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The Importance of Staying Social and Active After Retirement

Assisted Care Living Communities & Retirement

Retirement isn't just about kicking back and relaxing; it's about embracing a new chapter of life, one that's filled with opportunities to stay social and active. In this blog, we'll delve into why it's crucial to remain engaged physically, mentally, and socially after retirement, and how assisted care living communities such as The Cedars in McPherson, can play a vital role in supporting this lifestyle.

Staying Active Physically

As we age, physical activity becomes even more critical for maintaining good health and independence. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people ages 65 and older need at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity activity such as jogging or hiking. Additionally, seniors should get at least two days of activities that strengthen muscles and improve balance.

Simple activities like walking, swimming, or yoga can make a world of difference in maintaining your physical well-being. Moreover, engaging in regular exercise can help prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and improve overall mobility and strength.

Assisted care living communities recognize the importance of physical activity for seniors and offer a range of amenities and programs tailored to residents' needs. From fitness classes to walking trails and recreational activities, communities such as The Cedars provide opportunities for seniors to stay active in a safe and supportive environment.

Staying Mentally Active

Just as physical exercise is essential, so too is mental stimulation. After retirement, it's easy to fall into a routine that lacks mental challenge, leading to cognitive decline. An article in Forbes magazine about mental acuity after retirement reported that a study tracking essential cognitive functions of 3,500 participants over time found that verbal memory decreased 38% faster after retirement.

Engaging in activities that stimulate the brain, such as puzzles, games, reading, or learning new skills, can help keep the mind sharp and improve cognitive function. Harvard Health

Publishing shared tips for maintaining your mental sharpness at any age including:

Keep learning

Challenge your brain daily by pursuing a new hobby or learning a new skill. Volunteering is another way to keep your brain active.

Use all your senses

Your brain is stimulated the more senses you use. Challenge yourself with activities that include the senses such as cooking, or art.

Stay Positive

Harvard reports that people who believe negative stereotypes about aging do worse on memory tasks. Believe that you are mentally sharp and use positive self-talk!

Prioritize Tasks

Establish routines that take the mental energy out of everyday activities such as looking for your keys or remembering events. Use tools such as a calendar or a designated space for keys, purses, wallets, etc. for activities like this so you can save your mental energy for more challenging tasks.

Repetition is Good

Reinforce what you want to retain by repeating it. This could be repeating something aloud or writing it down after you’ve spoken it or read it. For example, write down your granddaughter’s birthday on the calendar and say aloud, “Saturday will be a great day for Katie’s birthday party.” You can also use this technique when meeting new people, and using their names as you speak to them to help you remember.

If you are trying to retain more complex information, repetition is still important, but be sure to space it out over time. This will help establish the steps or processes you are learning in your longer-term memory.

Assisted care living communities understand the importance of mental stimulation for seniors and often offer various programs and activities designed to keep residents mentally engaged. Whether it's through educational seminars, arts and crafts workshops, or brain-teasing games, these communities provide ample opportunities for residents to continue learning and growing intellectually.

Staying Social

One of the most significant challenges of retirement can be maintaining social connections. After leaving the workforce, many retirees find themselves isolated, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. However, staying social is crucial for emotional well-being and can significantly enhance the quality of life in retirement.

Healthline reports that research from the National Institute on Aging links social isolation to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, cognitive decline, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Assisted care living communities including The Cedars foster a vibrant social atmosphere where residents can connect with others and build meaningful relationships. With a range of social activities and events, from group outings to movie nights and game tournaments, these communities provide ample opportunities for residents to engage with their peers and form lasting friendships. And friendships are critical as we age. According to a study from the University College London, contact with friends is even more critical to our cognitive health than family.

When to Consider Assisted Care Living

While many seniors prefer to age in place, there may come a time when moving to an assisted care living community becomes the best option for maintaining quality of life. Factors such as declining health, difficulty managing daily tasks, or feeling isolated and lonely can indicate that it's time to consider assisted care living.

Assisted care living communities such as The Cedars offer a supportive environment where residents can receive assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management, while still maintaining independence and autonomy. Our community provides a sense of security and peace of mind for both residents and their families, knowing that help is always available when needed.

Activities Offered in Assisted Care Living Communities

The Cedars and similar assisted care living communities offer a wide range of activities and amenities designed to cater to the diverse interests and needs of their residents. From fitness classes and wellness programs to cultural outings and social events, these communities provide a stimulating and enriching environment where seniors can thrive.

The Cedars offers a variety of ways for our residents to stay physically and mentally healthy while also providing incredible opportunities to socialize.

The Cedars offers fitness classes such as chair exercises, Enhance fitness class, meditation, and masterminds are regularly scheduled throughout the week. Additionally, residents have access to our therapy pool. These physical activities are open to residents at every level of care.

Similarly, our campus provides a wonderful opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature. Research demonstrates time and again the importance of nature to improve health and quality of life as we age. The Cedars has more than 60 acres of beautiful green spaces with a private lake, gazebo, walking paths, and of course, cedar trees. Our residents love the quiet, lovely atmosphere that is unique to our assisted care living community.

The Cedars offers regularly scheduled games each week including cribbage, card games, Rummikub, pool, and Mahjong. These games offer our residents a chance to stay connected to friends as well as practice mental acuity.

We partner with McPherson College for regular educational seminars and guest lectures. McPherson College faculty provide our residents with lecture series throughout the year on a variety of fascinating topics. These are all free of charge for our residents and their families.

Group outings to local attractions and events are also offered at The Cedars. We have regular outings in McPherson and surrounding communities including Salina, Hutchinson, and Wichita.

Social events are important to any assisted living community, including The Cedars. These activities help residents to connect with their friends, and make new friends, and are simply fun! Social activities at The Cedars include Bingo, movie nights, Bible studies, quilting, and more.

Benefits of Living in Assisted Care Living Communities

Choosing to live in an assisted care living community like The Cedars, offers numerous benefits for seniors, including:

  • Access to personalized care and support services to stay healthy physically and mentally. Whether a resident requires personal assistance or medication reminders, our professional caregivers ensure they have what they need.
  • Opportunities for socialization and community engagement. Community is key at The Cedars. We offer a wide array of ways to get and stay connected with fellow residents and the community.
  • The Cedars relieves the stress of daily living with maintenance-free living amenities such as housekeeping and maintenance.
  • Peace of mind for residents and their families knowing that help is available 24/7.
  • A vibrant and active lifestyle with various activities and programs to choose from to benefit physical and mental health. 

A Community for You

In conclusion, staying social and active after retirement is essential for maintaining physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The Cedars assisted care living community provides a supportive environment where seniors can continue leading fulfilling and meaningful lives, surrounded by peers and staff dedicated to their health and happiness.

If you're considering retirement or looking for a new chapter in your life, don't overlook the importance of staying social and active, and the benefits of assisted care living near you. Contact The Cedars to schedule a tour of our community including our newly renovated assisted living area.

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