Your home has become too much to maintain and you’ve decided to move to an assisted living facility. Moving to a retirement center is much like moving to a new neighborhood. It takes time to meet new people and find the niche in which you’re comfortable. Here are some suggestions as to how to settle into your new home and begin to develop a new circle of friends.
1. Get involved in any residents meetings.
Some facilities hold meetings between the administration and the residents to review upcoming changes and to discuss any concerns. This is a good way to see who are the vocal members of the community and what specific concerns the residents share. You’ll also get a sense of the relationship between the administrative staff and the residents.
2. Attend classes sponsored by the retirement facility.
The center may bring in experts to hold classes on a number of topics. Some of the residents may even facilitate classes on topics for which they are passionate. Sign up for classes on topics that interest you and you’ll meet other residents that share your passions. Extend yourself and attend some classes completely foreign to you. You might be surprised to make friends with some new people who admire your willingness to try something new.
3. Offer to teach a class on a familiar topic.
As a class facilitator, you’ll get to interact with your neighbors in a different way. You’ll discover the people who really enjoy learning and those who are just filling time. You’ll also develop the reputation with some people as a person who contributes to the community and doesn’t just participate.
4. Become a resident expert and share your skills.
You likely have developed expertise in an area that can help the other residents. You can hold a general class on the topic, but consider offering one-on-one sessions with people or a weekly question and answer session. Topics such as managing a financial portfolio or dealing with real estate issues may be on the minds of several residents. You can become a helpful resource to your new neighborhood.
5. Mentor new residents as they settle in.
By taking these steps, in a short time, you’ll find a way to fit into the retirement center. You’ll then have valuable experience with which you can help others just moving in. Offer to help new people get oriented to the facility. You’ll quickly meet the new people and have the opportunity to expand your circle of friends. Contact a local assisted living center, like Grace Assisted Living, for more information.