Group of friends in later life

How To Make Friends In Later Life

The Importance of Social Interaction.
By: Millie Fuller

As life progresses, it’s only natural to feel the tug of loneliness. As we get older, there seems to be less opportunity for social interaction and it can feel harder to make new friends. But loneliness isn’t just an inconvenience – it’s a serious concern – it can increase mortality by 26%.

Here are Ten ways to make friends in later life

Number 1

Join a club that shares your interests like a walking or cycling group

Clubs give you the opportunity to connect with like-minded people who share your values and goals. Book Clubs, such as Action for Elders Book Club or walking groups, such as our own, can help you meet people with similar interests.
Number 2

Volunteer at a local charity or non-profit organisation

Volunteering can have a profound impact on our lives and the community. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Health Psychology (link required) found volunteers reported higher levels of life satisfaction and self-esteem. It can also help you learn new life skills.

If you are thinking of volunteering, why not start with Action for Elders. We welcome new Actioneers.

Number 3

Take a class or workshop on a topic that interests you like cooking, art, or photography

Classes and workshops are another great way to learn new skills. Attending can make us step out of our comfort zone, leading to personal growth and self-discovery.
Number four

Take up a new hobby like drawing or woodwork

Did you know that engaging in a hobby can provide numerous benefits, such as reducing stress, boosting mood, and improving mental health? Taking up jigsaws for example, can boost cognitive function as our Jigsaw Project has shown.

Number five

Attend community events like festivals or fairs

Community events can help us meet and connect with others to learn about the history or culture of the area we live in, giving us a sense of pride and identity.
Number 6

Use social media to connect with people who share your interests online

Social media has revolutionised the way people connect and interact with each other.

However, it is important to exercise caution when using social media to find friends, as not all interactions may be genuine or safe.

Number Seven

Attend networking events in your industry

Networking events are an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share a similar profession. They can provide a platform to allow you to expand your social circle, while building your professional network.
Number 8

Attend alumni events

Attending alumni events can help us reconnect. People can change a lot over the years, and this is an opportunity to catch up with those you may not have seen in decades. And if you meet someone new at the event, you’ll already be on steady ground having gone to the same school, university or college
Number Nine

Join a support group for those who are also struggling

It can be challenging to admit to feeling lonely, but joining a group who are experiencing similar things can provide an understanding that’s invaluable.
Number 10

Attend a language exchange

Learning a new language can expand our horizons. A language exchange program typically pairs native speakers of varying languages so that they can practice speaking with each other and learn more about other cultures.

In Summary – simply say yes and beat stress!

Studies show that people who say yes to social events experience a wide range of positive effects. For example, a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found individuals who were more socially active reported higher levels of overall life satisfaction. Another study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that social interactions can act as a buffer against stress.

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