Two senior adults smiling at the camera while sitting outside on a porch.

Making Friends as an Older Adult

If you’re living in an assisted living facility you’re already in a prime place to make connections and friends. Throughout our lives, our friends and family can grow apart. There are too many circumstances when we age that put us in situations where we lose touch with some really great people. If anything, it can be discouraging to try and make new friends, especially if you can’t remember how you made your original ones in the first place. The hardest part is being the new kid at an assisted living center. However, we’re here to make the friend-finding process a bit easier. Follow these tips and tricks to help you meet new people and form unforgettable bonds.

Friend References

At this time in your life, it’s ok to be picky about who you want to become friends with. Using your previous or current friends as a reference for the kinds of people you get along with is helpful. Think about what traits you like about them and which ones get on your nerves. That way, you can harvest more valuable relationships as opposed to surface-level. It’s ok to not be popular at this point in time. We aren’t in high school anymore.

Don’t Shy Away From Technology

A big part of why Facebook and other social media platforms are popular is because it’s an easy and convenient way to share your hobbies and interests with everyone. It’s also an easier way for introverts to connect with each other. If you are more on the shy side, it can be a great way to reach out to people with similar interests without meeting face-to-face. Granted, you should not shut yourself in, start by building a community in the place that you are currently in and while you’re separated, use social media to stay up to date.
In fact, there are many Facebook groups in the local Boise area and Treasure Valley that are dedicated to specific niche interests. Start there if you’re interested in becoming part of an online community.

Take Advantage of Weekly Activities

At Streamside Assisted Living there are an abundant amount of activities for you to participate in. Take advantage of the activities that interest you the most at your assisted living facility. Being the new person only lasts for so long. Soon enough you’ll be a regular! The hardest part is going. Motivate yourself using these 3 methods backed by science; get positive, get rewarded, get peer pressure. In this case, hopefully, the reward would be making a new friend.

Look in the Mirror

One of the first things you should do before going out and trying to make friends is to look at yourself and within yourself. Tell yourself all of the positive qualities about what makes you unique and what kind of friend you would be to another person. You may have thought you fully understand yourself after having your mid-life crisis, but with a huge shift in your overall surroundings and schedule, it can be hard to avoid another identity crisis. Knowing what kind of person you are will help you find out the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. Some people are low maintenance, while others can be high, you just have to figure out what type of friendship you will treasure the most.

Assisted Living in Nampa

At Streamside it’s important you have the autonomy to make the friends you want in a community that supports building healthy friendships. With us, you will feel like you are in your own private home without the hassle of daily chores. If you still aren’t sure about an assisted living center, check out our FAQ page to make sure it’s the right fit for you or your loved one.

Multicolor game pieces on a blue background

These Board Games Improve Memory and Problem Solving

Christmas is right around the corner. Instead of buying another scarf or blanket, invest in a game that will challenge your mind and jog your memory. Board games while not as popular as they used to be, still have a timeless feel. If you’re looking for some easy entertainment and fun, then these board games can provide you with just that and more. Strengthening your memory and problem-solving skills is especially important for residents in assisted living care centers.

The Settlers of Catan

Catan or rather, Settlers is a multiplayer board game where players become settlers and try to build their holding areas by acquiring resources and trading them. This is a game that requires lots of communication and strategizing. The great thing about it is that it is fairly easy to learn, so picking up on the rules should be simple. The typical amount of players is 3-4 but with expansions, this number can increase.

Ticket to Ride

Trains! This game is great for geography and conversing about your travels. Players are given cards that have different kinds of train cars. You then use these cards to mark your train route with the small train shaped pieces. Your goal is to connect to destination cities and or create the longest route. The classic version mimics a map of North America, whereas other variations of the game cover other countries. This can spark memories of past travels and family genealogy.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

The board of this game mimics that of Clue where there are several rooms in a large house, players have to navigate through. Different rooms within the mansion contain items, omens, or traps. You are all allies until the “haunt” begins where one of the player’s sides with the monsters and ghosts. The betrayer assumes the role of one of the monsters and remaining players must strategize to defeat them.
This game is pretty hefty to learn, but once you’ve played once, you won’t want to stop. Every time you play it’s like a brand new game. Anyone or no one could become the betrayer at any moment. The suspense and variability of the game keeps it fresh and you won’t easily burn out after a few times.

Incan Gold

Speaking of traps. Incan Gold is a game where players have to collect treasure all while avoiding traps and hauling your findings back to camp. A total of eight people can play this game, so it makes it great for large gatherings. This board game for seniors will exercise their problem-solving and creativity. Luckily, because it’s a luck-based game, it’s just a question of how lucky are you? And How much are you willing to risk?

Chess

We had to include this board game. Studies have shown that chess offers numerous amounts of health benefits. A big part of it is memory improvement. Players have to remember their opponents playing style, rules, and mistakes. Chess sparks both sides of the brain to work, so players can show off their logical and creative side all at once. Someone great at chess exhibits high memory recall and performance. There is something very calming about playing chess. With its ability for players to keep to themselves and strategize in their heads, chess is a game that can be enjoyed without speaking a word.

Assisted Living Nampa

If your assisted living center doesn’t already have some of these board games, then I would consider gifting these to your friends and family. They are a great way to connect and compete with fellow residents and family members. At Streamside Assisted Living in Nampa Idaho, we provide a helping hand when you need it most. Our residents are an important part of what we do, so we make sure their stay is as comfortable and fun as they want it to be.

Two elderly people in front of an assisted living home

Low-Impact Hobbies and Activities for Seniors this Summer

Now that summer is in full spring, we have found ourselves with more and more time in each day. Seeing as we have an average of 14 hours of daylight in each day during the summer to not only get the things we have to do done, we have more time to spend on the things we want to do.

Sometimes, this means we get to try new activities and enjoy new hobbies. Although, for most seniors, the reality becomes finding activities we genuinely enjoy that we are also able to appreciate on a regular basis.

For Summer, we have compiled a list of thrilling, low-impact activities for seniors to try out with their peers or on their own.

Get Reading

We all get stuck in the routines of reading our regularly scheduled, more-predictable-than-not content. That is not to say that the newspaper, our favorite magazines, and newsletters are not quality content but a change of pace can always spark new curiosities or entertain existing interests. New York Times Summer Reading list mentions 75 books to engage readers of all kinds. Barnes & Noble also offers Summer Reading options by genre. Audiobooks can also be a great outlet for those of us with more ‘on the go’ personalities.

Get Active

We all know physical activity, of any kind, has health benefits but it can also be a great way to interact with peers and raise spirits. Whether seniors get involved with walking group, water aerobics classes, tai chi, yoga, or even seated chair exercises, there is support across the valley. The Treasure Valley Family YMCA has a specific offering of senior activity classes.

Get Creative

Many retirees make the decision to try their hand at the activities they ran out of time for in their day-to-day raising their families or building their career. With more time and energy to dedicate to relaxation, art and creative endeavors become a great place to ease your mind. Artistic ventures have even been demonstrated to improve experiences for those suffering from chronic illnesses. Whether you start a ‘paint and sip’ group in your senior living community or set aside time and materials for inner peace, art can be a great opportunity for self-reflection or social interaction.

Get Outside

While physical activity is often associated with the outdoors, spending time outside can also be a calming experience for more idled activities. Vitamin D exposure can be an incredibly important asset for seniors, even strengthening bone density and protecting seniors from fractures. Picnics, gardening, puzzling and even just resting in full or partial sunlight can drastically enhance living experience for seniors.

Looking into alternative activities for seniors can seem difficult or daunting but any activity can be fit suit the needs and desires for any senior, especially those in assisted living facilities. Reach out to a healthcare provider or care professional for more ideas specific to you or the senior in your life.