How do the elderly stay active in retirement?
When you retire, it’s not just your job that will be ending. This period of your life is a transitional time for lots of different aspects. The social activities that may have come with a work environment can be lost and the mental load that you were required to take on might also decline. Physical labour or walking to and from work or public transport may have been an opportunity to move your body on a regular basis. Leaving a fulfilling and enjoyable role at work may also impact on your feeling of purpose in your retirement years. It’s incredibly important for you to keep active in lots of different ways to enable longevity of life and to get the most out of your later years. Read on for some great ideas on how to keep active in retirement.
Find the right living arrangement
For some people, retirement means selling up and moving into a granny flat out the back of a family member’s home. For others, it might mean leaving their forever house and downsizing to a smaller home or unit that will be much more manageable for them in the coming years. Another fantastic option is a retirement village where you’ll be surrounded by new friends and have access to lots of different community activities. Healthy living for over 50s is a huge focus when you move to an independent living village. You’ll have the best of both worlds: independence and staff who can help when you need it most. As you will have your own home within the village, naturally your family and friends can visit you anytime, or you can opt to lock up and leave and go on a trip somewhere (as the pandemic restrictions allow) or attend events inside and outside the village community. Centennial Living villages generally allow well behaved pets, so your precious furry friend can come with you!
Exercise is key
One of the most obvious ways to stay active is with exercise. This is a pastime that will keep you physically fit, fill your brain with endorphins and you can even exercise with friends for the social aspect. In your retirement, you will have plenty of time to try new activities that help with your health: you just need to find the type of exercise you love most. Walking, yoga, pilates, swimming, golf, tai chi, dance and lawn bowls are just a few of the great ways you can keep active in retirement.
Build your purpose
With more time on your hands after retiring, you may find that you need to challenge yourself in new ways. Feeling fulfilled and having a sense of purpose is incredibly important for mental wellbeing. Leading an active life in your retirement gives you the boost you need to enjoy yourself. Think about what you are most passionate about and how you can make an impact within your community. It might be something like making people laugh, mentoring younger people, teaching others, cooking, caring for animals or even gardening. Volunteering your time or getting stuck into hobbies can give you the strong sense of purpose and accomplishment you need after finishing work.
Social connection is one of the most important things that you need to live a healthy and happy life. It’s understandable that as you get older, your social network may start to shrink. Your loved ones, family, and friends may have moved away, leaving you with a smaller group of people to lean on. When you choose to live in a retirement village, you’ll see plenty of smiling faces and have organised social activities that you can choose to join in as often or as little as you like.. From book clubs, gala events, craft afternoons, guest speakers to dance groups and even film nights. Engaging in an active social life has been proven to keep your health and wellbeing in tip top shape.
Keep your mind active
As we get older, our cognition and mental ability may decline. As you transition from working life to retirement, you may find that the mental stimulation isn’t present like it used to be. Completing crosswords, playing cards, chess or memory games, learning a new skill, reading, doing puzzles or participating in word games like Scrabble are all great ways to maintain your mental elasticity. If you’re tech savvy, online games and apps are available to help sharpen your mind. Studies have shown that keeping your mind active can help reduce the risk of suffering dementia.