As we reach retirement and the years beyond, we’re often in a phase of life where our own health and happiness can be one of our top priorities. No longer do we need to worry about our career or raising children. Our time is finally our own to make the most of it.
Gregory M. Stevens, President of Vantage Point Retirement Living, headquartered in Exton,Pennsylvania, says, “For many older adults, having a fulfilling retirement lifestyle involves staying healthy and increasing their happiness as they age. At Vantage Point, we believe these two goals go hand-in-hand. As we keep ourselves physically healthy, we open up more opportunities to pursue our personal definition of happiness. And the more socially and emotionally fulfilled we are, the greater our health can be from these influences.”
So how do we go about achieving a healthy, happy life as we age? The team at Vantage Point Retirement Living has some ideas.
5 Suggestions for Increasing Health and Happiness
Happiness in retirement looks different for everyone – and so does the concept of good health. However, we believe the following tips can be easily adapted to multiple lifestyles and perspectives to increase health and happiness, however you define them.
- Stay Active – We can only begin to list the many benefits seniors experience from maintaining a physically active lifestyle. From heart and respiratory health, overall longevity, enhanced mood, increased range of motion, injury and fall prevention to dozens of other advantages, seniors who stay active typically experience greater health as they age.
Just 30 minutes of exercise a day three to five days a week can make a profound difference in your health. When you exercise, a good rule of thumb is to increase your heart rate for at least 20 minutes. If this is your goal, exercising could include going for a brisk walk, working in the garden, or even playing in the yard with the grandkids.
Now, staying active doesn’t mean you have to set unrealistic goals for yourself. Chances are, for most of us, our physical prime faded years ago. Consider where you are now and think about what you’d like to be able to do physically. Are you determined to maintain good flexibility or keep up great lung capacity? Maybe you just want to do whatever you can so your joints don’t hurt as much. Set realistic goals for yourself and find solutions to achieve them.
- Monitor Your Health – Even if you’ve enjoyed optimal health your entire life, aging has a way of introducing new changes to our bodies, metabolism, energy levels and more. It’s smart to monitor your health regularly, writing down any changes you experience or symptoms you observe in a health journal. Schedule a yearly physical with your doctor, and discuss these changes. Of course, when you experience symptoms that cause concern, see a doctor right away to evaluate your health.
In addition to seeing a general care professional on a regular basis, you should also make annual appointments with a dentist and an eye doctor. Some seniors also like to have regular hearing exams to catch hearing loss early on. Consider your family history and use good judgment on when and how to monitor your health.
- Prioritize Your Joy – Your retirement years may be the first time you’ve ever let yourself prioritize the things that make you most happy! Finally, it’s time to pursue the hobbies or goals you’ve pushed aside for the sake of career and family. If you’ve always loved to paint but never had the chance to seriously study the craft, now’s your chance! All those dreams you set aside for “someday” are still waiting for you. Go traveling. Move closer to your grandkids. Get a dog. Take dancing lessons. Write that book.
Making your own happiness a priority in your life may seem like a selfish way to live. However, as long as you aren’t stealing away someone else’s happiness in the process, we believe that pursuing the things that bring you joy is an important part of self-care. Occupying your time with worthwhile endeavors that make you happy boosts your emotional well-being, fights depression and isolation, and ultimately keeps you healthier as you age.
- Give Back – For seniors looking for ways to feel fulfilled, giving back to their community can be a rewarding pastime for their retirement. Not only does volunteering and giving back strengthen our communities, but it can also be a great way for seniors to stay active and involved as they age.
Giving back doesn’t have to be limited to Wednesday evenings at the local soup kitchen. Chances are, every organization in your community offers some avenue in which you can contribute support. For example, you could serve on your local school board, or organize a fundraiser for a local charity. Maybe you can tutor students, or start giving piano lessons. Check in at nearby hospitals, schools, nursing homes and shelters to see if there’s a need for any volunteers. If you’re not really a people person, maybe you can make something or gather donations for those in need. Giving back to your community is only as limited as your creativity.
- Make a Plan – Perhaps the most significant way to ensure your future health and happiness as you age is to make a plan for potential care. No one knows what the future holds in terms of health. It’s wise to consider the possibilities and make decisions now for how you would like to receive care in the future. Do you want to live at an assisted living community? Research local communities now so you have an idea of where you’d like to go. If you’re concerned that future care might take a toll on your finances, meet with a financial advisor to assess your current assets and what options might be available for paying for care.
Considering a future need for care and support might sound unpleasant, but making these plans ahead of time (even if you never have to use them) can add greatly to your peace of mind. Making plans for your future also alleviates your loved ones from making these plans for you. If your family is aware of your care wishes, it’s more likely that they’ll be honored later on.
Pursuing a healthy, happy retirement lifestyle is a worthwhile endeavor. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make aging healthier and happier, contact Vantage Point Retirement Living today. Aside from learning about our wonderful communities that simplify retirement for our residents, you can find expert guidance and advice from our friendly team.
Experience That Matters.
With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, Vantage Point Retirement Living is a senior living development and management company that has been ensuring area seniors enjoy vibrant, carefree and healthy lifestyles since 1995.
The company is widely recognized for its hands-on, personal involvement within its associated communities, as well as for offering amenities and services that allow seniors to lead stimulating, active lives.
Vantage Point Retirement Living is a family-owned and -operated organization born out of a passion and enthusiasm for seniors. While Vantage Point Retirement Living may be considered a family business, its leadership team has decades of industry experience behind them – bringing together the best of both worlds to provide area seniors with the most extraordinary retirement living experience.
Whatever your interests and needs may be, exceptional living is just the beginning at a Vantage Point Retirement Living community. Whether it be Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living or The Compass Memory Care™, living at a Vantage Point Retirement community empowers you to take control of your life while embracing your future with confidence and peace of mind.
We currently own three gorgeous communities in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania, with four more under development and set to open in 2020.
Values You Can Trust.
In an industry increasingly dominated by large, national corporations, Vantage Point provides a trustworthy, local and family-oriented alternative for people seeking a community they can proudly call home – for themselves or a loved one. Our core values of trust, teamwork, family, friendship, individuality, dignity, respect and compassion enable us to create best-in-class communities designed to enhance the health, well-being and overall quality of life for seniors and their families.
To learn more about Vantage Point Retirement Living and the extraordinary lifestyles we provide, contact us today!