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Resources and Advice

Helping you and your loved ones live well in later life

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HEALTHY AGEING

Enjoying the company of new friends and partners

When we retire, we often lose daily interaction and conversations with people with a shared purpose so how can you get to know new people?

February 10, 2022

Elderly friends together

Retirement offers the opportunity to spend more time with friends and spouses. Sometimes though we can find that lives have changed over the years, and perhaps some of our companions are no longer at hand to enjoy time together.

So how can we find and get to know new people who could become firm friends or even long-term partners?

 

Get outside and move

Being out in the sun is great for health and mood. Vitamin D, bestowed on us through sunshine in the summer, is recommended for its ability to enhance the immune system and protect our bones. Sunshine is also a great mood booster.

By joining groups who are exercising outdoors we can reap these benefits and meet new people. Local authority websites are a good place to find gentle healthy walking and talking groups, for example. Alternatively, tai chi in the park is hugely suitable for older people, and has the added bonus of helping build and maintain balance and avoid falls.

 

Stay inside and share

Not every day is an encouraging day to be outside, but now it’s considered safer to spend some time indoors with strangers, we can look again at clubs and community groups.

Exploring shared interests is a great way to get to know people in a relaxed way. Leisure centres often house bowls clubs or run easy exercise classes, and while it might be difficult to talk while we’re working out, there’s usually a café nearby for a reviving cup of tea.

Chatting about shared projects is a good way to relate to new people, so joining book clubs in the library, Knit and Natter groups at local community hubs, or fixing things in Men’s Sheds are all easy ways to get started.

Another highly recommended route to enjoying the company of new people and getting our brains ticking over at the same time is to join the U3A, previously known as the University of the Third Age. Search for local groups and discover a wealth of courses to, as they put it, ‘be inspired, not retired’.

 

Get away, but not too far

While many of us aren’t ready to fly away, there are still plenty of UK-based short holidays that we can consider.

Many hotels and centres run activity holidays. Choose from courses as diverse as watercolour painting, creative writing, hedge laying and even rock climbing.

 

Meet a new partner, maybe

Sometimes we would like new friends and companions to turn into something closer and more permanent.

It’s no longer considered embarrassing to join a dating website, and many busy younger professionals find it’s one of the best ways to meet potential partners.

The same advice applies at any age though. Check that the agency is genuine and is thorough in vetting its candidates, and take heed of warnings about scammers and cheats.

Meeting someone face to face that we’ve only met online is a huge step, and there are tactics we can employ to maximise our safety. A GPS enabled personal alarm may help you feel safe and give you peace of mind when meeting someone for the first time.

 

Get involved

When we leave our jobs behind, we also say goodbye to daily conversations with people with a shared purpose. That gives us the opportunity to use our time to get involved in new areas. Volunteering is a popular choice, from staffing charity shops through walking retired greyhounds and helping out at the local cub group, to getting involved in local politics.

Whatever our interests, getting involved has the added bonus of enabling us to mix with the wide range of ages and experiences that can give us a different and refreshing outlook on the world. 

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Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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