Tips For Seniors In Retirement To Stay Healthy And Happy
Some seniors lose their joy of life when they reach retirement. Self image is impacted when work relationships and steady income end. When family members move away and loved ones and friends are lost, a new world has to be developed. Retirement can make your circle of friends and entertainment smaller, but there’s so much more for life to bring.
While choosing to live in a retirement village is a great answer for living arrangements, being socially connected is also crucial to wellbeing. Simply living in a retirement community is not enough. Everyone in retirement should know how to stay socially connected to feel invigorated each and every day. Here’s what your should know.
Why Should You Stay Socially Connected in Retirement
Socialization drives away loneliness from your retired life. This is perhaps a gross oversimplification of how staying socially connected helps you in your old age. To give you an idea, here are a few benefits of making friends in retirement:
- Offers a Sense of Belonging
We usually make friends based on common interests and hobbies. This gives us a sense of belonging and helps us build meaningful relationships.
- Lowers Risk of Depression
- Increases Appetite & Sleep Quality
Research shows that seniors tend to eat more when they are dining out with others. This is primarily because interaction with people lowers emotional stress and makes people feel better. As a result, their appetite increases.
Plus, when people feel happier and eat more, they are likely to experience fewer disturbances in their sleep.
6 Ways to Stay Socially Connected in Retirement
Now that we know the importance of socializing in retirement, let’s have a look at how exactly you can do that.
- Walking Groups
Walking groups refer to a bunch of people who like walking together. The daily practice of walking a certain distance together not only keeps you physically healthy but also gives you the opportunity to learn about each other and make new friends.
Some people also refer to them as walk-and-talk groups. If you have noticed one in your area, directly approach them and ask whether you can join them. If you haven’t, reach out to the local council or start your own!
- Volunteer Programs
Volunteer programs are not just for the youth. There are also many organizations that invite senior volunteers to participate in their charity works. Of course, the nature of the work will depend on what is convenient and interesting for you.
Learn more about volunteering opportunities for seniors here.
- Gym Buddies
Staying physically active is very important for people above the age of 65. It is recommended that they should work out at least 150 minutes per week. Otherwise, they can experience a range of health problems, including:
- Reduced muscle mass
- Reduced joint flexibility
- Reduced balance and coordination
- Reduced physical endurance
So, if you’re serious about keeping yourself healthy, spread awareness about the importance of fitness and find yourself a gym buddy. It’s not necessary for both of you to do vigorous exercises — even a little movement is enough.
- Book Clubs
If you love reading books, the perfect way to socialize in retirement is to join a book club. It doesn’t have to include only senior members. Book clubs with a mix of youth and even children can be even more interesting than senior-only book clubs.
You can discuss book plots, set up reading challenges, and explore different genres. If possible, you can even invite your book club friends to your home for better socialization.
- Game Nights
By games, we don’t mean those violent, shooting video games that teenagers like to play nowadays. Instead, we mean the good old board games.
Research shows playing board games stimulates parts of the brain that are responsible for memory and complex thought processing. It also improves our cognitive skills as we engage in decision-making and problem-solving.
So, if you want to keep your mind sharp and create high-quality bonds with others, arrange a game night at your house. You can invite people yourself or ask the local council to make an announcement.
Gardening is a very productive activity. You don’t only grow a plant from scratch but also contribute to environmental well-being.
What’s more, children love gardening. So, if you wish to rekindle your relationship with your children or grandkids, take them out for gardening.
Or, if you don’t have kids in the family, consider offering the neighborhood kids a free gardening lesson. This will allow you to connect with their parents and families too and is a great way to not feel lonely.