If you’re not heading to an office or getting out and about each day as you once were, you may be missing out on important social interaction that can help you stay sharp, healthy and even boost your immune system in a retirement community. Research has shown people who continue to maintain close friendships and find ways to interact socially live longer than those who become isolated. Your physical and emotional health, along with cognitive function, increase when you remain socially involved and active.
Taking part in social activities such as book clubs or church groups after retirement makes people live longer and appears to be as important to health as exercise. A retired person’s risk of death is dramatically lowered if they take part in such groups in the first few years after stopping working, suggesting that future retirees should pay as much attention to keeping active socially as they do to planning their finances and maintaining their physical health. Also changes in exercise levels after retirement affected a person’s risk of death – and that the impact was the same as giving up membership of social groups. Those who exercised vigorously once a week before retirement and continued to do so afterwards had a much lower risk of death than if they stopped altogether.
If a person belonged to two social groups before retirement and kept this up over the following six years, their risk of death is significantly lessened. However, the risk rose if they gave up on these memberships. These social groups can be anything which a person sees as an important part of their identity, from book clubs to church groups through to tennis club memberships or involvement in trade unions. Retirement has an important bearing on health and quality of life because it typically involves relinquishing social group memberships that have been a key focus for people’s self-definition for years or decades.
So, the point here is that one must strive to maintain an active social lifestyle after retirement. Seniors planning to move in to independent or assisted living retirement communities should keep in mind that clubs and social activities are the biggest factor that should affect or influence their choice in retirement housing. There are several types of social clubs to look into.
Try checking out clubs that are based around your current interests. Do you love to play cards or read books? What about playing golf or doing arts and crafts? Find a club centered around your hobby and you’ll meet people who share common interests. Together, you can learn from one another and grow your skills. You can also try a club or activity that challenges you. Have you always wanted to pick up a paint brush? What about bowling or yoga? Now is the time to try that hobby you’ve always been interested in. You’ll keep your mind active and sharp, along with meeting new people in a club that challenges you all singularly or collectively thus helping to give solidarity to your new found relationships.
Perhaps you can look into a club that incorporates community or is intergenerational. Just as important as it is to surround yourself with like-minded people, it is also important to meet new people. Be open to befriending people who may have different interests. They may open a door to a new hobby, friendships and perspective on life. Also, continued learning clubs or courses might interest you. No longer are you on a dedicated career or already-set educational path. Now is the time to take a course just because it sparks your interest. You’ll gain new-found knowledge on a topic, along with social engagement and stimulation for your mind. A club that is volunteer-based. The biggest benefit most get from volunteering is the pride and satisfaction of adding service into their lives and making a difference in someone else’s life. Through a volunteer-based group, you’ll share your talents, help solve a problem, strengthen a group or community and connect to others.
From concerts and lectures to group trips, Sugar Hill’s activities coordinator develops a monthly calendar filled with social, cultural and wellness programs. Residents are free to do as much, or as little, as they wish.
The Terrace is a complete retirement community, a place where you can call home. Visit our site and see what amenities and activities we have to offer our citizens. View our spacious living spaces and contact us at (573) 875-2538 to see if The Terrace is right for you!