Seven Ways to Retire Happy

We all look for experiences that make us feel most alive—most engaged, most appreciated, most loved.

To feel most alive, you need to actively participate in the seven key areas of life: social, environmental, spiritual, sexual, emotional, physical and intellectual. The more engaged you are, the richer and more fulfilling your life will be.

But it isn’t always easy to do that by yourself, especially if you don’t get out that often or if you’ve lost friends or loved ones. The good news is that today’s retirement communities provide opportunities to engage in all areas of life in a more stimulating environment than many people would experience at home.

In this issue of Comfort Life we asked seniors in retirement communities across Canada to tell us how they participate in each of these seven areas.

Read about each area here, and meet Ruth Michaelis, Heinz Berger, Lois Anderson, Phillip and Katherine Tindle, Margaret Darte, Peter Henningsen and Mary Yule.

1. SOCIAL: Living in a community of your peers is important for your physical, mental and psychological health. It gives you emotional support and interesting things to think about, and it inspires you to participate in a variety of activities.

2. ENVIRONMENTAL: In order to thrive, you need to live in an environment that makes you feel comfortable and at home. It should include common rooms, areas where you can visit with friends and family and quiet spaces where you can reflect and relax.

3. SPIRITUAL: Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose, adds meaning to your life and makes you feel valued. You can lead a group within a retirement residence, and you can also give back to the wider community.

4. SEXUAL: Experiencing love and sexuality in later years fulfills a need for emotional comfort and intimacy. This vital part of life also has a positive impact on self-esteem and physical and emotional health.

5. EMOTIONAL: Moving from your home to a retirement community is often challenging. Compassionate staff understand this change and will help you work through it and embrace the opportunities that it brings.

6. PHYSICAL: The exercise programs and personal and group instruction available in retirement communities are geared to your individual fitness level and help you maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

7. INTELLECTUAL: Retirement residences understand the importance of lifelong learning and offer many academic and non-academic opportunities to expand your knowledge both at the residence and in the wider community.

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