When her father died, Margarite Avendano found herself “a little bit alone” after tending to him full time as his health declined. As a caretaker, she says, “you kind of hide yourself. There’s a stigma. You become more isolated.” So she decided to work on her own health — by making new friends. She joined an online companionship community and started going to the Y
“I was so shy at first, but slowly I found people of similar ages and with similar interests,” says Avendano, who describes herself as being in her 70s and lives in San Mateo, California. She made friends who get together to go hiking, dancing and to dinner and the movies.
Friends help reduces stress and fatigue. Soon she noticed that she’d gotten “more alert and focused. I became healthier and more conscious of everything I did, because there was a reason to get up every morning and to get out and have fun and move.”
Excerpted from AARP