Trying to find your “purpose in life” can be a difficult task at any age. This can be especially difficult for retirees, as their lives begin to slow down, and they have more time to explore new ideas, interests, and activities.
The days of waking up and getting the kids ready for school before heading off to work are gone. Although many of us feel the sting of an empty nest or miss our old office space, the reality is that older people have so much more time to invest in themselves and their goals after retirement.
Do not miss an opportunity to focus on yourself, find a new purpose in life and rediscover previous ambitions and loves. A busy schedule can fill your day with a lot of activity while navigating your professional career, however, you can spend your retirement years on fewer, higher-quality, and inspiring pursuits that will feed your soul.
Were you once an artist? Perhaps a carpenter? Or maybe you are a former chess champion that has not played in years? Now’s the time to rediscover what makes you happy and fills you with excitement. Your retirement years are for you. It is hard-earned and takes a long time to reach, that’s why retirement years are for exploration, rediscovery, relaxation, and freedom.
It can be a bit of a culture shock to go through these lifestyle changes. After years of taking care of your loved ones, performing in your career, and focusing on others, you suddenly have free days and calm mornings. Yes, it can be strange, but it can also be fun, intentional, and purposeful.
Living Life with a Purpose
In order to overcome the possibly unnerving calm and quiet of your post-retirement schedule, you need focus on goals, activities, and hobbies that drive your purpose. Living life with a purpose can take many forms and develop at different rates. What matters to you and what inspires you is your choice. Maybe you want to explore social service opportunities or travel the world with a loved one.
Perhaps you are interested in sharing your wisdom and experience with the community around you or learning a new language or picking up an old instrument. Once you have determined your goals and interests, you will be able to spend your days performing activities and trying new things that will help you define that purpose.
6 Ways of Leading an Active and Purposeful Lifestyle Post Retirement
Leading an active lifestyle that supports your new goals and life’s purpose will be the most important step after retiring. After which, you can begin organising your daily life to support your newfound purpose and fill your days with meaningful activities.
As you try to lead an active lifestyle post retirement, you should consider these 6 steps:
Creating a Schedule
Leading a disciplined life can be difficult without the structure of your professional and familial responsibilities. Creating a schedule that is intentional and fulfilling will be a critical part of your transition into post-retirement life. Concentrate on taking care of your needs. Besides your new hobbies and activities, you should try to sleep 8 hours a night, exercise 30 minutes a day and take any prescribed medications, regularly.
De-stress and Relax
This can be easier said than done but focusing on destressing and relaxing should be a top priority for those living a post-retirement life. Elderly members of society have spent their working lives taking care of their professional and familial responsibilities. By destressing and relaxing our minds, our mood improves, our body recuperates, and our soul replenishes. Try meditating 30 minutes a day or writing in a journal, use part of your day to look inside and prioritise calm and happiness.
Activities with a Purpose
Performing activities that are focused on our new goals and interests make living a purposeful life much easier. Spend 2 to 3 hours (at least) on activities that are complementary to your newfound purpose. If it is social service or learning new skills, teaching your community, or following an athletic pursuit, you need to make this a central feature of your post-retirement daily activities.
Spending Time with Loved Ones
Spending time with your friends and family’s important post retirement. We spend many of our office days wishing we could have had more dinners with family or drinks with friends. Work may have prevented you from travelling to meet loved ones overseas or meet friends with conflicting work schedules. Spouses, children, grandchildren, friends, and other loved ones can finally get all of the attention and time we’ve been wanting to share with them.
Spending Time on Yourself
Retirement gives us an opportunity to focus on our mental and physical well-being and health. This time allows us to pause, reflect and appreciate the past, as well as planning and organising for the future. Purpose cannot be found by someone else; we need to inspire those ambitions within ourselves. You will be the writer of your life’s next chapter, enjoy it.
Take Time Off
Yes, you need to find your new life’s purpose and fill your schedule with activities that help you grow and develop in your post-retirement years. However, you also need to take some time for yourself. You have worked all your life and focused on so many different responsibilities, you deserve a break.
Take time off for leisurely activities, like painting, meditating, or playing an instrument, and enjoy your new life. Calm and quiet does not need to mean boredom or inactivity, it can be time well-spent on yourself, a chance to kick your feet up and enjoy the spoils of your post-retirement life.
Deciding where you are going to live is an important part of defining your post-retirement lifestyle. If you’re a retiree that’s considering where to call home on this new and exciting chapter of your life – consider one of Manor Retirement’s beautiful and bustling communities.
2021 is already looking more hopeful than 2020. Despite the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic trudging along, there is hope in the form of better practices, more pandemic experience and effective vaccines. The behaviours of all businesses, organisations and households have evolved to meet today’s requirements for staying safe during the pandemic.
The question has come up frequently over the past year: Are senior living communities or retirement villages safe to occupy during Covid-19? Like most communal, residential environments, senior living communities have adjusted and adapted to the new “normal”. The responsibility falls on owners, managers, caregivers and staff to create a safe and secure environment, in spite of the pandemic.
Temperature checks, sanitisation, social distancing, PPE and, now, vaccinations have become a regular part of retirement living. Having these protocols in place have allowed these communities to keep their residents and staff safe, while managing to maintain the thriving social communities that exist in South Africa.
Most seniors have been forced to miss out on their favourite activities during the national lockdowns. From restaurants to indoor exercise and family visits to local movie theatres, keeping up with your regular life as a senior citizen has been difficult. Fortunately, the careful preparation and learning over the past year has allowed retirement communities to continue some old – and adapted – social activities, safely.
You might be wondering if this is possible. Can now, really, be a good time to move into a senior living community? The reality is that this is a huge decision for you or your loved ones at the best of times. However, there are still a variety of benefits that are associated with living in a retirement village in a post-Covid-19 world.
Here are six of the main advantages of moving into a senior living community now:
All of your necessities are covered
Residents of senior living communities are assisted in all of their day-to-day activities, like cooking, cleaning, bathing, taking medication and shopping. There are a multitude of daily tasks that become harder to complete as we age – and even harder during a pandemic. All of the caregivers that assist in these tasks are tested, trained and advised on how to keep all residents and themselves safe during the pandemic.
Most retirement villages have transformed the way they cater to and serve their communities to ensure that all residents’ necessities and needs are covered, while keeping Covid-19 out. These communities will continue to evolve, in order to guarantee all of their residents are kept safe and well-cared for. Shopping, exercising, socialising, organising meals and housekeeping are all made easier in a senior living community, in spite of the pandemic.
Easy access to onsite healthcare services
Most senior living communities are equipped to offer assisted living and frail care options on their premises. This is in addition to the nurses, caregivers and staff that are trained to provide daily assistance to our senior population who are suffering from mental or physical decline. Some retirement villages have an onsite clinic which can perform emergency procedures, provide constant care and conduct necessary testing when needed.
These clinics will often include a dispensary and speciality services, like physical therapy or mental health services. Easily accessible and fully-integrated, these healthcare services are onsite to ensure that all residents are being taken care of and living their healthiest possible life. All of this helps to reduce the health risks associated with aging and adds an extra layer of protection and reassurance during the pandemic.
Strict health and safety protocols
In every retirement village, members of staff are being trained to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and residents to follow best practices. Beyond this, all common areas, like hallways, dining rooms, elevators, lobbies, etc., are being heavily sanitised and cleaned every day. Screenings and tests are being conducted to ensure all staff and guests do not exhibit symptoms and can safely interact within the community. Additional steps, such as contact tracing and mandatory mask wearing have become standard health and safety protocols.
Easy access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines
Phase 2 of South Africa’s vaccine rollout plan will include residents in congregated living environments and persons over the age of 60. This means that the vast majority, if not all, residents living in senior living communities will be eligible for a vaccine. Even further, these residents may have access to testing at their onsite clinic or government-funded testing, or be enrolled in a vaccination programme, without the hassle of confusing websites and online booking systems. Frequent testing and high vaccination rates are the fastest way to building a safe, Covid-free community.
Socialise more safely and confidently
Senior living communities have adopted some of the safest ways of socialising within their community. Communal practices, such as small group gatherings, outdoor activities, scheduled dining experiences and socially-distanced exercise classes, allow residents to carefully and confidently socialise with their community. This is on top of the strong public health practices and behaviours that are already being employed, like frequent sanitisation and testing.
Ensure financial stability
The financial security and stability that comes with living in a retirement village – during these times – can’t be overstated. Community members don’t have to worry about the maintenance, upkeep and sale-value of a home amidst the pandemic. Managing expenses, preserving your lifestyle and securing needed care or assistance in these communities is also easier than ever. Becoming a part of these vibrant communities is not only beneficial during the pandemic, but at any point that you or a loved one need a little extra help and support in their daily life.
If you’re looking to move into a senior living community, make sure you’re choosing the best one for you or your family member. Manor Retirement offer a wide range of independent and assisted living options with the best healthcare services and well-trained caregivers to support you.