8 Top Tips for Moving into and Making New Friends in Retirement Living

July 25, 2023

Making the move to a retirement living community can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.

Leaving behind the home you've cherished for years and the community you are used to can cause concern. However, rest assured that this new chapter in your life brings a whole new sense of community that can enhance your life in wonderful ways.

Pictured: Joining in on a Mayflower outing, such as a luncheon is a great way to meet your new locals and make new friends along the way.

And, moving to a retirement community doesn't mean losing touch with old friends. In fact, while embracing new friendships, you can still stay connected to the community you know and cherish. This support system provides peace of mind as you navigate the transition.

Research by UNSW Sydney Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) reveals the positive impact of strong community connections on brain health. Engaging in regular community group activities and living with others significantly reduces the risk of cognitive decline. Additionally, feeling connected and never lonely is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline. This insight empowers us to make changes that promote memory preservation and reduce the risk of dementia.

Now, let's explore how to cultivate meaningful friendships in your new retirement living community at Mayflower Brighton:

See what’s on! At Mayflower Brighton, we have a host of activities. From regular exercise classes to Happy Hours, live performances, shopping adventures, bus outings and more. There is always something going on.

Join a group: Seek out hobby groups, community organisations like Lions, Probus or Rotary, sporting clubs, or faith communities such as local churches. Online message boards such as friendship phone apps, local shops, and community notice boards are great resources to find like-minded individuals and activities.

Volunteer: Use your newfound time in retirement to give back and continue to make a difference. It will also give you that ‘warm and fuzzy’ rewarding feeling.  At Mayflower, we offer various volunteering opportunities across our locations, such as helping in our gift shops, driving a minibus, hosting quizzes, pampering residents, and maintaining our beautiful gardens. By sharing your time, skills, and expertise, you can contribute to our vibrant community while meeting wonderful people who share your passion.

Go on a group holiday: Explore the world with fellow retirees by joining tours designed specifically for you. These adventures not only allow you to visit exciting destinations but also provide opportunities to form lasting bonds with like-minded travellers. Sharing life-changing experiences will create cherished memories and meaningful connections.

Have a housewarming: Invite your old friends to celebrate your new home and meet other residents who are eager to welcome you. Consider organising a potluck gathering to showcase culinary skills and uncover hidden talents within your community.

Knock on a few doors: This may feel daunting for many; however, you just may find a new close friend by making the first move. Put together a few simple welcome baskets, and knock on a few of your new neighbours’ doors and introduce yourself. The basket or bottle of wine is a great icebreaker; the next time you see them, they will no longer be strangers.

Get some extra support, when you need it: Your new social calendar might find you scheduling time to do chores like housekeeping or buying groceries a little tricky, or you may find your needs changing. We provide compassionate and responsive home care support services in Melbourne’s Northern and Bayside suburbs, promoting health, well-being and independence.

As you embark on this new chapter, remember that forging lasting friendships and creating a vibrant social network is within your reach. Embrace the possibilities, engage with your new community, and relish in the joys of building connections that enrich your life.

New space, but feels like home:

When it comes to making your new space feel like home, Mayflower is here to support you every step of the way. While it may be tempting to buy all-new furniture and décor, incorporating familiar pieces from your previous home can bring comfort and familiarity to your new surroundings. Personalize your living space with favourite items, cherished furniture, and sentimental décor pieces. By blending the old and the new, you'll create a warm and inviting atmosphere that reflects your unique personality.

Mayflower Brighton is excited to welcome you to our retirement living community, where you can build new friendships, contribute meaningfully, and create a space that feels like home. We're here to provide support and enrich your retirement journey.