Introverts have gained recognition in recent years for their ability to form loyal friendships once they get to know someone. While you know that your mom has many wonderful things to share with her new assisted living community, you may also be concerned about how she will adjust to living in a place with such a high level of social activity. As you help your mom transition to her new home, use these strategies to encourage her to develop close friendships with the other residents.
Talk to the Staff
The staff at your mom's assisted elderly living residence is sensitive to the unique needs of each senior adult who lives in the community. Consider letting her caregivers know that she tends to fall on the quiet side but will perk up when she's around the right types of people. This way, the staff can be on the lookout for other residents whose personalities match with your mom's so that they can make introductions that foster new friendships.
Encourage Her to Enjoy Hobbies
Over the years, your mom has likely cultivated hobbies that she can use as a springboard for conversations with potential new friends. Whether she enjoys knitting, painting or gardening, look for ways to help her continue doing the things that she loves. For example, you could provide her with a supply of her favorite art materials that she can use in her room. If your mom's residence offers classes, then encourage her to sign up. Often, senior social activities involve some type of arts and crafts that will encourage your mom to meet other people while engaging in her favorite hobby.
Attend Family Events
You can also play a role in helping your mom to meet new friends. If you live nearby, consider visiting her regularly and try to attend family events. During these visits, you can be on alert for other people that your mom might make friends with so that you can help with the introductions. For instance, you could mention your mom's favorite books as you share a table with her neighbors so that she has an easy conversation starter with other people when you return home.
Most seniors quickly adapt to their new assisted living residence, and being surrounded by other people their age makes it easier to socialize. While forming new friendships does take a little time for introverts, you can look forward to meeting your mom's new companions as you visit her over the upcoming months.