How to make friends in later life

How to make friends in later life

Getting older can bring all sorts of challenges, including loneliness, but there are things you can do to make new friends.

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There are many reasons people may have less friends in later life, including break-ups in relationships which result in family and friends feeling forced to take sides. Also, parents who dedicated a large chunk of their lives to bringing up their children, may not have had time for socialising and now their family have grown up and left home, they are left feeling isolated.

Some suggestions for meeting new people take a little bit of courage, but taking that first step is all that is needed to start making new friends.

Go to new places

Consider going to places you haven’t been to before, as well as places that haven’t previously interested you. Not only will you meet new people, but you could find a new hobby. This may mean going a little out of your comfort zone, but if you’re friendly, people will often be very happy to chat.

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You could also consider joining a gym, seeing what is on at your local library, or signing up for a new course and find a whole new circle of friends waiting to embrace you.

Local initiatives

Find out what is available where you live. Many cities are introducing ways to help tackle loneliness and launching initiatives to highlight the effects of loneliness, such as in Manchester. A scheme offers elderly local fans of Manchester United Football Club a chance to meet the players before the game.

Elderly people wanting to remain in their own home, but who require help, should consider live in care. If you’re wondering ‘is there any live in care near me’, check online to see what is available in your area.


People in their retirement years may find friends move away to be nearer family, or get unwell and require care, and these things can have a negative impact on friendships. If you’re recently retired, consider getting in touch with old colleagues. The daily contact of work can make you feel part of something and when that goes, it can leave an empty space.


Visiting a local café and chatting to the regulars is a really nice way to make new friends and help local businesses.