Moving to a Retirement Lifestyle:
"I should have done this sooner!"
Author: Donald Leslie, Retirement Residence General Manager
You might be surprised to learn how many times we hear residents say those words once they’ve settled into our retirement communities and have experienced our services and support. While the initial change to a retirement lifestyle may be cause for pause and careful consideration, residents consistently find their spirits infused with a newfound joie de vivre within months, and often days, of moving in!
Understandably, the prospect of losing independence can be overwhelming for many seniors. But it’s important to remember that you’re certainly not alone. Most individuals over the age of 75 will require some type of support or services. There’s nothing to be ashamed about in admitting you need more help than you used to. After all, we’ve all had to rely on others at some point during our adult lives, be it for help at work, within the home, vehicle repairs, professional services, or simply moral support. Many of us often feel that when we ask for help we are losing our independence - but this simply is not true.
Staying at home as you age comes with the advantage of keeping within a familiar place where you know your neighbours and the community. Aging in place is a less effective option once your mobility is limited and the neighbourhood or friends have changed. Being unable to socialize with others or leave your home frequently can lead to isolation, loneliness, and depression.
Aging is a time of adaptation and change, and planning your future needs is an important part of ensuring that you continue to thrive as you get older. Of course, every senior is different, so the choice that’s right for one person may not be suitable for everyone.
Healthy aging means continually reinventing yourself as you pass through landmark ages such as 60, 70, 80 years and beyond. It means finding new things you enjoy, learning to adapt to change, staying physically and socially active, and feeling connected to your community and loved ones.
It’s important to find ways to reach out and connect to others. Along with regular exercise, staying social can have a very positive impact on your health as you age. Having a group of people you can turn to for company and support as you age is a buffer against loneliness, depression, disability, hardship, and loss.
One of the more damaging myths of aging is that after a certain age, you just won’t be able to try anything new or contribute anymore. The opposite is true. Older adults are just as capable of learning new things and thriving in new environments, plus they have the wisdom that comes with life experience. The key to making the best choice is to balance your lifestyle, health, and financial needs.
Retirement communities act as your cheerleader— offering tailored programs and the support you need to help you maintain good health for the rest of your life. Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age and that doesn’t change just because you have a few more grey hairs. The key to a happy, healthy and successful retirement can be obtained through maintaining a balance of physical, mental, and social connection with many others just like you!