It is a well-known fact that as people age, they often withdraw from others, whether it be because of health issues, not wanting to be a “burden” on others, or simply think they are too “old” to make any positive or lasting changes. Many older adults may become anxious, depressed, and lonely as they age, and may begin to simply give up on life, choosing to isolate and “stay out of the way.”
There can be a loss of “purpose” as people get older, as their kids are grown and living their own lives, they may be retired from a lifelong career, and diminishing physical abilities may keep them from doing things they love.
Feeling at home in a retirement community can help your loved ones see that there are still people who love and care for them and want them to succeed. People think that living at a retirement community is a sign they can’t do things for themselves, but that is far from the truth.
Retirement communities offer a unique opportunity to get involved with volunteer work, campus events, and classes that focus on specific hobbies. There are many ways to have a sense of belonging at a retirement community and we’re going to discuss that below.
- Step out of your comfort zone. This could mean saying hi to a new person at a meal time, or introducing yourself to another resident during a fitness class or hobby group, inviting someone over for dinner or anything else you may think of that helps you get out of your comfort zone.
- Try something new. Have you ever wanted to try something but didn’t have the time or resources to do it? A great part of retirement is the freedom that comes with it, where you can grow even more as a person and try something you’ve been putting off for a while and nurture your own wants and needs.
- Find a hobby or look for a club you may be interested in. If you have a hobby you’ve loved doing your whole life, why not join a club about it and get involved? Whether you’re into art, reading, gardening, cooking or more, finding a group to belong to can help provide a learning opportunity for you as well as helping you feel validated by other group members and gives you a chance to socialize and gush about your interests. Interested in a hobby you may want to find out more about? Joining a group in a hobby that you may potentially be interested in could help you expand your circle and stay cognitively sharp and constantly learning as well.
- Go online. There is no shortage of seniors who are online. Some may be hesitant to get online and learn how to use the internet to connect with others, but learning how to safely use the internet and meet new people can be very rewarding. It can help you feel better about belonging to something bigger than yourself.
- Volunteer. Do you have a cause that is near and dear to your heart that you want to get involved in? Volunteering is a fantastic way to spend your time and many organizations are always looking for someone to help. When you volunteer, it gives you the chance to learn something new as well as share your wealth of knowledge with others, helping to give you a sense of purpose and achievement.
At Ardenwoods, we are always hosting enrichment activities, classes, and social events for our residents! If you want to learn more about what we offer and come by for a tour, check out our contact information here. We look forward to seeing you!