Now that you are considering investing in senior living (or maybe you have already set a move-in date), it’s time to take a deep breath and prepare to enjoy the benefits of your choice. Senior living communities are an ideal option for seniors who want to retire with luxury amenities, beautiful surroundings, and easy access to resources or programs designed to keep them feeling healthy and happy.
One of the major benefits of independent living is socialization opportunities at every turn. There are multiple ways to connect with your new neighbors throughout the day, whether it is through a club or just by having coffee in the dining room. Though socialization is available at your fingertips, most new residents do experience some anxiety about how they will develop senior living friendships in their new home. If you are wondering how to make some new connections, we have a few surefire tips that will get you feeling comfortable in no time.
Leave Your Door Open
When you move into your new apartment, you will quickly become the buzz of the community. Everyone loves to introduce themselves to a new resident in the hopes of making them feel welcome, so even if it feels overwhelming at first, consider leaving your door open as you unpack that first day. You’ll find that new neighbors are eager to say hello, and some may even invite you to join them for your first dinner in the community.
Take Advantage of the Welcome Committee
Many senior living communities feature active welcome committees. Whether they’re formal or informal, they are led by veteran residents who want to make everyone feel right at home. If you get a visit from a representative of the welcome committee, take advantage of it! Ask them any questions you may have or inquire into whether they could show you the quickest way to the coffee bar. You’ll get insider information and can start to build a foundation of acquaintances right from the start.
It’s easy to establish senior living friendships in a community because its active event calendar means that there will always be multiple opportunities available to share an experience with your neighbors. When you move in, make sure you have a copy of the community’s latest activity calendar and newsletter. Then, take a moment to highlight some upcoming events that sound interesting. Walking into a social event, concert, or happy hour can feel intimidating at first, but it won’t take long for someone to offer a smile and save you a seat.
Try a New Skill
Speaking of senior living community activities, they are not always limited to happy hours and entertainment. Indeed, the community’s calendar is also full of smaller hobby groups and clubs that will give you even more chances to connect with neighbors that may share an interest with you. These smaller clubs or groups are also less intimidating than big group gatherings, which may make you feel more comfortable.
Talk to Staff Members
If you are having trouble feeling connected, talk to a team member about it. The staff at senior living communities are readily available to help you find ways to feel like you belong in your new home. Staff members also already know the current residents and can play a bit of a matchmaker for your new friendships by pairing you with residents that may share your interests or personality traits.
Host an Open House
Your new apartment is beautiful, and who doesn’t love the chance to take a sneak peek at your style? When you are all unpacked and settled, consider hosting an open house for your neighbors. Put out a plate of cookies and a fruit tray, open your door, and get to know those who live right down the hall. You’ll be surprised by how many neighbors attend your open house, and you’ll have the chance to put some names to the faces you’ll see regularly.
Remember, even the most social butterflies can have difficulty making friends after a move to a senior living community. It’s a transition, after all, and you might need some time to adjust before you feel comfortable going out and making new friends. Give yourself a grace period but remember that you must eventually get out of your apartment to meet your neighbors. You’ll strike a balance as you settle in and begin to make your new community your home.
If you want to keep up on the latest news that affects seniors throughout the Teaneck area, subscribe to our blog. We work hard to give our readers the news and resources they need to make good decisions and stay healthy.
Finally, we would love to invite you to learn more about Arbor Terrace Teaneck. Our residents are always looking for new friends to welcome to our thriving community. Call us today to learn why relationships make our community so special.