Social Activity: Part of a Happy Retirement
Research shows that people who regularly interact with others maintain their brain function better than those who don’t.
The overall success of a community is dependent on the health and well-being of all of its members, according to Jackie Hickey, RN and community health advisor at Bayshore Home Health. And being around like-minded people with similar interests is a great vitamin. Sharing ideas and fears with your peers, knowing you are not alone, having someone to come to your aid—these all provide us with emotional and physical security. After all, “being accepted and involved is applicable at any age,” says Jackie.
But for many older adults, the challenges presented by the passing of time can be overwhelming and even debilitating, leading to isolation and depression. What happens when the mere act of getting out of a chair becomes a strain?
One great solution is the retirement residence, which offers many social opportunities that engage the mind, body and soul, right at your doorstep. Just ask Doreen Burrows, a resident of Amica at Douglas House in Victoria, B.C. After a terrible car accident, the 85-year-old widow realized it was time to reevaluate her living arrangements: “I tell seniors... we are co-dependent; if you take a walk and fall, you are dependent on the kindness of others to help you up. To say you’re independent and won’t receive any help is just prideful.”
Chartwell Classic Oakville – Photograph by Tobi Asmoucha
Doreen is determined to make the most of her new situation as she animatedly rhymes off all the clubs and activities Amica has to offer: Happy Hour, lectures, yoga and meditation, sing-songs, reading groups, recitals, and the list goes on. “I recommend reading groups—I belong to two. When reading socially, together, you’re going to be sociable; you really get to know about a person... and each adds to the depth of the others. (I want to be able to say) I’m a better person for having known you.”