Tips For a Life Well Lived in your Golden Years
San Diego’s temperate climate, enviable scenery, and thriving arts scene make it the perfect setting for seniors seeking to maximize their quality of life.
A variety of housing options to suit every lifestyle and budget beckon seniors with excellent on-site amenities and programs dedicated to extending the longevity of community members though physical fitness, education, and cultural programs. Read on for tips and advice about how to prepare for your post-retirement years and make the most of them.
Stay Fit & Have Fun
Regular exercise is a key building block to long-term health.
Beyond building strength and endurance, increasing flexibility and balance, and preventing diseases, staying fit helps seniors remain independent, boosts cognitive function, and improves overall mood.
From Wii tournaments that feature friendly competition to meditative chair yoga classes, many local senior living communities offer comprehensive health and wellness programs that encourage regular exercise and foster the development of social networks.
Residents of Seacrest Village Retirement Communities enjoy a variety of classes that ensure all participants are appropriately challenged, regardless of skill level. Popular activities include seated yoga and travel walk outings to beaches and parks in Nor th County. Lori Officer, senior fitness program coordinator, says the benefits extend beyond health and wellness. “The Fitness Center brings people together who may not naturally gravitate together in other settings. This increases group cohesiveness and compassion and further enables individual friendships.”
At Belmont Village Senior Living, residents can take part in an ar ray of physically, mentally, and spiritually enriching activities based on personal abilities and interests, ranging from fitness classes like water aerobics, tai chi, and private one-on-one personal training to entertainment and cultural enrichment programs like Wii bowling tournaments, music appreciation, and cooking exploration. “Our goal is to provide all of our residents with the support and opportunities they need to continue to lead engaged, purposeful lives,” says Sadie Harness, executive director, Belmont Village Cardiff by the Sea.
Advantages of Retirement Community Living
Lee Ratta of Front Porch Communities shares three main upsides of choosing a retirement community.
Community living has a host of benefits that most seniors can’t enjoy if they choose to remain at home, including in-house fitness classes and chefprepared meals. Living among like-minded people also fosters friendships and encourages residents to give back to the community by volunteering at local schools and museums.
Senior living communities in San Diego also take full advantage of the natural environment. For example, the communities at Front Porch are located on the ocean or in parkland settings, where residents enjoy views of the coastline from well appointed, maintenance free accommodations.
Explore Your Artistic Side
Community living is a wonderful opportunity to exchange the mundane chores of homeownership for the freedom to explore the extraordinary. Many communities offer engaging programs that allow residents to tap into their creative sides, such as play readings, poetry workshops, and life narrative classes. At Front Porch, they celebrate the art of the individual (and create an understanding of aging through art) through the Front Porch Gallery in Carlsbad.
Financial Insights for Seniors
As millions of Americans prepare for retirement, Scott Spiering, founder and president of ANCHOR BAY CAPITAL, says the number- one concern is outliving one’s savings. “Many people spend equal time retired as they did working. Their money must work as hard after they retire as it did during their working years. In fact, investable assets must outpace inflation to preserve buying power,” he explains. Here are Spiering’s top three financial considerations for the senior set:
REVIEW YOUR ESTATE PLAN. If you’re retired or close to retiring, have a financial professional devise a plan that ensures you can enjoy your retirement in comfort. Most strategies come with trade-offs; choose one based on the trade-offs you are comfortable with.
CREATE A WEALTH TRANSFER PLAN. Proper wealth transfer planning helps loved ones navigate the process of what to do when you’re gone and ensure your wishes are known and carried out.
DON’T RUSH SOCIAL SECURITY WITHDRAWALS. Early withdrawals can cost you. If you’re healthy, wait until you reach full retirement age. If you can postpone until age 70, you will have an automatic 8 percent payout increase.
Considering Moving to a Retirement Community
Donna Thomas, director of corporate communication for Senior Resource Group, offers the following advice:
1 Begin Research Before The Need Arises.
Ask family, friends, and valued advisors, such as a trust officer or estate attorney, for recommendations and help researching retirement communities. The Internet, professional resources, senior directories, and local newspapers may also be helpful.
2 Determine Your Needs.
It’s important to understand the different senior living options and the services and care they offer. From continuing care retirement communities to rental communities, there is a fit for every budget and lifestyle. Narrow the list of potentials by taking into account location, care services, amenities, and activities.
3 Visit The Community.
Tour retirement communities to evaluate your options and get a feel for their culture. Sample the dining services at lunch or dinner, or attend a community event to mingle with residents. When possible, arrange a guest stay for a day or two.
4 Compare Costs.
Considering the expenses and upkeep of a house, many seniors find retirement communities are less expensive, with countless additional benefits. Compare the cost of living at home with the present costs of the senior living community. Many communities offer a checklist for your convenience.
5 Look For Accredited Communities.
Accredited communities must adhere to the highest standards of quality care and service— an important consideration when choosing a senior living setting for you or a family member.
Local Seniors Take To The Stage
An enthusiastic ensemble of actors, singers, dancers, and impersonators—all over the age of 55—will present a memorable music extravaganza, highlighting songs that reached #1 on the Billboard charts dating back to 1935, with spectacular sets, festive costumes, and rocking dance numbers. CYT’s eighth annual production of San Diego Follies expands on cofounder Paul Russell’s mission to “develop character in children and adults, one stage at a time” by providing opportunities for local seniors to tap into their love of performing, improve their quality of life, and enrich the community at the same time. San Diego Follies Hit Parade plays the Lincoln Performing Arts Center, August 20–23. Group rates and senior discounts are available.
Tips To Reduce Stress
Learning how to manage stress is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life. Try these fun and easy ways to reduce stress and live happier.
Cut Down On Caffeine:
Caffeine gives you an energy boost, followed by a crash that can make you feel groggy. Consuming less caffeine also leads to better sleep—another important aspect of stress management.
Start A Garden:
Digging in the dirt is fun and great exercise, but the benefits don’t end there. Research shows Mycobacterium vaccae, a strain of bacteria found in soil, triggers the release of serotonin in the brain, which decreases anxiety and boosts happy feelings.
Keep A Journal:
Writing down thoughts and feelings is a great way to break a stressful thought pattern and sort through personal issues.
Spice It Up:
Eating spicy foods spikes serotonin levels and releases endorphins— two things that immediately make you feel good, so go ahead and sprinkle some hot sauce on your meal.
Laughing lowers blood pressure, reduces cortisol levels, and ups energy levels. Take a break to watch a few funny animal videos on YouTube when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Oral hygiene is important for everyone, regardless of age. Implement these tips from the American Dental Association to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
1 Nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean proteins help prevent tooth decay. Limit alcohol, sugary drinks, citrus, and sticky foods, which can damage enamel and cause cavities.
2 Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay.
3 If arthritis makes it difficult to use a manual brush or to fl oss, try an electric toothbrush, and use a floss pick to clean between teeth.
4 If you wear dentures, remove them for at least four hours every day to keep your mouth healthy. Clean dentures daily, using a nonabrasive solution or paste made specifically for this purpose.
5 Visit your dentist regularly. Don’t wait until you feel pain, because it may be too late to save a tooth or treat serious issues like gum disease or oral cancer.
Care In The Comfort Of Home
For many seniors, remaining at home is the most appealing course of action. Home care fosters independence, keeps family ties strong, and promotes feelings of comfort. Home care can be a cost-effective approach versus receiving healthcare in an institution, and since many health services can be effectively administered in the warmth and security of home. For those who choose home healthcare, one San Diego agency stands out. Since 1977, La Jolla Nurses Homecare has provided a full spectrum of health services, ranging from high-tech nursing to assistance with daily living. “Our mission is to provide high-quality, very secure, and the most compassionate home healthcare. We believe patients heal faster and are happiest when they can stay in their homes,” says Brittnei Salerno, owner and operator, La Jolla Nurses Homecare.