How to Make Friends

Social isolation is a big issue for many seniors, and loneliness and social isolation can have big impacts. Studies have linked both to obesity, weak immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and dementia. However, it can be much harder to make friends as you get older, especially if you’re already struggling with social isolation. Read below for some of our top tips on how to make friends as an older adult and fight social isolation in seniors with us!

  • Open up. It’s important to realize that it’s necessary to be a little vulnerable to create strong relationships. You need to be willing to talk about yourself, your family, your past, and more. Although it can be easy to hide how you’re really feeling, thinking these things will keep you from being accepted by others, the opposite is actually true. A friend needs to be able to really know you, and you know them.
  • Join a group or club. Part of the reason it can be so hard to make friends compared to when you were younger is because you’re not involved in activities that help you meet people. When you were a child, you were in school, and as a younger adult, you likely worked. You were able to make friends with the people you were already around all the time, but now you don’t have as many opportunities. The opportunities are still there though, you just might have to look a little harder. Research different groups or clubs in your area. Ask your loved ones if they know of anything you might be interested in. It could be as simple as a group that plays cards together once a week, or something more involved, like your local Kiwanis or Rotary club.
  • Take a class. Another great opportunity to meet people is to take a class. It can be whatever interests you–arts and crafts, dancing, or other exercise. SCOA regularly offers several classes for seniors in the Southwest Georgia area including Tai Chi, AARP smart driver course, yoga, pickleball, chair fitness, and line dancing. Check out our calendar of events at
  • Volunteer. Volunteering is another great way to find an opportunity to be around new people. In addition to meeting new people, you’ll also get a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that you are helping others. Lots of nonprofits, including SCOA, could use volunteers just like you!
  • Embrace technology. While learning new technology can be difficult and overwhelming at first, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family members who live farther away. If you don’t have a lot of loved ones nearby, video calling can help you keep in touch. You can ask us about our Claris Tablet Companion Program to help with this if it still seems overwhelming as the Claris tablet was designed with seniors in mind.
  • Find support groups. Getting older can be hard in lots of ways, and things like chronic diseases or losing loved ones don’t help your loneliness and social isolation. Support groups can help with both issues and help you to know you’re not alone.