The San Diego Guide to Aging Well

Wellness

 

Sharpen Your Mind—And Your Skills

Put down the crossword puzzles and dust off those old notebooks. You don’t need to take an academic course or earn a degree to enjoy the benefits of learning; picking up any new skill slows cognitive decline. Go ahead and sign up for art, music, cooking, or computer classes, because research shows those kinds of complex skills improve memory in adults aged 60 to 90 more than crossword puzzles. Gardening is known to reduce anxiety and depression and give a feeling of satisfaction. Hours spent in the garden can be some of the most active yet relaxing of the day. Not gardening weather? Don’t worry—you can get nearly as many of the same rewards by flexing your green thumb indoors, tending to your botanical housemates.

Join a Club

Joining a club can open new social circles and help you master skills you’ve always craved. S’il vous plaît, tune up your tongue with language classes, which confer many of the same mental acuity benefits adults get from their jobs, plus the joys of making new pals and seeing the world through different eyes.

If you’re looking to relax and spend time with others 55 and up, stop by the Senior Lounge in Balboa Park, room 105 in the Casa del Prado. Feel free to socialize over a cup of coffee from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Saturday, or try a group walk, needle crafts, or the center’s art program in the afternoons.

Another great way to flex brain muscles, gain new perspectives, and meet friends is through book clubs, and odds are there are plenty of options near you to choose from. The San Diego Public Library has a list of book clubs and chess clubs separated by neighborhood.

Feel like staying in? You don’t have to leave the house to join a club. The "Caring for All Seniors in San Diego" Facebook group has almost a thousand members, and posts information almost daily about events, news, and discussions that pertain to San Diego’s 55-and-up community.

Adopt a Pet

Getting older doesn’t have to be lonely. Pets, especially dogs and cats, can provide a sense of ease and companionship when you’re older, not to mention plenty of physical and mental health benefits.

For one, research shows that bonding with furry friends can result in a drop in blood pressure and stress levels. The daily exercise your pet needs is also a great way to keep moving, while helping you fight depression, lower cholesterol levels, and relieve anxiety along the way.

 

Self-Care

You never know when your loved one’s condition may deteriorate, and caring for them can take its toll. It’s not unusual for caregivers to experience frustration or sadness, or simply feel overwhelmed by the burden. Here are some ways to help you take care of yourself and get the support you might need:

Go for walks or other types of exercise.

Moving your body releases endorphins and can help clear your mind.

Eat a healthy diet with a solid amount of protein.

With higher stress levels comes higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses that can be mitigated by eating well.

Get plenty of sleep.

Most people need seven to nine hours to operate at their best.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

It can be as simple as contacting one of the many groups that are familiar with the stress and anxiety caregivers face. If you’re looking for assistance, try a program like Hospice of the North Coast, which offers an array of programs and services to the terminally ill, their families, and the community.

Communities

 

Your Perfect Place

There are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right senior living community, and a lot of misconceptions about what they are.

There are a handful of types, providing differing levels of care, starting with independent living: a living arrangement for active older people capable of managing their own daily care and personal affairs but who would rather have someone else maintain their living space.

In assisted living homes, residents receive a hand with things like meal preparation and getting dressed, while benefiting from being around peers and in a safe environment where help is close by.

Memory care refers to communities that specialize in housing residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia and provide round-the-clock care.

Continuing care retirement communities are set up to provide residents with increasing levels of care as their age or medical conditions require, also making them a good choice for spouses or family members who want to live together but have different needs.

Home, Sweet Home

Retirement living in San Diego doesn’t get any better than the award-winning ocean-view, resort-like lifestyle offered at the Front Porch retirement communities in Carlsbad, La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and Chula Vista. Each community boasts an extraordinary location and is as unique as the individuals who live in them.

Wesley Palms features all-new midcentury-style patio homes on 35 acres of parkland overlooking the Pacific on Mount Soledad. Casa de Mañana celebrates spectacular sunsets and views of one of the most dramatic stretches of the La Jolla coastline. Carlsbad by the Sea is an intimate continuing care retirement community on the ocean in quaint Carlsbad Village. And Fredericka Manor, set among 24 acres of mature landscape in Chula Vista, exudes a small-town feel with bocce courts, a putting green, and sun-filled cottages on tree-lined streets. Each community has its own style and flair, and all offer Truly Yours assisted living services delivered to the privacy of your home.

Seasonal fare is on the menu in the 12-hour fine-dining area at Senior Resource Group’s locations in Rancho San Diego and Solana Beach. La Vida Del Mar, in Solana Beach, marries assisted and independent living with an extensive fitness center, language classes, heated pool, and spa. In Rancho San Diego, La Vida Real delivers independent and assisted living with an on-site club lounge and bistro, gardening areas, group fitness classes, and a spa.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.