Aging and Retirement Issues
Enjoy an Active Lifestyle in a Retirement Community
Adjusting to retirement has its share of challenges. The idea of not having to work and to play golf whenever you like is very attractive, but only until you get to that stage. Then you come face to face with the issues of boredom and loneliness. Age-related frailties limit the hobbies and other activities you thought you would finally get a chance to indulge in. While you may want to age in place like most seniors do, moving to a retirement community might help you maintain your desired lifestyle more easily than managing your health and home as the years wear on.
Our experienced team at The Holiday Retirement examines the 3 main issues faced by seniors and the best way to deal with them.
Issues Faced by Aging Seniors
Transitioning to Retired Life
Research shows that most retirees have a difficult time adjusting to what they may perceive as a life without purpose. While you may have been waiting for this moment, the actual change can affect both your physical and mental health. No longer feeling productive or useful is difficult to come to terms with. Whether it is volunteer work or getting involved in your hobbies, you need to find ways to keep yourself occupied. Mobility issues and not being able to drive or commute independently can make it difficult for you to do so, so be sure to seek alternative options.
Here are a few essentials you need to consider:
It helps to know that the ideal time to start thinking about how you want to live your life after retirement is before making that transition. Consider your housing arrangement, whether you want to move to a retirement living community, and what you want to do. Think of your health and financial condition and make sure your plans are practical. Doing so will make things smoother and comfortable when you do retire.
Even with a specific plan, you may experience mild uneasiness that comes with uncertainty. It is essential to understand that such feelings are normal and think of the best ways to deal with them. Here are a few common problems that you need to consider:
- Loss of Identity It is important not to associate your profession with your identity and consider defining interests and activities that can become your focus in your senior years, even if you choose to move into a retirement community. Be sure to come up with a new routine to keep yourself occupied, which may include volunteer work, developing hobbies, and more.
- Boredom It is one of the common causes of retirement anxiety. Consider creating a bucket list with short-term and long-term goals based on your interests. Doing so will help you establish a new routine.
- Losing Personal Value Even after retiring from your professional work, you can hone your skills and use your talent in a different way that makes you feel good about yourself. Whether you are living with your loved ones or in a retirement community, be sure to indulge in activities to keep yourself busy.
Dealing with Loneliness
Retirement often comes with your children moving out and getting involved in their own families. Although being alone can be difficult to deal with at any age, it can be quite overwhelming in your senior years. While this is the ideal time to spend with family and friends, they may live far away or be unable to visit you as often as they would like. The resulting social isolation can lead to depression and cause you to withdraw, which can have a negative impact on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
Have hobbies, learn new things, and consider the following:
- Knitting & Crocheting It is an easy yet rewarding activity to keep yourself occupied without stress. You can also turn it into a social gathering by inviting your friends over.
- Yoga and Tai Chi Tai Chi is the perfect exercise for seniors. It can help enhance your heart function and muscular strength. In addition to this, regular practice of yoga can ensure good health.
- Dancing It is a fun activity that can have a positive impact on your physical and mental well-being. You can enroll in classes, making it a social activity to meet new people.
- Choirs If you love singing, it is beneficial to join a choir. It is known to have positive psychological effects and an excellent way to utilize your free time.
- Home Assistant You can use technology, including digital home assistant devices such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, to manage daily tasks. You can also use it for entertainment purposes to keep yourself engaged.
- Light Therapy Commonly known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that can make you feel less motivated, tired, and disappointed more than usual in the fall and winter months. You can use light therapy to deal with this condition.
- Meditation and Practicing Gratitude Meditation and journaling can help improve your focus and allow you to be mindful of your lifestyle. They can help you reduce stress and appreciate life.
- Adopting or Caring for a Pet Whether you live in your house or at a retirement community home, owning a pet allows you to have companionship and promotes unconditional love. Caring for them encourages you to have an active lifestyle, gives you a sense of purpose, and comes with increased opportunities for socializing.
- Family and Friend Support It helps to ask for professional help and support from your loved ones if you are suffering from depression. Make time for social activities, and follow your doctor’s instructions.
Staying Physically Active and Healthy
Engaging in regular exercises can help boost your energy, improve your heart function, manage your weight, and maintain your independence. It is also beneficial for your mind and memory.
Consider the following to have a healthy life after retirement:
- Get Active As You Age Although you may have concerns about falls and injuries and may feel discouraged due to health issues and aches, it is essential to exercise regularly. Add more movement and activities to your life to suit your needs and physical condition.
- Make Exercising Fun Listen to an audiobook or songs while exercising, go for short hikes, watch a movie, documentary, or a TV when using a treadmill, go for walks or runs, and find other similar ways to keep yourself fit.
- Have a Balanced Plan Incorporate activities that can improve your balance, enhance your heart function, and increase your strength and flexibility. Combine different activities to develop a balanced exercise routine.
- Follow the Right Diet In addition to having an active lifestyle, it is essential to consume nutritious meals. Include a variety of protein sources, reduce the consumption of processed foods and carbohydrates, and have healthy choices of snacks.
It is easy to become discouraged and depressed when injury or illness interrupts your life. However, it helps to stay positive to improve your mood and regain your strength. Ask for professional help and consider moving to a retirement community.
Managing Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Some typical retirement issues include worrying about financial management, coping with aging and declining health, and adapting to a different lifestyle. The loss of routine, goals, and identity may result in stress and depression. Here are some useful ways to face the challenges positively and improve your outlook, mood, and well-being:
Spend Time in Nature
Spending time in green spaces is an excellent way to relieve stress, feel refreshed, and enhance your sense of well-being. Walking, fishing, hiking, and camping are some of the best ideas to keep you energized and enjoy the fresh air. This way, you can engage yourself and stay happy.
You can learn how to break the chronic worrying habit by challenging your anxious and unpleasant thoughts. By accepting uncertainties, calming your stressed mind, and looking at life in a balanced way, you can reduce worrying. Doing so can help keep retirement issues at bay and enable you to stay healthy and cheerful.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Changing sleeping patterns is normal as you age. However, frequently waking up and feeling too tired during the day may result from an underlying problem. Moreover, it can worsen anxiety and stress, which is why addressing this issue is essential. It helps to consult a professional for expert opinion and advice to overcome this.
Challenge Your Brain
It is crucial to keep yourself on your toes by stimulating your brain by learning a new skill and playing puzzles or sports after retirement. The more engaged you keep your brain, the better you will protect yourself from memory issues or cognitive decline. In addition, trying new variations of games and activities you enjoy can help boost your mental skills. You can find new things to keep yourself engaged depending on your passion and interests.
Add Structure to Your Days
Most seniors tend to miss their daily routine after retirement. You can try creating and adhering to a proper schedule, considering your work and habits. Doing so will help keep you calm and relaxed. You can take your time to determine how to keep yourself occupied and use your free time wisely. Another essential thing to establish a routine is to fix your bedtime. It is beneficial to sleep and wake up daily at the same time. In addition, schedule times for exercising, activities to stimulate your brain, and socializing with friends or other residents if you are in a retirement facility.
Consider a Gradual Transition
Moving to a retirement community is a wise way to spend your senior years. When doing so, it helps to understand that the transition needs time. It helps to have the patience to adjust to the new environment and lifestyle.
You can consider the following to smoothen the process:
- Plan what you could work on after moving to a retirement facility.
- Spend time with other residents to get to know them.
- Ask about the activities and clubs in the community and join the ones that interest you.
The Advantages of Living in a Retirement Community
Living in an established retirement community provides endless opportunities to lead an active and fulfilled life. Residents have access to social activities, group excursions and special events as well as amenities such as libraries, exercise rooms and chapels. You enjoy privacy as well as the camaraderie of peers. A secure environment designed especially for seniors eliminates accessibility issues while 24-hour monitoring and support give you the option of seeking assistance when you need it.
At The Holiday retirement communities, you enjoy all the company and support you want while still maintaining your independence and privacy. A range of programs encourages our senior residents to live active and fulfilled retired lives. From exercise programs to entertainment and outdoor excursions, our services and activities cater to diverse interests. There is always plenty to do. Well-appointed accommodation, person-centered care and an experienced and dedicated team will make you or your elderly family member feel like they are on a permanent holiday. You can even bring your pet with you!
Give us a call at 860-233-8208 to learn more about the services and amenities we provide at our retirement residences in Rhode Island and West Hartford, Connecticut. Fill out this online form to book a tour.