Your later years can be a time to reflect on all the amazing memories made with your family and friends. Spending time with your loved ones and enjoying the strong bonds built long ago can leave these special moments feeling far away, however. Life at this stage can become considerably more isolated and feel lonely if you chose not to have children, had reproductive issues, lost children to tragedy or illness, or are simply an empty nester and your kids have grown up and gone on to care for families of their own. If you have outlived your life partner and dear friends and are feeling a little lost for companionship, here are some great ways to extend your spiritual family in your later years:
1. Fostering, Mentoring & Adoption
There are many children and adolescents in need of good homes, guidance or just a positive adult role model to look up to; and you may be their perfect answer. Organizations centered on helping at risk youth could be a great place start a connection with the younger generous, and make some new memories. If you can commit to a full-time parenting role, adoption may be the answer. If you would like to help part-time or in emergencies, fostering could be a better option. Mentoring occurs on a weekly or monthly basis, and doesn’t require housing or meals most of the time.
In fact, there are even many adults who are independent but need a family, and could make a great addition to yours. Adult adoptions are fairly new but badly needed, as many people grow up without functioning families or simply “age out” of the foster care system. They are left completely on their own, and could use a kind heart and a listening ear like yours.
Volunteering is a great way to meet people and form essential and lasting social connections. You can volunteer for charities and local or national organizations, bringing awareness to issues or bringing light to darkness. People with disabilities, the elderly, the ill, children and animals can benefit from your help, just as much as you can.
3. Community Organizations
If you want to stay closer to home and have an effect in your own backyard, you can join an organization that pushes a cause you support. Local cooperatives and community gardens feed people nutritious food and beautify the area. Associations and other events aimed at bringing people together, entertaining or educating would also be great choices.
4. Spiritual organizations
Faith is a great way to bring people together and give you a home away from home. Even non-denominational spaces would be awesome alternatives to churches, synagogues and mosques. Temples, healing centers and even some yoga studios would bring together people on a spiritual path and add value to your growing spiritual family.
5. Hobbies & Interests
Leisurely pursuits and pastimes are a great way to meet people you have something in common with. You can join hobby groups, take creative or technical skill classes, or even sign up for more formal continuing education and meet lovely people who share a passion or special interest of yours. Websites like Meetup.com offer a wonderful array of get-togethers with local enthusiasts.
Beautiful long-lasting friendships can be formed when you look beyond your biological family for bonding and connection. Step out into the world and meet people who share the same sense of openness and gratitude for everyone who comes into their lives. Expanding your spiritual family will help your golden years be even more rich and full.