Getting older should not be something that you dread. Retirement should be viewed as an exciting milestone when you can relax, pursue your interests and passions, and enjoy the financial rewards of your hard work. Seniors often face challenges that may include health conditions and physical limitations. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to live a healthy, happy, and fulfilled life in your later years. With that in mind, here are five ways for seniors to enhance their quality of life.
1. Make Friends in Your Community
A recent report found that around 25% of seniors are socially isolated. Senior isolation has been linked to several serious health conditions including an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Feeling lonely can also harm your mental health and put seniors at risk of conditions such as anxiety and depression.
For that reason, seniors must take steps to combat loneliness and maintain an active social life. Fortunately, there are dozens of ways for seniors to meet new people and make friends in their local community. According to advice on HarrogateLifecare.org, “seniors can volunteer, join a local community group, or visit a senior citizen center and sign up for group activities and classes.” You can also go online and connect with other seniors using elderly-friendly chat rooms and other virtual communication platforms.
2. Learn How to Use Technology
Technology has advanced rapidly, and it now plays a fundamental role in our everyday lives. Modern technology can improve a senior’s quality of life in many ways. For instance, communication apps like Skype and Facebook Messenger allow seniors to connect with their family members and friends online. Seniors should understand the benefits of technology and leverage new technology to improve their daily life. Here are some key ways that technology can enhance a senior’s quality of life:
- Social Interaction – One of the major advantages of technology is that it allows seniors to connect with their loved ones. As mentioned earlier, regular social interaction has several health benefits and can reduce the risk of senior isolation and depression.
- Entertainment – Technology can also be an excellent source of entertainment for seniors. The internet offers an endless source of free entertainment including online games, YouTube videos, audiobooks, and so on. Seniors can use technology to have fun and combat feelings of boredom.
- Education – Elderly people can also use the internet to remain up to date with current affairs and learn new skills. For instance, seniors can watch online cooking tutorials to try out new recipes and develop their cooking skills.
- Health – Technology has had a huge impact on the health industry and improved medical services in various ways. In particular, seniors can now download apps to monitor their health and fitness. For example, a fitness device such as a Fitbit can be worn to monitor daily steps and encourage a more active lifestyle in seniors.
- Safety – Another major way that technology can benefit seniors is by improving their safety. An elderly person can wear a personal alarm which they can sound for help in an emergency — i.e., following a fall or an accident. Smart technology can also be installed on a senior’s home to boost security. This includes home alarm systems and CCTV security cameras.
Understanding new technology can be difficult for seniors, but there are loads of resources available to assist them. Many colleges now offer classes that are designed to teach seniors how to use technology in their daily lives. Seniors can also ask younger family members or friends to show them how to use technology like social media and search engines online.
3. Start an Exercise Routine
Regular exercise is important at any age, particularly for seniors who have a higher risk of health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Leading an active lifestyle helps keep seniors in good shape physically and improves their mobility. Regular exercise also has several mental health benefits as it has been shown to reduce stress and boost emotional wellbeing.
Medical experts recommend that seniors should do around 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week. This may involve a fast walk or an exercise class such as water aerobics or Pilates. If you are unsure about how to start an exercise routine, then it may be worth hiring a personal trainer for professional fitness advice and guidance.
4. Spend More Time Outdoors
Spending more time outdoors is an excellent way for seniors to boost their activity levels. Being in nature has also been linked to lower stress and improved mood. Seniors should try to get out of the house at least once a day and spend time outdoors. You could have lunch in your local park, go for a walk around your block, or join a local walking group to stay fit and meet people living in your local area.
5. Consider Assisted Living
Many seniors want to age in their homes and communities. However, moving into assisted living can offer several advantages. One of the major benefits of assisted living is that you will receive the level of support you need to live a safe, comfortable, and independent lifestyle. Moving into a senior living community will also allow you to meet people with similar interests and increase your social interaction. Brandywine Senior Living explains how their communities offer an extensive range of unique signature programs designed to enrich the lives of their residents. This includes exciting activities like cooking classes, happy hours, wellness sessions, and artistic workshops.
While it is true that seniors often face additional challenges such as health conditions, nothing is stopping elderly people from living fulfilling lives. Seniors should view retirement as an opportunity to pursue their hobbies and interests, build social connections, and enjoy some well-earned relaxation. Try to be productive in your spare time and place a focus on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Seniors can try the above suggestions to improve their quality of life and live well at any age.