7½ x 9¾ Papercover
© May 2012
Remember when you just moved and everything in the neighborhood was a mystery? Being new to your surroundings, especially if you have mobility issues, can naturally increase the likelihood of social isolation.
- Keep track of where new residents are coming from Are they moving from a different city, state, or country? Do they have family or friends nearby?
- Create a booklet for new residents that lists various grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, religious services, and other services nearby. Provide information on how to get to these places. Maps of the area, along with public transportation information, can be critical in connecting seniors to their communities. Providing such information allows residents to feel independent.
- Establish a welcome committee at your site. They offer a good opportunity for long-term residents to enjoy a more active role in the community. Provide new residents with a contact person they can call on for help in navigating the new environment.
- Make sure new residents know they are welcome at the coffee hour and other gatherings. It can be intimidating to think about joining a group of people who already know one another well. Be very clear that it is in no way an intrusion by saying, “We love having new faces at the group.”
- If residents are concerned about neighborhood safety, organize a meeting during which they can raise safety concerns and ask questions. Invite the local police or any community policing group to attend. Encourage concerned residents to join a neighborhood watch group.
- Help residents fill out and send in their updated voter registration forms