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Advantages of New Friendships for Active Sixty-Fivers

Updated on May 11, 2021
MsDora profile image

MsDora, former teacher and counselor, is fascinated by the prospect of joyful aging. She explores and shares habits of happy seniors.

Sure, old friends are the best, but there is always space for new friendship in a new season of life. Many people over 65 have retired and relocated to be closer to the children and grandchildren; and in some cases, to take care of aged parents.

Some are still part of the workforce, many of them managing their own businesses, but they are slowing down to enjoy life more intentionally than in the previous years. Some may still desire dating relationships, but since that is not necessarily the case, this article will consider friendship in general.

Photo by pasja1000
Photo by pasja1000 | Source

From a ten-year study on friendships among seniors, Dr. Dawn Marcus, neurologist, contributes two impressive points:

(1) "Having social interactions with friends provided a greater effect than interactions with family members."

(2) "Older people who are more socially engaged also develop fewer memory problems. . . Good mental capacity was maintained best in those people who were the most socially active."

Share the Present

Even if they lived in the same area for a long time, turning sixty-five brings people into new places and situations. Perhaps for the first time they visit the social security office, or attend a lecture on Medicaid benefits, or sign up for seniors’ discounts at the neighborhood cafeteria. They meet new people and realize that working together through the process is better than doing it alone. They exchange phone numbers and enjoy communicating with each other—like friends. Before very long, they think of the new person when it is time to watch a movie, or take a walk in the park, or plan a weekend getaway. After 65, the emphasis is less on making a living, and more on enjoying the life they have. Sharing the present joys with a new friend is often the answer to maximizing the pleasure.

Share the Past

Stamp designed by  Designed by Robert T. McCall. Public Domain
Stamp designed by Designed by Robert T. McCall. Public Domain | Source

After 65, it becomes quite a habit to repeat the stories of yesteryear. Not just personal stories; they also recall historical incidents they experienced. Having a new friend share different perspectives on the same event validates the experience for both of them. The following are few of the many happenings sixty-fivers and their friends may remember:

  • The opening of K-Mart and Wal-Mart (1962);
  • The US landing on the moon and Woodstock (1969);
  • The end of the Vietnam War (1975); they may also debate when it began.

Share Skills

During their busy lives, sixty-fivers neglected some of their dreams. Those dreams awaken when they meet new friends with skills they wanted to learn, but never had the chance. Imagine a sixty-fiver meeting a new friend who loves to share conversational French, the language the other now has the time to learn; or meeting one who plays the guitar and wants a partner for a duet number; chances are the other already plays the keyboard so they can help each other learn new skills. No loneliness or boredom for these friends.

Share Security

Friends who live in the same area can look out for each other. They can share news and warnings about scams and other criminal activities against seniors; and they can share tips for survival. Friends who live alone may need advice on alarm systems, security lights and even where to keep their keys. One important way senior friends can help each other is to monitor bill payments and credit card activities for the less able. Also important is a telephone call every day for an update on health status, and the daily whereabouts. Even seniors who are strong and healthy find simple benefits in a daily call from a friend.

Share Humor

“A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.” (AllExperts). Sounds like a prescription for seniors, especially for those who need an exercise substitute. Laughter also relieves pain and increases immunity. Seniors need it. Many of them acquire the ability to laugh at themselves. It seems that Margaret Daniels did. The inscription on her grave (Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia) reads: “She always said her feet were killing her but nobody believed her.” (Humor Matters)

Share Friends

At some point, the old and new friends may show up for the same celebration by invitation from the mutual friend. What a happy experience meeting and spending time with the friend of a friend!

After 65, some friendships diminish because of relocation and some disappear through loss by death. It is difficult to make new friends, and even acquaintances become precious when they are introduced by a trustworthy friend. Seniors are also learning to make and share new friends, while staying in touch with old ones through social media.

Making friends is part of a healthy lifestyle - a part to which there is no age limit. After 65, life and health continue with even more meaning than before.

Friends Over 65?

How likely are you to make new friends among the over 65 population?

See results

© 2013 Dora Weithers


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    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you, PStraubie. Always a pleasure to hear from you. I appreciate your comments.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      8 years ago from North Central Florida

      You are so right, Ms. Dora.

      Old friends are the best...they are familiar and feel comfortable with them but finding new ones and welcoming them brings new joy to our lives and hopefully to ours.

      Thanks for sharing this with us. Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Rajan, I'm with you. We need friendships now as much as ever. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      At this age friendships are more solid I believe whether new or those that have been successful in the test of time. Great way to go!

      Voted up and interesting, MsDora.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Michele, thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate your support.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Such a wonderful hub MsDora. Friendships are so important. People you can share your memories with, and more.

      Thank you for writing this.

      Voted up.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Nell, I certainly agree with you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Wonderful hub MsDora, I think its lovely at any age to meet new people, but especially when you are older, new friendships mean a new lease of life, nell

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Faith Reaper! "Always room." Thanks for your input.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      8 years ago from southern USA

      Friendship are such a special blessing in this life, and there is always room for more friends!!! Love, love, love this article. Wonderful and insightful.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you, Faith Reaper

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Manatita, why would I be worried? I have a God and I have you for a friend! Thanks for asking!

    • manatita44 profile image


      8 years ago from london

      You are not worried, Dora, are you? The man upstairs still has a lot in store for you to do. So keep them coming! When I feel like it, I dance and sing on the streets of London, and I am 60 ... My heart feels really young, like a seven year old. Great Choice.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Ebonny. Your comments are very kind. Glad you like the article.

    • Ebonny profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      I just love the positivity of this hub and the inscription about "feet killing" her made me LOL. Such positivity and humour will see us through, whatever our age.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks Denise. I'm sure that your friends in this group enjoy you very much. God bless!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      I am finding that I am drawn to this particular population. They love it when I give them attention and want to do things with them. They readily accept and show appreciation, and are wonderful when it comes to visiting about family and their past history. I have found many a friend as I have joined a group of people who are primarily in this age group.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Frank. Looking after my own interest here. I'm almost there!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      8 years ago from Shelton

      MsDora this hubs cordially open doors for the future.. yeah a must read :)

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks DDE. Hope you enjoy those friendships when you get there.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub! Friendships after 65 can be more meaningful and much more appreciated

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Renee, your comment is very encouraging. Makes me happy when a reader wants to implement an idea my article. Thanks for letting me know. Enjoy those three years, and all the other years after.

    • Renee Abbott profile image

      Renee Abbott 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      I have three more years before I reach 65, however I have implimented many of your ideas already. When you lose everything that was your life, you can sink in misery, or rise above it.

      I love this hub, Ms Dora.

    • MsDora profile imageAUTHOR

      Dora Weithers 

      8 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks billybuc. We all know how busy you are, and if you can find time for friends, it must be a good thing.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the spirit of this hub...there is so much to do at my age now, and I am so appreciative of all that I experience. Friendships are more precious now....thanks for the reminder my friend.


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