With an estimated one million people aged 65-plus feeling lonely, it's never too late to think about how you can make new friends. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to meet new, like-minded people, and here are just a handful!
This is a good way to meet people and give something back at the same time. Reach out to volunteering organizations, like one of those found here.
Start your own friendship group.
A friendship group is simply a number of people who meet regularly for a hangout or go to social events together. If you haven’t heard of one in your area, start one yourself!
Begin by asking neighbors if they would like to join. You could write to your local paper to ask if they would publicize it as well as posting cards on noticeboards in your local community center, village shop or post office. Be sure to include your contact details so people can get in touch if they’re interested. If you’re wary of inviting people into your home, suggest meeting in a local pub or café until you get to know each other better.
Join a reading group or book club.
Whether they are held at your local library, community center or someone’s house, reading groups are becoming an increasingly popular leisure activity. If you have always been interested in literature, joining such a group can be a great way to expand your knowledge and try different genres that you may never have considered before.
As a bonus, you will meet like-minded people with whom you may well develop a rapport and, hopefully, a lasting friendship. Find out about reading groups in your area, or call in at your nearest library to see if it offers something similar. If none exists nearby, consider starting your own reading group.
Try a new hobby.
The easiest way to avoid feeling lonely is to do something, and what could be better than to try a new hobby? In the US, we’ve got clubs and associations for everything from line dancing and amateur dramatics to chess and stamp collecting.
Whatever you’re interested in, there’s bound to be an organization close to where you live that you can join. Check your local newspaper for clubs and event listings and also take a look around your local shops and community center, as there are often posters advertising forthcoming events and activities. And don't be afraid to scour the internet for ideas, too!
Meet and learn.
Attending a course will not only develop your skills, but it will also ntroduce you to new people, too. Find out about adult learning courses by visiting your library or local council education offices.
Team up through exercise.
Exercising is more fun when you do it with other people. Whether you join a gym, a fitness class such as Zumba, or sign up to a walking group, you’ll get the benefit of health and fitness as well as new contacts.
Visit your local community center to see if it has any exercise classes available. Also, try the gyms in your area to see if they offer any special membership deals. If you would prefer to get out in the fresh air and join a hiking or walking group.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.