Expanding your Social Connections as an Older Adult

Written by Megan Bruckschen, Felician Village at Home Manager

You are never too old to make new friends or meet new people. While it may seem more difficult to do at an older age, it doesn’t have to be. The University of Michigan’s survey on loneliness and social isolation showed 8% of older adults between the ages of 50-80 said they often lacked companionship and felt lonely. Being proactive in staying socially connected can help alleviate feeling that way.

What’s your passion?

Before you can connect with others, sometimes you need to determine what motivates you. It could be something you already enjoy or are talented in, or maybe it’s something you always wanted to do. A simple Google or Facebook search of, “Book clubs near me” or “cooking classes near me” can help lead you to something you didn’t even know existed, and the best part is – there will be people with similar interests there too. Volunteering is also a great way to share your passions with others. A lot of non-profits are rebuilding their volunteer programs after COVID-19 and have new opportunities available. The United Way Volunteer Connection Center can be a great place to search volunteer opportunities in Manitowoc County.

Re-define Friendship

Don’t be afraid to look at developing friendships with people of different ages, backgrounds or sex than you.  Intergenerational friendships give you the power to learn, be a mentor, or learn something new you.

Join New Social Groups

You might be reading this thinking, “easier said than done”. While being the new person at a social group can be intimidating, keeping an open mind relieves the pressure from feeling the need to immediately fit in. Start a conversation with others, listen and see how these new conversations and people make you feel. It’s ok to realize a group is not the right fit, eventually you will find your space.

Felician Village at Home offers social and educational group activities for older adults living in Manitowoc County looking for new or added social connections. Our group has monthly field trips, sharing memories event, lunch bunch and more!  

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