Tips for Connecting With the Neighbors at Your New Senior Living Community

If you are planning a move to a senior living community, one reason you may have chosen to do so is to feel more connected. Older adults often find these communities appealing because of the lifestyle and friendships they offer. But you might be a little anxious about making such a big change.

Most people feel the same way before making this transition. A few seniors even develop a condition known as Relocation Stress Syndrome, which can require counseling. So be kind to yourself as you prepare to move.

We thought it might be helpful to share a few ideas for managing pre-move anxiety. Some of these tips will help you get to know your new community ahead of time, and others can help you make new friends after your move.

Become Involved Before You Move

First, don’t think you have to wait until you move in to meet your new neighbors and participate in activities and events. Once you’ve settled on a senior living community, talk with the team about visiting often and getting to know current residents. A few tips that can help you do that are:

  • Get on newsletter and email lists.

Ask to be put on the community’s mailing and email lists so you receive their newsletters and event invitations. Not only will it allow you to identify programs you’d like to go to at the community, it will also give you a chance to learn more about what happens each day. That will give you a head start once you’ve moved and are ready to participate in daily activities.

  • Make participation a priority.

While you will no doubt be busy downsizing and packing, try to make it a priority to visit the community before your move. Talk with the life enrichment team for more details on any activities or events that sound interesting. If you are hesitant about going alone, ask a friend or family member to tag along. This will also help you learn your way around the community and give you an opportunity to meet the new neighbors.

Making Friends After a Move to Senior Living

Moving is tough at any age. There’s no doubt about it. So our first piece of advice is to be kind to yourself. You’ll likely feel a little overwhelmed and may even question if you’ve done the right thing. Those are all normal emotions.

As you settle in, try to set aside time each day to get out of your apartment or suite and walk around the community, even if it’s just for a few minutes before or after lunch. You’ll probably find that fellow residents are friendly and welcoming. That can help you begin to feel more at home.

A few other suggestions include:

  • Be patient but also put yourself out there.

Take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. That might be enjoying a cup of coffee in a common area of the community with neighbors or joining a morning stretching class. If you are a little anxious about attending activities and events on your own, ask the life enrichment team to introduce you to neighbors who might share your interests. Don’t feel as if you have to attend programs all day long, but try not to isolate yourself in your apartment either.

  • Encourage old friends to visit your new home.

Just because you’ve made a move to a senior living community doesn’t mean you have to leave old friends behind. You will likely feel less alone if you invite family and friends to stop by for visits at your new place. Talk with the dining staff about what you need to do to have someone join you for a meal. You might be more comfortable meeting new people with an old friend or family member by your side.

  • Host a housewarming celebration.

It could also be fun to host a party or two to celebrate this next chapter in life. Once you feel settled in, invite the neighbors in your new community over for appetizers and wine or dessert and coffee. You could make it an open house so people can come and go as their schedules permit.

We hope these ideas will help you feel a little more excited and a little less nervous about moving to a senior living community!

Learn More

To learn more about American Senior Communities and their lifestyle and care options, visit ASCCare.com.

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Disclaimer: The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.

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