Friends are an important part of our every day, especially as we get older. Without work to keep us busy, our time should be filled with people whose company we genuinely enjoy, and who bring out the best in us. Our buddies don’t have to be bound by age. Intergenerational friendships can be some of the most rewarding relationships of all!
While independent senior living villages are great, it can mean we get stuck in our community of hive minds. Younger friends give us a chance to learn new things & impart our wisdom. Plus, they most likely have a little more energy to spare, so perhaps we can soak in a little of their joie de vivre!
Let’s look at some of the benefits of breaching the intergenerational divide, and how to do it in the first place!
The Benefits of Intergenerational Friendships
Before you turn your nose up at the thought of young hooligans crashing your sophisticated friend circles, let’s look at some of the good things that friendships across the ages can bring. Trust us, there are plenty of reasons to befriend a younger person.
Plus, we’re not just talking about becoming besties with a teenager (Google it), just a decade or two counts!
Learn Fun New Things!
One of the best things about having younger friends is that they’re generally in-the-know with all the new-fangled technology and trends. If we want to keep on top of the latest gadgets and apps but are slightly intimidated, enlisting a younger friend might just make these things more accessible.
Younger people have grown up with the digital world at their fingertips, so it makes sense that things come a little easier to them. Propose a skills swap, perhaps we can pass on a trick of our own in exchange for their tech help. These intergenerational friendships can create knowledge circles, so skills keep circulating!
Keep on Top of the World’s Happenings
It can be hard to keep on top of the world—the internet and digital dominance mean everything moves at such a pace! No worries, simply get your young friends to keep you to date.
With friends either older or younger than you, it’s likely they are affected by different happenings in the world. Friends from different backgrounds also mean you can gain new perspectives about things, places, and people that we may not have been exposed to before.
It certainly helps to keep the world interesting and might just open our brains to some new pathways to help us navigate through new stages of life!
You Can Pass On Your Own Wisdom
For all the learnings younger people can teach us, we can teach them just as much. Even if the age gap is minimal, we’ve probably gone through a similar stage in our own lives. Through our own experiences, we can advise them in their journey through certain issues, from relationships to life changes.
One of the benefits of being older is we sit more comfortably within ourselves and our knowledge of life. It can be a great help to younger generations when they hear a little kind-hearted advice. Who knows, our wisdom may give them the confidence to live their lives with a little more know-how and pizazz!
Gain Confidence Without the Competition
Speaking of pizazz, we can become bolder ourselves with the help of our spritelier friends. When we learn new things, it can instil a little more joie de vivre, and a hunger for life!
We’re never too old to learn new things and get a special sparkle in our steps. Broach the intergenerational divide, learn new skills, and gain the confidence to operate in many social circles, not just the bingo once a week (although we don’t knock a bit of bingo!).
How to Broach the Intergenerational Divide & Make Friends
So, we might have convinced you that intergenerational friendships can be a great thing, but how exactly do you cross that intergenerational line? Here are some tips.
Join a Local Bowls, Rackets or Golf Club!
Do you know what a truly intergenerational pass time is? Sports!
Although our high intensity, high impact rugby, footie, or netball days might be behind us, golf was literally made for a life of leisure and attracts people of all ages. Take a stroll around your local green, ask if a group in front of you need an extra man, or propose a game of Ambrose to get a conversation started.
If golf isn’t your game, join the local bowls club, or the tennis team! It’s a sure-fire way to meet people from many age groups. A bonus is that these sports are often a weekly occurrence, so you have a guaranteed social event to look forward to.
Volunteer at Your Local Charity or Mentor Program
Retirement means we might not have the opportunity to make new friends at work, but volunteer work always brings together an eclectic bunch!
Volunteer work is a great thing to do for the community and is a great way to meet people younger than you, who have the same kind mindset and care about the same things.
Another option is to join a mentorship program, where we can use our work experience and knowledge to help guide a younger person’s career path. Often mentor/mentoree relationships can create strong bonds, especially as we see them progress. It’s a great way you can pass on your knowledge and feel a sense of fulfilment in helping others.
Find New Friends at Settlers Lifestyle Village
The best place to find friends across a range of ages is at retirement villages, which can house a number of generations all in one friendly community! Settlers Lifestyle Village boasts apartments for all walks of life, and our independent or assisted living options means both older and younger seniors can live their lives to the full in one place.
Get in touch with the team at Settlers Lifestyle Village in Albany to talk through your options. It’s a great place to build a life full of new friends, and new fun!