Seniors: Friends, People who Matter

Jun 23rd, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Identifying the people who matter as we age is no mean task. Depending upon where you choose to live, a lot of investment will be put into meeting new people, developing new acquaintances, enjoying new friends.  If you live in a retirement community, having a plethora of activities which create a steady stream of persons to enjoy is a very productive way to keep interpersonal relationships rich and numerous.  Research suggests it may also contribute to longevity and healthier living.

Remaining in one’s previous residence presents something more of a challenge.  We moved back to my hometown after a 40 year hiatus. Having departed my senior year in high school, it is obvious there would be many no longer around.  However, it was also surprising to see how many had moved on.  Many would have made their own choice to move elsewhere,whic meant that some you might have liked to have revisited would not be there for the opportunity.

Of course, the principal departing dynamic is death.  Losing so many, as has been true in our fourteen years of residence here since retirement, has meant the loss of many dear friends and family members.

Just this summer there have been sudden departures that left a major void, a sadness, a need to realize how, when saying goodbye, it can often be forever.

So we go about the chore of finding persons who can fill our lives with new joy, happy experiences, unrealized adventures.  It is a never ending undertaking to be on the alert for persons whose personalities can intersect with our own.  Having rich experiences that allow us new wonders of relationship is one of the healthiest of tasks we can take on as we age.

Especially, if or when one settles into an assisted living facility or other such residence, the need for friends continues and allows for enriching conversations and interchanges.

Having friends needing friends, identifying friends is of never ending value and importance.  Support systems come by way of friends.  Friends offer counsel and support.  They reinforce our feelings and opinions.  Overcoming sadness and pain can be the best contribution of friends.

Being on the search for friends, taking advantage of activities which place you in environments where new friends will be available, spotting persons who appear to be pleasant and open to conversation are all necessary as we continue the challenges of living.

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