When people move to a senior retirement community, their lives change, primarily in three ways:
- New home address (typically downsize living space)
- Cooking is minimal (if at all) and no yard work, and
- There are a plethora of new friends with which to socialize (if you're inclined).
However, your current "life" remains intact. Your Tuesday morning bridge buddies, the weekly golf game with your standing foursome, and Saturday morning gatherings at the local coffee house - these routines of your life continue as always.
A move to a retirement community provides an outlet for new experiences, enhancing the life you already have.
It's a documented fact that as we age, our muscles begin to atrophy, which leads to overall mobility being compromised. If you're not doing some form of physical activity, you are hastening the loss of your independence.
Most retirement communities offer (at no cost) a dedicated exercise room with treadmills, stationary bikes, weight resistance machines, etc., and a variety of exercise classes several days a week.
These classes can include yoga, Pilates, weights, etc., with some geared toward residents new to exercising.
A great exercise that is simple and easy to do and incredibly effective is walking. The more you walk, the more muscle mass you'll have, which is the best medicine for staying independent.
When it comes to mental health, it's all about oxygen to the brain and living in an engaging environment. Numerous studies have shown the positive impact exercise has on brain function.
Clinical data also supports the need for the brain to stay active - whether by reading, writing, creating art, doing puzzles, etc. - but also the need and huge benefit of being socially engaged.
Retirement communities provide the perfect outlet to interact with other residents, whether it's joining someone for dinner or participating in one of the organized activities offered.
You decide if and how much you want to participate.
A number of retirement community residents compare their daily living experience to that of being on a cruise ship that just keeps circling the globe. The food is fabulous and there's always something to do.
Retirement communities have an activities director who creates and oversees all the different weekly activities offered, which can be inside, outside or even off-campus, like a bus trip to Charleston or an afternoon of blueberry picking in Beaufort.
In summary, if you move to a retirement community, your current life provides you what it always has, and your new residence and all it offers just makes life, and your health, that much better.
Joe Agee is the marketing and sales director for The Seabrook of Hilton Head. www.theseabrook.com