Let’s Make More Friends!

Group of happy senior friends cheering at barbecue meal in terrace outdoor - Mature old people drinking wine at patio bbq dinner - Main focus on left hands glasses - Joyful elderly lifestyle concept

Having family and friends who are an active part of your life has been shown to keep loneliness and depression at bay. This is true from when you are a young child, to well into your senior years. Many people think that making friends as an adult is hard to do, but is it? Getting out is the only way you can do this. Here are some places to go to make more friends in your 50s, 60s, 70s, and senior years.

Community Events

Active seniors doing exercise with physiotherapist at nursing home gym. Trainer helping elderly man and old woman exercising at home. Retired people doing stretching exercises at retirement community.

Throughout the year you can venture out to the myriad of events held across the country. Expos are a great way to meet people in your age group, many with similar interests and experiences. You can also try music performances, community markets, multicultural festivals and sporting events. Some of these may have an entry fee, while others are free.

Free Courses

Senior student in class

Getting out doesn’t have to mean spending money. There are lots of ways to have fun without spending a cent. Libraries often offer a slew of free courses, letting you expand your mind and socialise. Try your hand at creative writing, family history, arts and crafts, or even computer skills.

RSL and Sports Clubs

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Almost every town has at least one RSL or sports club. They are a great place to meet people and make new friends, with every day offering a fun event. Try your hand at lawn bowls or bingo during the week, with conversation and competition flowing.

Free music performances are also a big drawing card, with the dance floor teeming with dancers. Join in on a line-dancing number, grab a partner, or enjoy the show while savouring the treats at their cafes.

Hobby Clubs

Do you like knitting? How about cooking? Or how about exercising? Check online or in the newspaper for clubs or groups that meet up in your area. They can be free, bringyour- own, or charge a minimal fee for food or materials.

Invite Your Family and Friends

Organise a gathering where everyone brings along one or more guests. You can swap stories, have laughs, and gain more friends.

MeetUp.com

Take your search to the next level with MeetUp, a website that lets you join or create groups for people with shared interests. The most popular groups include car enthusiasts, hobbies, and sports, to name a few. It is a safe and fun environment, with only friendship on the table. Groups are small – around ten – so you can get to know everyone without being overwhelmed.

School Reunions and Alumni Get-Togethers

School – whether it be high school or university – was a great place to meet people of the same age with similar interests. Though life may have led you down different paths in the intervening years, reunions and get-togethers can be a great way to reconnect. Rekindle past friendships and maybe even get to know those you weren’t so close to. Your school may arrange this, you can arrange one, or you can simply turn to internet sites like Facebook to catch up with everyone.

Talks and Lectures

If you are looking for people with similar interests, a talk or lecture is a great place to find them. You will have a good time either way, and it is an easy conversation starter.

Online Dating

If you are looking for something more than just a friendship, online dating is an option. There are dozens of sites that facilitate safe and secure interaction, many having specific themes that further target your main areas of interest.

To make new friends, you’ve got to get out. Go to places you enjoy, and talk with likeminded people. Connect, share, and grow along with others. Socialising comes more easily for some, but with a bit of practice, you can do it!

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