By Bob Gregory
I know the title seems to simplify the whole quandary of how to live long and happy but when you choose your retirement home, stimulation is the key! Retirement means so many things to so many different people that it is really hard to define. For most, it means the time of life where we choose not to work any longer and enjoy our free time until we leave this world. In today’s economy, more and more people are delaying the time they choose to retire for financial reasons. We seem to have a much older retirement population than in the past as concerns of money to support a retirement life style causes most to continue working to their later years. According to the Gallup Economic and Personal Finance survey, the average U.S. retirement ages is now 61, up from 57 two decades ago. Further, non-retired Americans now plan to retire at 66 or later. So how does a later retirement date impact retirement years? It’s simply physiological—everyone’s body and mind changes with age so the longer you wait to retire, the more likely your body and mind will be affected by the aging process!
Here are some very important factors when choosing your retirement home/setting:
|TRICYCLE CLUB OF THE CENTURY VILLAGE RETIREMENT COMMUNITY MEETS EACH MORNING - NARA - 548572 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
v Physical Stimulation: If you are at the age where you pay close attention to commercials on TV or on the web advertising retirement living, then you probably have noticed they no longer depict a couple sitting in a front porch swing watching clouds pass by while sipping coffee. Retirement living is very different today as we better understand the role of physical activities in living longer and healthier. Because of this fact, it is very important to choose a community where you will remain physically active. Physical activity does not necessarily mean you need to have a strict workout regimen at the gym every day or take spinning classes. Instead, you need to find activities you enjoy and that do not become a “requirement” of your daily life. For those of you that find a daily workout regimen at the gym or spinning classes enjoyable—I applaud you! For the rest who of you who do not want to spend your time in the gym, look for a community that provides fun activities you enjoy such as tennis, golf, walking, dancing, horseback riding, biking, swimming and so on. There are so many choices in retirement communities today and you are sure to find one that accommodates your taste in physical activities. You can also find retirement communities that are located near your favorite activities if the community itself does not provide the activities you seek. I also encourage you to participate in physical activities that require socializing to help stimulate your mind!
v Mental Stimulation: We all know how important it is to keep our minds sharp and some retirees-to-be wonder how they will transition from the “work world” to retirement where the misconception is they will wander mindlessly around a retirement village. Retirement communities are filled with fun physical activities as I discussed above and today, more retirement communities are also focusing on the mental stimulation as well. Many communities offer book clubs, current event discussions, social functions for interacting, community governance commitees, organized speakers and lectors, poetry writing clubs, access to a wide variety of periodicals and journals and more than I can list. It is also important that you take responsibility for your own mental wellbeing and find activities that will not only continue to stimulate your mind and help you grow as a person, but will be enjoyable and
|Book Club (Photo credit: Editor B)|
rewarding. Today, most communities are looking for retired individuals to volunteer to teach reading, writing, mathematics, and computer skills to children and adults. Communities seek volunteers with the time and skills to help others in the community. There are quite a few mentoring programs that most communities seek help to staff. There should be little excuse for you to sit around and do nothing with all those wonderful years of knowledge you have accumulated—share some of it with those who need it!
Staying active in your retirement years will help assure you will have a long and healthy retirement. Keep in mind that it is not only physical activity but mental activity as well that you need as you live on. There are many options in retirement living and you will be surprised how the industry has embraced the need to stay physically and mentally active. Further, make sure that the retirement community you choose is also located near outside activities you enjoy such as plays, concerts, and community services. Take the time in your research to find retirement communities that offer both types of stimulations that suit you best—you will be happy you did for a lot longer!
If you would like a list Independent Living Facilities, 55+ Communities, Assisted Living Facilities or any other type of Senior Facility, I hope you will consider www.seniorfacilityfinder.com.
If you would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please leave them in our comment section. We want to hear them. Helping people care for themselves or their loved ones is what we care about.
We look forward to reading yours.
Bob Gregory is an advocate for Seniors and is one of the founders of www.seniorfacilityfinder.com. At SeniorFacilityFinder.com, we are dedicated to helping families get the Elder Care help they need without having to provide their personal information! If find you need an assisted living facility or other type of senior facility, please consider www.seniorfacilityfinder.com