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An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020

How independent living can help you adjust to retirement life

Have you just begun retirement or are looking toward the horizon and surprised to find yourself a little apprehensive?

Don’t be distressed. It turns out that for most people, retirees experience the equivalent of an emotional upheaval when they begin transitioning to this next life stage, according to Rob Pascale, retired research psychologist and former retirement contributor to Forbes.

The world we live in is work-driven and task-oriented. Making a shift to a life that no longer includes a career is understandably unsettling. How you adapt to this major change depends on your experiences and view of the future. But acknowledging that you feel lost, untethered or unsure of what to do next is actually the first step to making a successful plan.

A review of what you’ll generally need for a healthy retirement is included below. When you compare this to what is available at an independent living community, you may find the shortcut to a meaningful and well-lived retirement.

Features for a successful retirement

1. Healthy relationships

Leaving work is often the reason many new retirees lose a large part of their social network. The workplace often provides great opportunities to meet and interact with others. If this was your main source of friends, you’ll need to find other outlets to meet new people. 

Unfortunately, as we grow older, there are also natural occurrences that can make maintaining relationships more difficult, such as friends moving away or our own mobility or limiting health issues.

2. Maintaining good physical health

Aging well can be much easier to accomplish if you remain physically healthy. Beyond the advantages of improving balance and muscle mass, being fit can have positive effects on our emotional health as well. 

However, there can also be challenges as we grow older. Establishing and committing to an exercise routine can be harder to maintain if we have trouble getting to the gym or find it more difficult to be motivated.

3. Maintaining your emotional health

Taking care of our emotional health is just as important as our physical bodies. Research continues to show that remaining engaged and challenging our brains to learn new information has many benefits. 

Puzzles, memory tests, games, learning a different language or how to play a musical instrument are fun ways to give your brain a workout. But an additional challenge may be in finding these opportunities or having easy access to them.

4. Good nutrition

Eating well can make a major impact on both our physical and emotional well-being. Not only can diet influence our blood pressure, cholesterol and energy levels, there is evidence that minimizing red meat, fats and sugars may also lower our risk of developing Alzheimer’s or delay its onset. 

The challenge again as we grow older however can be whether we have access to healthy ingredients and are determined to plan and cook these meals.

5. Remaining connected to the world

It’s never healthy to live in isolation, either physically separated from others or losing your connection to what is going on in the world. As adults grow older, they may find it harder to drive to activities, attend different events or keep up with such a fast-paced life. 

You’ll want to make sure you have opportunities to keep you connected and engaged - in not only your own life but the outside world itself.

How well does an independent living community and retirement match?

One great discovery that many retirees have found is how well the right independent living community can support the lifestyle that suits their plans perfectly. Read how communities can advocate and encourage those same features of a successful retirement:

1. Healthy relationships

One of the biggest benefits you’ll find in an independent living community is the ease and opportunities of meeting and building new friendships. There are a variety of planned events, classes and social occasions so you’ll have plenty of chances to naturally meet others.

2. Maintaining good physical health

Most communities include a fitness center. You’ll likely find a variety of exercise classes, equipment for your use and even a swimming pool for laps, aquatics or just fun. There are also opportunities to play sports, bridge, other games or to work on arts and crafts.

3. Maintaining your emotional health

Independent living communities also support your emotional health by offering occasions to connect with others and participate in engaging activities. Beyond the benefits of friendships, you can keep your mind active by joining a book club, attending an educational class or taking part in meditation or yoga.  

4. Good nutrition

The best communities offer choices in dining environments as well as healthy menu selections. They should also be able to accommodate any special dietary needs. One of the bigger advantages that retirees tend to enjoy is not only the ease of being able to eat well but to do so while they skip the cooking and cleaning.

5. Remaining connected to the world

Another advantage of an independent living community is all the opportunities that surround you to remain engaged in life. Whether you choose to attend a lecture, dinner and theater in the city or to share a meal with a friend, they all contribute to connecting.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Independent Living community

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, we have designed our community, homes, amenities and activities to support you as you transition away from the work world into the wonderful adventure of retirement. You’ll find that we offer the features and benefits that will help you not only adjust to this new lifestyle but thrive in it as well.

We understand the importance of social connections, healthy eating, physical and emotional activities and feeling connected so that you can achieve the successful retirement that you so deserve. We’re here to help in any way we can.   

Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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