Retirement has the potential to be one of the most rewarding periods of our lives. We can seek out a lifestyle that suits us best and live the way we want to.
But it’s not enough to just live—addressing every aspect of our overall health can help us live meaningfully. At the lodge at Truitt Homestead, we’re dedicated to helping our community members maintain a high quality of life.
Read on to explore some examples of what it takes to lead a life well-lived in your senior years.
Aging in America
No matter how you look at it, the population of America is aging. Over the last hundred years, life expectancies jumped significantly, from an average of 53 in 1920 to an average of 78 in 2020.
By 2060, the number of Americans age 65 or older is expected to double. Though advancements in medicine and science allow us to live longer, it’s important we not simply live, but thrive.
6 Dimensions of Wellness
When it comes to living a full life, multiple facets of our health and happiness need to be addressed. These 6 dimensions of wellness are:
Keeping these in balance can allow us to live happier, more meaningful lives. If one area of our wellness suffers, we often feel the effects in other areas.
It’s never too late to nurture your wellness and health. The National Wellness Institute reminds us that wellness is a “conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.” This means that we are able to exert a certain level of control over our happiness, even throughout life’s many changes.
Enhance Your Quality of Life
So, what does it take to actively enhance one’s quality of life? Ultimately that comes down to each individual and their particular needs, but some trends tend to help everybody find a sense of fulfillment in their days.
These are simply some suggestions and guidelines that can help make life more enjoyable. We encourage you to test out and expand this list as you discover activities that enrich your days.
Senior living communities can allow older adults to live independently but surrounded by their peers, which fosters friendships and can help decrease loneliness.
Connect with Nature
Being in nature can be healing and restful. You don’t have to jet to a national park and lose yourself in the forest to attain the perks of enjoying time spent with the natural world! Explore your community’s parks and green spaces.
Take time to revel in the beauty of nature with an awe walk, which reminds us to appreciate the magnificence of the world around us. For example, The Lodge a Truitt Homestead is located close to the ocean. It’s easy to find awe every day when nestled among the beautiful scenery of coastal Delaware.
Find Movement that Brings You Joy
It’s no secret that exercise helps improve our health, but if you can’t find an activity you enjoy, you’re unlikely to stick with it. Explore different movement options, such as:
- Bocce ball
Don’t Neglect Mental Health
Mental health can affect every other aspect of our health. You may be surprised to learn that 15-20% of Americans 65 or older have experienced symptoms of depression. These feelings can be linked to a sense of loss, be it of independence, loved ones, friends, or even the sense of identity attached to a career or raising a family.
If left untreated, depression can lead to complications with physical ailments such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. It also leads to increased health care costs.
The first step towards combating depression is knowing the signs to watch for, such as:
- A persistent low mood or feelings of emptiness
- Irritability, frustration, or restlessness
- Significant weight changes
- Sleep problems, like sleeping far too much or suffering from insomnia
- An overwhelming sense of fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Memory difficulties, like the inability to think clearly or concentrate
- Increased thoughts of death
It’s normal to have short periods of low mood, but long-term or persistent symptoms characterize depression. If you or a loved one have been exhibiting these signs, reach out and seek help.
Challenge Your Mind
Keeping your mind and imagination active and engaged is as important as regular exercise. Challenging yourself to learn something new is beneficial at every age and may help improve your quality of life.
Try a new hobby or invest time in a favorite skill, like:
- Language learning
- Playing an instrument
- Reading a variety of books
- Creating art
Perform Acts of Service
Research shows that volunteerism in older adults has positive effects on mental and physical health and provides a sense of purpose. It even has a more substantial impact on life satisfaction than working for pay!
Though every single person needs help from others, feeling independent and self-sufficient can improve our quality of life. Living in a community designed to offer services and amenities that can help you remain independent for as long as possible may increase feelings of enjoyment.
All-Around Enriching Activities
It doesn’t take a massive overhaul all at once to improve your quality of life. Our behaviors are all interconnected, so improving one area will likely lead to improvements elsewhere.
Plus, very few activities only enrich one area of your wellness. Most have significant overlap; for example, volunteerism serves to improve your occupational wellness, but likely feeds your social self as well. We can say the same of activities like attending a religious service, playing a game of chess with a friend, or enjoying a daily walk that incorporates bird-watching or identifying plants.
Tend to your garden of wellness and watch your quality of life bloom.
Live Your Best Life at The Lodge at Truitt Homestead
The Lodge at Truitt Homestead considers it our mission to offer enriching activities and opportunities for happiness to all of our residents. Learn how you can make each day a quality one—explore what our community has to offer!