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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

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, October 14, 2020

How independent living communities challenge these 5 cliches about growing older

Growing older is something we all do from the day we are born. Yet as we leave the work world behind and begin retirement, a number of cliches seem to arrive along with the birthday wishes.

The trouble with cliches is that they’re not necessarily true. Or challenged. Becoming part of a society’s belief system, they often masquerade as a joke. But the danger is that they can easily become accepted without being questioned for their validity.

How aging platitudes fare at independent living communities

If you’re considering a move into an independent living community, you won’t see these philosophies influencing the lives of their residents. Instead, you’ll find a place where everyone is encouraged to embrace the most out of each day.

Here are 5 of the more common cliches about growing older and what you might find as a response from an independent living community.  

1. “You’re only as old as you feel” 

What’s really being said:

This cliché assumes there’s something inherently wrong about being old. It offers consolation and encouragement. As long as you don’t feel old, then magically you won’t be.

What you’ll find in an independent living community:

Life is celebrated at the best communities and age isn’t something that needs to be hidden. While it’s true that how you feel makes a big difference in the quality of your life, the number itself doesn’t define a person.

Communities support and encourage activities that promote a healthy body and mind. They revel in the accomplishments and spirit of their residents. They also understand and provide opportunities so that their residents can thrive.   

2. “70 is the new 50”

What’s really being said:

Another ageist view whose main purpose seems to deny the value and advantages of turning 70. It conveys the idea that it’s much better to be 50.

What you’ll find in an independent living community:

The right communities understand the aging process, neither denying its realities or surrendering to its challenges. For example, when you’re 70, the needs of your physical body and mind are different than when you’re 50.

But there isn’t anything wrong with being 50 or 70. It’s simply the natural passage of time.

The real danger with this cliché is that it erases the benefits of those 20 years in between. Which eliminates the experiences, laughter, tears and wonderment that occurred and played a large role in making the person who they are.

3. “It’s all downhill from here”

What’s really being said:

Certain birthdays, often starting at 50 but sometimes even earlier, seem to kick off the over-the-hill celebrations. Black balloons and other deprecating sentiments are usually shared. Sympathy is extended for having reached the pinnacle and now beginning a downward slide.

What you’ll find in an independent living community:

There is no downhill in an independent living community. The lifestyle, new friends and amenities are all uplifting and positive. And the staff is there to support the residents to live their best lives.

If you’re beginning to visit different communities in your area, ask about their planned programs, events, educational classes and all the other opportunities for the residents to embrace and engage in life. If you decide to move, the only thing you’ll be giving up is all of the maintenance and upkeep of home ownership.

4. “You look younger than your age”

What’s really being said:

Meant as a compliment, the feeling conveyed is that it’s better to look and pass for a younger age than to be and look the age you are. It’s a misguided belief that’s unintentionally taught to us at a young age.

What you’ll find in an independent living community:

Most people want to look their best and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the focus in an independent living community is to participate and engage in an authentic life - not to try to fool someone that you may be younger than you are.

In an independent living community, you may rediscover how much fun it is just to have fun again. As you form lifelong relationships with your neighbors and new friends, you may be surprised to discover how much you have in common. Sharing this time in life can be such a joy.

5. “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better”

What’s really being said:

This message tries to put a positive spin on aging. But growing older has many benefits and doesn’t require a consolation prize.

What you’ll find in an independent living community:

Hopefully, as we become older, we do also get better. Most people never want to stop learning or growing. And they look forward to all the adventures they weren’t able to take when they were busy with careers and raising children.

That’s why an independent living community can be the perfect answer in retirement. Because you’ll not only have the time but the opportunities. You can take advantage of an art class, attend a lecture or learn how to play Bridge. Another advantage? The choices are always yours to make.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Independent Living community

At Westminster at Lake Ridge, you won’t find anyone living in cliches. Instead, what you’ll discover is a vibrant community. We appreciate and provide all the opportunities so that you can make your retirement life meaningful, as well as keep your body and mind healthy and fit.

Take a look at what we offer:

  • Your choice of cottage or apartment home

  • Open one or two-bedroom floor plans that you can personalize to make your own

  • Maintenance-free lifestyle

  • Chef-prepared meals in our elegant dining room or casual café

  • Fully equipped fitness center

  • Heated indoor swimming pool

  • Woodworking shop

  • Two fishing ponds

  • Indoor greenhouse

  • Beautiful walking trails through our 62 wooded acres

As you can see, we don’t look at retirement life as a beginning to slow down but rather as the beginning of all the new possibilities ahead. We hope you’ll join us.

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

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