Your local senior citizen center should have a diverse program of group classes, activities, and events scheduled for local seniors to attend. From crafting, exercise classes, and educational workshops, to group outings and special events, a range of options should be available for you to try out and share with other like-minded seniors.

Making New Friends Can Be Good For Your Health

Beyond the health benefits of a well-nurtured social life, the process of putting yourself out there to make new friends after 65 packs a range of additional benefits! While trying new things, we engage in new conversations, learn new skills, challenge our bodies and minds, and, of course, discover new things about ourselves. While meeting new friends, you may just find a new beloved pastime or interest to dive into! No matter what, keep an open mind and have fun! The happier and more confident you are, the more you’ll attract positive people to make a positive impact in your life as your new friends.

Written by:

Jenn Fernandez

Director of Marketing

Jenn Fernandez is the Director of Marketing for Kaneka Nutrients. Jenn brings nearly two decades of healthcare, marketing, and tech experience to her work with Ubiquinol.

References

1 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25663
2  https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.122.026493

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