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Tips for Making Friends in Older Age

Jim is 51. He just started a new job in Boston after moving from San Francisco. The job represented a great opportunity, but he left many of his longtime friends behind. On his first day at his new job, Jim wondered how he was going to make new friends.

No matter your age, making friends isn’t always easy, however, studies have shown that having friends and a strong social network improves overall health and well-being.

For those who have had to relocate to a new place for a job or other reason, here are some tips on way in which you can easily meet new people and start fostering new friendships.

  1. VolunteeringA number of public and non-profit organizations need volunteers. By serving as a volunteer, you can meet people who care deeply about the same institutions and causes. You can find volunteer opportunities online through VolunteerMatch.org.
  2. Join a book club or other social group.Look for clubs or groups that share your interests (e.g. yoga, bike riding, gardening). Meetup (http://www.meetup.com), a website where members can find and join groups based on interests in their geographic region, is a great place to connect with others who share common interests.
  3. Get a PetGetting a pet such as a dog or cat provides you with immediate companionship and can help ease the transition in your new environment. Now, not only do you have a loyal companion around the clock, but you will also start meeting other pet owners at local parks or community areas where you take your dog or your cat for walks. 

Change is often very hard for people, but it is also an opportunity to meet new people, learn more about yourself and take up new hobbies. You never know, a new beginning may end up being better than you ever thought possible.

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