When they hear the phrase retirement planning, most people think of money. While creating a retirement plan does involve budgeting, there’s much more to it than that. This chapter in life can be a great opportunity to live your dreams and make memories with those you love, to be present and capture every moment.
National Assisted Living Week kicks off on Grandparents Day, Sunday, September 13. In honor of this week-long observance, we are sharing 10 ways you can live each day to the fullest.
10 Tips for Enjoying Your Best Quality of Life
- Exercise your brain
The health of your brain greatly impacts your quality of life during retirement. Giving your brain a workout on a regular basis can aid in maintaining memory and concentration. You can exercise your brain by working puzzles, reading, and completing craft projects. Activities that cause you to think and rely on memory can all help stimulate the brain.
- Become a lifelong learner
Another tip is to keep learning. It challenges the brain and also gives the spirit a boost. Tackle a foreign language by taking a free online course. Buy a used guitar or violin and learn how to play it. Or enjoy watercolor or acrylic painting—art workshops, including online classes, are readily available.
- Take a proactive approach to health
It’s easy to take your health for granted at any age. Many people don’t pay attention to it until they experience a medical issue. As we grow older, however, it’s important to develop a good relationship with a primary care physician. Once you do, follow their advice. Don’t put off routine screenings because they are inconvenient or a little embarrassing. Being proactive allows small issues to be detected early, when treatment is more likely to be successful.
- Find a sense of purpose
Living with purpose is an essential part of aging well. It is linked to a longer life span, a healthier brain, and an overall improved ability to face life’s challenges. Seniors can add meaning to their days in a variety of ways: Adopt a senior pet. Volunteer for a local charitable organization. Mentor children at a local school. Write your autobiography.
- Stay connected
Staying connected to friends, family, and your community also plays a key role in quality of life. Isolation is considered a serious health risk for older adults. It increases the odds for illnesses like depression, diabetes, heart disease, and others. Nurture your relationships. During times you can’t visit in person, use video platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime to connect.
- Keep moving
The risks of a sedentary lifestyle are serious. In fact, it can actually lead to early mortality. Exercise, combined with a commitment to sitting less, is essential for successful aging. Walking, swimming, biking, yoga, and senior-friendly fitness classes are good forms of exercise. You can also stream exercise classes online or watch them on YouTube.
To keep moving and reduce the time you spend sitting, be mindful and present throughout the day. For example, instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix series, limit yourself to just one episode. Then get up and get going.
- Eat a well-balanced diet
Good nutrition is essential to overall wellness at every stage of life. One thing that alters as we grow older is how the body processes nutrients. While seniors often need fewer calories, they might require higher amounts of some nutrients. Visit Understanding How Nutrition Changes for Older Adults to read more about planning healthy meals for seniors.
- Create a safe environment
Falls are a leading cause of injury and disability among older adults. By conducting an assessment of your home, you may be able to identify potential hazards. Common ones include throw rugs, poor lighting, uneven stair treads, and a lack of grab bars in bathrooms. For family members who aren’t comfortable doing this on their own, talk with a primary care physician. They will likely be able to refer you to a physical or occupational therapist for assistance.
If you take an honest look around an elder’s home and determine it’s just not feasible to modify it, it may be time to initiate the search for a senior living community. They are designed with senior safety in mind.
- Manage stress
Chronic stress ages the body. To live well during retirement, it’s important to find healthy ways to cope with challenges and keep stress under control. Exercises like walking and swimming are good, as are meditation and tai chi. Others find keeping a daily journal to be an effective stress buster.
- Sleep well
It’s fairly common for older adults to experience sleep problems, especially insomnia. Many suffer through it, believing it’s just a normal part of aging. But sleep is a core component of successful aging. If you are struggling to get a good night’s rest, talk with your physician. They will likely have solutions to consider, including a sleep study to identify potential problems.
Clearwater Reimagines Senior Living
From our Savor Dining program to a diverse range of daily activities, our offerings enable you to live your best retirement. We invite you to call the Clearwater Living nearest you to learn more!