Making new friends can be hard for anyone. When you move to a new area, whether that be a new city, a new complex, or a new assisted living facility, there is always a challenge to meet new people and make new social connections.

Building relationships is important for everyone, no matter their age. It helps people stay active, stay healthy, and stay involved in the community. Just meeting some friends to go and watch a Calgary Flames game or take a walk along the Bow River can help you feel better about your life and your health.

For seniors, the challenges are even greater. Long time friends may have already moved away, retired to another facility, or passed away. Seniors who are living independently may find themselves struggling to meet new people as their neighbourhood changes and develops.

As seniors build new relationships or strengthen old ones, the benefits are easily seen. Depression, which is very common among seniors as they find themselves unable to see their friends, families, or do the things they always could, is something social contact helps to combat. When seniors make connections and do activities with their friends, they feel happier and healthier.

The physical benefits are obvious too. With no friends or activities to keep them moving, they may find themselves just sitting alone in their rooms, gaining weight, losing muscle tone, and simple tasks like walking or getting dressed may leave them breathless, dizzy, and disoriented. The more friends you have, the more interested you are in getting out, doing things, and remaining an active member of society. Seniors who keep active with their friends are more likely to remain healthy and energetic.

Helping seniors build healthy relationships is just as important as helping them eat healthy food. The more connected they are to the world around them, the better their lives will be.

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