There’s nothing quite like the feeling of happiness that comes from engaging in conversation with a close friend. If even the thought of reconnecting with a friend makes you feel more positive, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology highlights how everyday contact with friends can result in higher levels of life satisfaction.
Keep reading to discover how friendships can positively impact your well-being, especially for older adults.
How Friendships Impact Our Health and Well-Being
As we get older it can be difficult to develop and maintain friendships. And far too often, in the time leading up to retirement, we don’t think enough about the value of those friendships. This can lead to a gradual decline in the number of people we feel close to. However, friendships bring with them many health benefits.
Some of the benefits of close friendships include:
- Increased sense of belonging and purpose.
- Boosted happiness and reduced stress levels.
- Improved self-confidence and self-worth.
- Heightened ability to bounce back from life’s challenges.
A small network of close friends can also encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as drinking or smoking, and motivate you to exercise more regularly.
Why Friendships Later in Life Are So Important
Developing new friendships — and staying in contact with long-time friends — can help older adults overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness. A study in The Journals of Gerontology reports that, “Compared with contact with romantic partners or family members throughout the day…contact with friends played a much stronger role in enhancing daily emotional well-being in older adults.”
One major takeaway from this study is that older adults who find themselves unmarried, widowed or divorced may benefit even more from friendships. And even older adults who do have close relationships with a partner or family members can still experience the benefits of friendship.
While we have evidence that friendships later in life are important, the reality is that making and developing new friendships can be challenging. This is why so many older adults find living in a retirement community so desirable, as it can offer more opportunities to connect with others.
How Community Living Helps Build Relationships
As we get older, living in a large residential home can feel isolating. Moving into a senior living community not only alleviates the burden of caring for a home, but also provides opportunities for socialization through shared dining venues and activities.
Vibrant dining venues create social opportunities
What better way to make new friends than to exchange stories over a memorable meal or glass of wine? Friendship Village of South Hills offers a restaurant-style dining experience in an upscale dining venue led by an exceptional culinary team. Casual dining options are available in our Atrium Café and on-site pub and sports bar. We also have a wine bar and piano lounge where residents often gather for a drink and hors d’oeuvres. All of these spaces are designed to make it easy for our residents to meet and interact with others.
On-site activities help you meet new people
Most retirement communities provide on-site activities for residents. Friendship Village of South Hills has an abundance of amenities available including a cinema, an art studio, a workshop, a community garden, a billiards room and a bocce court. Residents also gain access to the golf course neighboring our community. These activities provide opportunities to connect with like-minded residents who are passionate about the same things.
Find a workout buddy and forge a new friendship
Friendship Village of South Hills also offers a fitness center and access to a personal trainer for residents, just two of our many wellness offerings. Forming a new fitness routine in a shared space can enable you to meet new people who have similar health goals.
Discover Life at Friendship Village
If you’re seeking a vibrant, active community where you can meet new people, come and visit us at Friendship Village of South Hills. Contact us to learn more or schedule a tour.