If you are about to move into a retirement community and you are of the friendly sort, you may appreciate a few reminders about how to fit in. Life will be quite a bit different from what you are used to, and your social skills may need a little tweaking, so here are three important ways to be popular in your new place.
1. You should get a feel for the place before you move in.
If you have a chance to eat in the dining room or participate in group activities before moving in, you should take it. This way you can get to know firsthand what life will be like in the community. You will also get to know if the food and the activities live up to their descriptions in those colorful brochures.
The activities will take on greater importance to you than you may have realized because you now have more time on your hands. You will want to look around for other seniors that appear to be as active and vital as you feel.
Along with conventional country club sports such as swimming or golf, many retirees enjoy playing pickleball, which is a racquet sport that is like a combination of badminton and tennis, and bocce, which is a lawn-bowling game that can be played whilst carrying a beverage.
2. Before announcing any strong religious or political views to other residents, get to know them better.
You may have developed a circle of friends in your old neighborhood where you felt free to express your views on anything and everything. Likely, your friends held similar views.
It can be quite disconcerting to find out the hard way that the residents of your new place have quite different views on religion and politics. If you aren't careful, you could be labeled a blowhard or a kook (or worse!) by some residents.
Of course, it isn't that you can't express your true thoughts on a subject as time goes on, but you don't want to alienate people during your first week of moving in by being dogmatic. If you take time to listen and make friendships first, you might find that differing perspectives on topics and issues can be refreshing.
3. Etiquette, hygiene, and grooming are still important.
If you don't want to be sitting at a dining table by yourself, don't get sloppy about manners and hygiene.
While nobody is going to get in a twist if you use the wrong fork for salad, it is still offensive to many residents (and staff) if you talk with your mouth full of food, you don't smell good, or your clothes are rumpled and stained.
Many persons move to retirement communities to socialize and to have less house maintenance or yard chores, etc., but that doesn't mean they have quit feeling youthful, The truth is that by continuing to make the effort to be appealing to others, you will feel better and like yourself more, too.
So, to recap: visit the community several times before moving in to ascertain if it a good fit for you, get to know other residents first before talking about controversial subjects, and take care of yourself. Then you will adjust much easier to life there and you will enjoy it more. Consider investigating The Cedars if you're searching for a new home.