If your loved one has just moved into an assisted living facility, they are most likely hanging out alone as they get used to their new home. Making friends can keep your loved one from becoming withdrawn and depressed, so it is important to try encouraging them to speak with people within the establishment so they start making new friends. Here are some tips you can pass along to your loved one in an attempt to have them meet people at their new residence.
Have Them Frequent Common Areas
Tell your loved one to walk around the establishment often, at their own pace. While they are enjoying the sights on the outdoor grounds or within the walls of the buildings, they may happen to run into someone doing the same thing. Have them sit in the cafeteria with a newspaper or book as they have their meal instead of bringing it back to their room. Someone may strike up a conversation. If there is a library or reading area, this is a great spot to relax with others in a quiet setting. Someone else may be vying for conversation and going to the same areas day after day will have them run into repeat neighbors, increasing the chance of confrontation.
Tell Them To Join Activities
Assisted living facilities have a schedule of activities that residents can join. There are crafts, reading groups, exercise sessions and social hours. When you visit your loved one, ask for a schedule at the front desk and bring it to your loved one to look at together. Ask them which activities sound interesting to them and help them enroll so they can be part of the fun. If your loved one is nervous, go with them to the first session of an activity to help them feel at ease. There will be a good chance others enrolled in the same activity will strike up a conversation.
Encourage Them To Consider Volunteering
One great way for your loved one to meet new friends is for them to volunteer to show other new people around the establishment. They would have the benefit in helping someone else become accustomed to their new surroundings while being one of the first friends that new person has in return. This way, your loved one will be able to make new friends with people also looking to make new friends. In time, your loved one will enjoy the responsibility of having a position within the residence, as well as the opportunity to meet new people often.