We all have a need to belong. For many of us, feeling like part of a community fulfills a sense of belonging. If you're just moving into a new retirement home, try some simple ways to build a sense of community and belonging.
Be a neighbour. Approach the people around you and simply ask them, “How are you?” Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and get to know them. The retirement home community is a friendly one that gives you a great opportunity to socialize. Getting to know fellow residents is a chance to make friends who can help you make the transition into your new lifestyle. That feeling of familiarity will make easing into your new home much smoother.
Get involved. Your retirement community will no doubt offer residents a large variety of events and activities to choose from. Join them! The more activities you get involved in, the more you will enjoy the community and meet people with similar interests. Making new friends will help you feel at home. Keeping yourself isolated only prevents you from experiencing your new life to the fullest. A large portion of your rent goes towards the amenities, so take advantage of them.
Keep in contact with friends and family. A lot of seniors are afraid of living in a retirement community because they think they will lose contact with their loved ones. However, most communities are more than happy to allow your guests to visit and even stay overnight. Don’t try to minimize contact with your loved ones – keep in touch! Invite a family members to share meals or attend events with you. It’s always great to see a familiar face.
Talk with the staff. Getting to know the staff is just as important as getting to know other residents. They are the ones that will take care of any issues you have with the community. Because they see new residents move in all the time, they’re also a great source of tips and ideas that can help you settle into your new environment.