They say that it takes a village to raise a child – but why should kids have all the fun? As we age, support from our social circle can have just as much impact for a happy and healthy retirement. So how do we create a retirement lifestyle that will see us build strong connections and maintain good health into the future? Here are five tips to help you boost your health and wellbeing in retirement (and how a retirement living community could help!).
Expand Your Tribe
One of the best ways to foster good health in both mind and body is to make connections with like-minded people. Studies have shown that feeling a sense of belonging in your community has multiple health benefits and has even been linked with a longer life. One advantage of retirement community living is that it comes with a ready-made village. If you have reached retirement and are looking to expand your social circle, a senior living community is the perfect place to start making new friends with whom to explore your new retirement lifestyle.
Let’s Get Physical
An active retirement is a happy and healthy retirement. Endless studies have shown the benefits of regular physical exercise on both mind and body. Maintaining some form of physical activity can decrease the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes while increasing the quality of your sleep, your energy levels and your mood. Retirement is the perfect time to re-engage with a tried-and-true activity that you used to love, or try something new. Many retirement living communities provide plenty of facilities to get you up and about, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, or walking groups. It’s much easier to make that active retirement lifestyle a reality when everything you need is right on your doorstep.
Stick to the Plan
One of the biggest risks to our mental health as we move into retirement is the change in our daily routines. In retirement, we can create structure by making a new routine. Sticking to a routine can improve mental wellbeing by reducing stress, helping us to manage changing life circumstances and helping us to find purpose in each day. A good routine should include time for physical activity, relaxation, social connection, nutritious meals, and times for waking and sleeping. An advantage of retirement community living is that social and lifestyle activities happen regularly, so that it is easy to work somestructure and routine into each day. Using the communal facilities, such as the pool, library, or restaurant on a regular basis can also satisfy your need for physical and mental stimulation.
Know what you want, and what you don’t
It’s your time for a happy and healthy retirement – time to let go of those things that bog you down and cause unnecessary stress. At this time of life, many people are looking to simplify their lives and focus on what’s important. For instance, many retirees consider moving to a smaller home. Do you want to be tied to a large property that needs maintenance and may no longer suit your needs? If you do want to remain in the family home, what modifications might you need to maintain your independence in the future? Would your dream retirement lifestyle be made more accessible in a well-appointed senior living community, where home and yard maintenance is taken care of? Knowing what you want in your life and what you are ready to let go of is key to maintaining good mental health.
Get a Check Up
At all ages, and especially as we get older, it is beneficial to maintain regular contact with your health professional. Even if you are a picture of health, there are some pre-screening tests that are recommended for people of a certain age, for diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers. Your GP can also advise you on maintaining a healthy diet, appropriate physical activity and mental health support for your specific situation.
A big advantage of retirement community living is that health professionals are on hand to attend to your needs. From visiting GPs, nurses, and other health practitioners to swimming instructors, yoga instructors, hairdressers, and beauticians, health care comes to you. We also offer the amenities where you can make the most of what these professionals offer, and are always open to new service requests from our residents. Having ready access to health services is certainly one less thing to worry about when planning your healthy retirement lifestyle.
If you’d like to expand your “village” and increase your physical and mental health in retirement, consider how a senior living community like one of TriCare’s could benefit you. Book a tour or contact us to see how our communities can support the happy and healthy retirement you have been looking forward to.