The world is changing for 60-year-old women. We no longer have the social context that we enjoyed as a wife, parent or co-worker. Building community and creating a network of like-minded friends is a challenge, but not impossible.
There are many groups that are trying to offer a platform for people to connect with one another, and here are just 5 that I discovered and would love to share.
Daybreaker is an early-morning, dance movement meetup happening in 22 cities around the world, including Paris, Seattle, London, Hong Kong, Miami and New York. Women of all ages meet on a regular basis in various places before they head to work.
So, at 6 am, the 2-hour session begins – on a boat, in a community centre, in an office conference room. It consists of practicing a 1-hour yoga and fitness experience followed by what they call “dancing with reckless abandon.”
They call themselves “a global family” and represent a good example of the millennial focus on co-living, collaboration and group connection! If you want to bring Daybreaker to your town, there is sign-up information on their website describing how to get involved.
I am a big fan of Meetup.com. In the last few years I have started several groups myself and made so many wonderful like-minded friends.
I have found that being very specific is the best approach. So, my “Train Lovers Group for English speaking people over 50 who live in the Zug area of Switzerland” has over 40 members! We get together every month and go on a train trip somewhere in Switzerland.
Meetup says that it brings people together to create thriving communities, and I really agree that a meetup can change your life. You can start a meetup if there is not one in your area, and you will be surprised how many people respond.
Meetup promotes your meetup to the group of people you are targeting and you then meet in a public place to explore a hobby, interest or activity. You can also search online for an existing meetup that suit your interests.
Bhangra is a traditional folk dance from the northern part of Punjab, India, and masala means “spicy” in Hindi.
A charismatic woman named Sarina Jain started an exercise dance class that is now offered around the world. You can join or become a teacher through the Masala Bhangra Ambassador Training program. Sarina actually modernized the Bhangra folk dance with a touch of Bollywood music and moves.
This is just one example of an exercise program that is offered around the world and gives you an opportunity to meet up with other women who love to stay fit and dance together!
The Red Hat Society is an international social organization that was founded in 1998 in the United States, specifically for women over 50. However, it is now open to women of all ages.
They say they are all about “play,” and they are focused on helping women to live life full of fun and adventure.
Recognizing that friendship changes as you get older, they offer a girlfriend network. With chapters across the United States, they organize a set of meetings and events that help women to feel connected and able to fight aging stereotypes.
There is a membership fee, and you can become Queen of a Chapter for your area if one is not established. Wearing a red hat – or pink if you are just getting started – is part of the identifying criteria.
I have known Evelyn Hannon, the founder of Journeywoman, for several years now. Her travel community is entirely online, but I love the way she has built a business model focused on sharing of information and friendship.
Her audience consists of women of all ages, and she makes it a point to encourage older women to be bold, brave and curious!
She shares tips submitted by her community of travellers so you get a much more tactile and immediate connection. Like Sixty and Me, she hopes older women will connect with other women while travelling, and establish a real sense of friendship and connection.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million people connecting like-minded individuals who want to create lasting change. They say that their 35,000+ clubs work together to fight disease and promote peace, sustainability, education and economy.
They are socially aware, and their worldwide group is focused on making the world a better place. If you have a passion for social issues and want to get involved, the Rotary Club has a process for engagement that you can join.
These are just a few of the many groups you can become a part of. They can help you start and build friendships with like-minded people.
Friendship may take some time to develop as you get a little older, but you don’t have to go it alone. There are dedicated online groups like Sixty and Me that offer online friendship and support. Why not complement that with an organized group designed for in-person collaboration and fun!
What social groups have you joined to make friends in your 60s? Have you tried using MeetUp, Red Hat or another networking group? Please share the names of any groups in your neighbourhood that are focused on getting women of all ages together!