Get Stitched // The Stitch Blog

Stitch member collage

Older adults are finding joy with Stitch, the social community for anyone over 50

Richard was burnt out and lonely

Richard Harris, a customer service manager from San Jose, had just turned 55. After working hard for many years, he had always thought that when he reached this age he would be happy and fulfilled, and could start to focus on enjoying life. 

Instead, he was feeling burnt out and lonely. He had very few close friends who lived nearby, and was spending most of his nights alone, watching TV.

Like many people who find themselves socially isolated, Richard blamed himself.

“I started telling myself that this is what life was going to be like for me. I figured I wasn’t the sort of person who was going to have lots of friends. I felt pretty shy, and thought that meant I wasn’t good socially and was why I was alone.”

It was only by chance that Richard stumbled across something that was going to turn his life around.

“I wasn’t even looking for anything, as I didn’t really know where to start. I knew I didn’t want to go looking for romance again, but I didn’t want to keep on the way I was going.”

“But then my sister mentioned that a friend of hers had introduced her to this thing called Stitch, which was all about companionship. I looked to see if Stitch was in my area, and sure enough, it was. And now I feel as if I’ve got more friends than I ever had.”

“It was only after I met so many other people who had been in my position that I realized that being alone and isolated wasn’t my fault at all. It is happening to so many people. I’m just lucky I found out what to do about it.” 

Pensive man looking into the distance

Loneliness affects everyone at some point

Since founding the Stitch Community, I’ve met thousands of people just like Richard, and I’ve spent a lot of time with experts in the fields of social health, well-being, and aging.

One thing is very clear: loneliness affects us all at some point in our lives.

It’s not our fault, it’s just a natural aspect of our increasing longevity and the way society has changed over the last few decades.

As we age, our social circles inevitably shrink, whether that’s through divorce, relocation, ill health, attrition, and of course death.

It doesn’t need to be the loss of a life partner. Sometimes friends just drift apart. Or health issues mean our hiking buddies can no longer come on walks with us. Or we relocate to be closer to our kids, only to find ourselves left without a friendship network. There are thousands of reasons, often outside our control.

When we’re younger, our social circles are constantly replenished, without us even really being aware of it. We go to school, we go to college, we get jobs, we become parents — all these things bring new friends and social connections.

Once we reach a certain age, however, this process slows down and eventually stops, unless we actively do something about it.

We can't afford to let it happen

Loneliness might impact everyone at some point, but we can’t afford to let it stay that way.

The COVID pandemic raised awareness about the impact of loneliness and isolation for many people, but the research has been telling us about it for years. If you are the sort of person who gets convinced by statistics, try these:

  • For older adults, loneliness increases your risk of death more than obesity, alcohol, poor diet, or lack of exercise, and is as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • If you’re over 60 and say you are lonely, you are 45% more likely to die in the next 12 months than your socially connected peers
  • And you’re 64% more likely to develop some form of cognitive impairment

If you’re like me, however, it’s not the statistics that are compelling. It’s the fact that life feels simply better when I’m doing things with other people. 

I don’t need to know what the researchers are saying to know, in my heart, that I am happier and healthier when I’m doing things I enjoy, in the company of people who care about me.

Group of happy older adults smiling in a park

Fill your life with fun and joy

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a lifetime companion, a soulmate, or just a few more friends. Once you embrace the idea that you need to change your mindset, get out of your comfort zone, and build the habit of constantly making new social connections, your life can be transformed.

But in today’s world, that’s easier said than done. 

As Richard and so many others have found, there aren’t a whole lot of options available to meet like-minded companions as we get older.

“You can’t exactly just go to a club, the way you could when you were younger. Besides, I wasn’t even sure whether I was looking for romance. I just wanted people in my life who enjoyed doing things with me. And then one day I found Stitch.”

Stitch members hiking in Yosemite National Park

So what is Stitch, exactly?

The question above is something I get asked quite a lot. That may not seem all that surprising — it’s a pretty reasonable question from anyone who hasn’t heard about Stitch before.

What IS surprising is that I’m quite frequently asked the question by people who have recently joined Stitch. They might have been a member for a few weeks, and it’s only just starting to dawn on them that Stitch is much broader in scope than they may have initially realized. Broader, and richer, too. But that richness makes it more difficult to categorize.

  • Is it for finding romance, or just friends?
  • Is it a social network?
  • Is it something online, or in the real world?
  • Is it for finding travel companions?
  • Is it for singles only, or for everyone?

And here is why we have such a wide variety of members are joining the community: Stitch is all these things, and more.

Stitch isn’t a “Dating site”, even though a large number of members of Stitch are open to romance, and Stitch can help them find it.

Dating sites are built around the very judgmental process of being assessed by your profile, and while they work for some people, for the vast majority, they deliver a soul-crushing experience full of disappointment, fake profiles, superficial judgment, and dodgy business practices. That’s the opposite of Stitch.

Stitch isn’t a “Social network”, even though it’s most definitely social.

Social networks, like Facebook, make their money by exploiting their users by mining their information and selling it to advertisers. The Stitch Community itself is a not-for-profit charity, with the goal of addressing loneliness and social isolation and improving the lives of its members. Stitch doesn’t sell user information and has been set up to act in the interests of its members.

So what is Stitch, exactly?

48 Stitch members on a vintage rail journey

Stitch is a Community

This is so important that I’m going to say it again: Stitch is a COMMUNITY.

The idea of a community probably seems like an old-fashioned idea these days, in a world that seems increasingly fragmented, individualistic, and selfish. But that’s precisely why we think the very concept is more important now than it ever has been.

It’s why the Stitch Community is built around the idea that you get more out of life the more you put into it.

That we all enjoy our own lives more if we’re helping enrich the lives of those around us at the same time, just by having fun together.

It means that Stitch is something that our members join, rather than a service that they use. This may sound like a marketing slogan, but it accurately describes the enormous difference between what Stitch is and pretty much any online platform I can think of.

You don’t USE Stitch. You JOIN.

Group of Stitch members in Chicago
Stitch members in Chicago
Stitch members at a community event in Sydney

One of the most incredible things about Stitch is how clearly it has shown that if you create the right environment, most people actually want to treat each other with respect, to be friendly and welcoming, and to make a positive difference.

The best parts of Stitch come from the amazing contributions of our members, many of whom take great delight in the idea of improving the lives of others simply by getting involved.

It’s why the community component of Stitch is so broad, in order to give members a wide range of ways to connect with other people around shared interests and natural interaction, beyond just browsing profiles.

That includes the amazing number of events and activities that members are constantly organizing around the world, all designed to help create social connections for their fellow members.

Or the travel experiences that our members organize as a way to meet & experience new things without having to do so alone.

Or the way our members use the chat rooms & discussion forums to encourage and help their fellow members where they need it, whether that’s sharing their experiences of getting over losing a loved one, or advice on how to manage the often lonely journey to find companionship.

Stitch still has a long way to go, and local Stitch communities are only getting started in some parts of the world. But we’ve already got members in 83 countries and have built thriving local communities in over five thousand towns and neighborhoods, and it’s all because of the remarkable community spirit. 

Our terrific Community Champion Vivien summed up the Stitch community spirit recently in a comment about a New Members evening she has organised for members in Sydney. Some of the new members were joking about being nervous about being “newbies” and standing in a corner without anyone to talk to.

Vivien simply responded with this:

There will be no one on their own or feeling left out. Stitch is a community where we all welcome and care for each other. That’s the difference! Stitch is what we make it, and a good evening amongst new friends is guaranteed. 

I couldn’t put it better myself.

Between the members of the Stitch team and thousands of community champions like Vivien, we’ve created something really special. A place where everyone is welcomed, where most people go out of their way to be kind and compassionate, and help others.

To me, that sounds very much like a community.

It’s a community filled with people who are all looking for some form of companionship, whether that’s friendship, romance, or something in between.

And because it’s built on real interactions between real people, in an environment where positive behaviors are celebrated and everybody is treated like a human being rather than just an online profile, we think we’re giving them the best possible chance to find it.

The first step is easy

A Limited membership of Stitch is free, and gives you a chance to try Stitch out to see if you get as much out of it as Richard, Vivien, or thousands of other Stitch members.

You can stay a Limited member for free as long as you like, giving you access to some parts of the community forever, or else become a Full member to support the community and give you unlimited access to everything on Stitch.

We’d love you to sign up for free today and find out for yourself!

Group of older adults showing thumbs up

Hear what members have to say

If you’re still unsure, it might be because you’re little bit worried about trying something new. If so, that’s completely normal and is something that almost all Stitch members feel at first. 

One thing I tell new Stitch members at my regular Welcome events is that our brains evolved to make us feel anxious when meeting new people for the first time. Millions of years ago, that was important for survival, but nowadays it makes us reluctant to do the things we need to do to make new connections.

The best way to overcome that feeling is to meet an existing Stitch member who can tell you about the community and make you feel welcome. 

If you sign up to Stitch, you can come along to one of my free Welcome events held each month, when you can meet other new and existing Stitch members who will tell you what being a member is like.

Or you can check out some of the video interviews we’ve published of Stitch members talking about how Stitch has changed their lives:

(you can see more videos on our YouTube channel here.)

Or just check out some examples of the many, many reviews on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store from Stitch members about Stitch:

I have made some lifelong friends through Stitch. I joined when I retired because my existing friends were still working. There are events for everyone that are 50+. What I love most is that it's not primarily a dating site, but it can be if that's what you're looking for. The founder and staff are passionate about this not-for-profit organisation...I love that too 😊


Google Play Store Review

I joined Stitch 6 months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. You meet like-minded people through fun activities and share a laugh. Activities range from virtual world wide get-togethers to walks, dining at restaurants, visiting wineries, bowling, concerts, historical sites, and group discussions. I recommend Stitch for singles and people who want to connect. You never have to feel lonely or isolated again.


Google Play Store Review

I am living my best life, grateful to Stitch

For many years before Stitch, I felt I didn’t matter. I was so restless, fled the country number of times and wanted to flee once more when covid-19 curtailed my restlessness. Whilst tucked away cocooned, I discovered Stitch. Months later, I found myself in the midst of fun with a real and caring community. Stitch has transformed me, I found compassion to myself.


Apple App Store Review

One of the most genuine websites I have come across. It’s great for connecting with groups or with individuals. There are so many activities to choose from. Even if you are shy, come along as the group will welcome you and make you feel comfortable.

You can participate in activities as much or as little as you want. I joined Stitch three years ago and have since made friends and enjoyed several outings. I would encourage everyone to join and start having fun.


Apple App Store Review

When I joined Stitch I was lonely and felt my life lacked purpose. All that changed when I joined and became involved in putting on functions. I soon found others shared my interests. I have many friends here in Sydney and now extending nationally and internationally through Zoom.

Stitch is not a dating site but you may find that special someone when you are not really looking for anyone.


Apple App Store Review

Literally changed my life

Stitch Social Group literally changed my life for so much the better. I HIGHLY recommend you download this great app, and join our fantastic social community — you’ll love it!!


Apple App Store Review

I had recently moved interstate to Melbourne and didn't know a Soul. I came across "Stitch Community" after searching on Google regarding social meet-ups, as I was wanting to make new friendships, So I decided to sign up and become a member, this was the best thing I did, I have been on a couple of social outings and have met a few really good friends and had an enjoyable time. Don't allow yourself to become lonely, we as people are not meant to do life alone, so much better doing life together!


Google Play Store Review

I first joined Stitch in July 2020 while at a loose end. Stitch is an amazing social networking app especially for the 50+ age group, not a dating app, although some do find romance. Stitch is not just here in Australia, but is also in Canada, N.Z, the U.K, and the United States. It also doesn't matter what your circumstance, married, single, divorced, or separated, Stitch proves the saying that there are no strangers, just friends you have yet to meet!!! Stitch provides something for everyone


Google Play Store Review

Remember, Stitch is free to join, so why not give it a try today and find out what it’s like for yourself?

Please note that some names have been changed in this article for privacy purposes.
Community images provided by Stitch members. All other images provided by iStockphoto.

About The Author

Leave a comment

Pin It on Pinterest