If you've just moved to the independent living area of a new retirement community, you may be concerned about how you can fit in. Participating in and adding to the community are great ways to establish yourself as a good neighbor. Here are some of the ways you can find your niche in the new community.
Attend Resident Meetings
If the facility has an active resident's association, start attending those meetings. It will help you to understand the concerns of the residents. It will also show you who the most vocal residents in the community are. You may have some valuable input at these meetings, too, based on your own personal experiences.
Sign Up for Classes in the Facility
This is a good way to meet your neighbors. Get out of your comfort zone a bit and sign up for classes on topics new to you. Different classes will draw various residents to them so you'll meet more people by attending a range of classes. A dance class, model-ship building class, and fiction writing class will likely draw various types of people that you'll get to meet.
Offer to Teach a Class
This is another good way to meet people and establish a reputation as someone who gives back to the community. Draw from your own personal interests and professional skills to decide what to teach. From baking to using social media to stay connected with family, you likely have a variety of interests that you can present to others.
Become a Mentor and Coach to Others
Outside of teaching a class, you can become a "go-to" person to help people in the community with activities such as working with a computer or maintaining a healthy stock portfolio. Schedule question-and-answer sessions in a common area where people can just show up with questions or problems that you can help them with.
Organize a Fitness Group
If you like to exercise (and even if you don't!), organize a group to meet in the gym to work out together. Or set up bicycle rides through the community. A walking group that meets in a local park is another good way to get your neighbors together in a healthy activity.
Finding your niche in a new retirement community is easier to do if you participate with the community. Discover ways you can give back to the community by teaching, mentoring, and organizing groups. You'll soon make new friends and gain the reputation as a good neighbor. If you are currently looking for a new residence, consider an independent-living company like Kind-er Care, Inc.