Takeaways

Dearie:  Wherever you go, even in the grocery store and especially with your neighbors, it’s important to be polite, to be pleasant and smile.  Especially in these senior living communities even though you may not like everyone, you have to accept them for who they are and not judge them.  When moving into one of these communities your expectations can be high about what they will be like and who you will meet.  Figure out what you want from making this move –  is it activities, meals, friendships – and take it slow and easy. 

 

Barbara:  Everyone comes to a senior living community with a life-long history and personality.  Some people will be more outgoing and wish to make friendships.  Others will be more reserved.  Knowing your own style and how much you wish to get involved with others and become close is about knowing what your personal boundaries are.    You must balance your own needs for privacy but still recognize you are living in a social setting    These communities sometimes feel forced and artificial and the social setting can sometimes feel like you are back in the 7th grade navigating cliques and the in-crowd. 

Being open to making new friends in late life can be special indeed.   Though it may come with some sadness because they may be short-lived or the friendship may be circumscribed to only certain topics of conversation, but friendships allow you to explore who you are and how well you have lived your long life.