If you spent some time speaking with Donna Butler and Geraldine Webb, residents of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco, you would quickly erupt in laughter. One day, they joined each other for lunch at the senior living community and instantly became inseparable besties, following each other everywhere and cracking jokes whenever possible. Compared to the characters of “Thelma and Louise” by team members in the community, Butler and Webb have formed a strong friendship filled with laughter, support and sheer happiness. Studies show that making new friends has even more benefits as people get older and it positively impacts overall physical and emotional well-being. People without friends tend to feel lonely and isolated, especially after the loss of their life partner. Casual friendships can be beneficial, however, close friendships are more likely to offer the emotional support seniors often miss. Butler, 86, who moved to Texas in 1963 from Oklahoma City and raised four children with her husband, and Webb, 96, who moved to Texas in 1977 from Kansas City, believe that it is never too late to create long-lasting and meaningful friendships.
“Some of the Mustang Creek Estates team members told us that we are so close it’s like we are twins,” said Butler. “We do everything together, going for a walk, social activities and other outings, I can’t imagine not having her around. We are friends with other residents, but we just clicked and I feel like our personalities blend really well. I have relied on friends my entire life, and I was married for 50 years so I am used to having somebody close to me. Geraldine makes me feel happy and alive, and we have a wonderful time together.”
Butler is a mother of four children – two twins and two adopted – who all live in the area, but she still understands the importance of having somebody by her side, somebody who she can laugh with and spend time with each day. Butler’s husband worked at the Internal Revenue Services (IRS), and the two met through a mutual friend. Butler used to work for a government herself, up until she retired. Webb has two sons, one who lives nearby and one who lives in California. She was married for about 55 years and met her husband while she was training to become a nurse. These days she enjoys staying social and participating with her dear friend in all the activities that Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco provides.
“Many of my old friends passed away, but I gained a new and valuable friend here at the community and I am forever grateful,” said Webb. “It is a very nice feeling to know there is somebody who cares about me so much and is this close to me. We enjoy each other’s company and we want everyone to know that it is never too late to create meaningful friendships.”
Involvement in social activities is essential for older adults, as it has a positive effect on their health and overall lifespan. Studies show that seniors with close friends tend to be more positive and optimistic. Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco recognizes the physical and mental benefits that socialization and social interaction has on older adults.
“It is heartwarming to watch Donna and Geraldine, they truly are like each other’s shadow,” said Candy Jiwa, executive director of Mustang Creek Estates of Frisco. “I just love that they created an instant bond and are inseparable now. We provide activities to help residents connect and socialize, and watching them together brightens my day.”