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IRC Blog

IRC Blog
Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
By: IRC Blog

Embracing change: the perfect solution as we grow older

If ever there was a time to embrace our ability to adapt, it’s when we grow older. All of life includes a series of changes. But by the time we reach retirement, we undergo both physical and emotional transformations yet may find ourselves struggling to adjust.

If ever there was a time to embrace our ability to adapt, it’s when we grow older. All of life includes a series of changes. But by the time we reach retirement, we undergo both physical and emotional transformations yet may find ourselves struggling to adjust.

There no doubt will always be changes. The key may be accepting that fact while making any adjustments possible so we are still able to live life to the fullest.

Physical changes when we age

There’s no denying that our bodies change over the years. Some are natural while others are brought on or accelerated by lifestyle choices.   

The Mayo Clinic provides this brief overview and what you can do to address them:

Cardiovascular changes: Stiffening blood vessels and arteries can cause the heart to work harder to pump blood. There is also an increased risk of high blood pressure.

Steps you can take:

  • Include physical activity daily to maintain a healthy weight and lower heart disease risk

  • Don’t smoke to lessen the risk to the arteries, blood pressure and heart rate

  • Manage stress

  • Get enough sleep which can help heal and repair blood vessels

Bones, joints and muscle changes: Bones shrink in density and become more susceptible to fracture. Muscles lose strength, endurance and flexibility.

Steps you can take:

  • Get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D

  • Include physical activity with weight-bearing exercises to build strong bones

  • Avoid substance abuse

Weight changes: The ability to burn calories slows down as we grow older. If you take in the same number of calories but decrease your activities, you’ll gain weight.

Steps you can take:

  • Make physical activity part of your daily routine

  • Eat a healthy diet

  • Pay attention to your portion sizes

Memory changes: As the brain changes with age, there can be minor effects to your memory and thinking skills.

Steps you can take:

  • Include physical activity to increase blood flow to your whole body, including your brain

  • Eat a healthy diet, focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein sources

  • Stay mentally active to help sustain your memory and thinking skills

  • Maintain social opportunities to help ward off depression and stress

  • Treat and manage cardiovascular disease and risk factors

Age can also bring lifestyle changes

Changes don’t stop with our bodies. As we grow older, other factors may kick in. The solutions might not be as easily reachable such as getting more calcium or sleep. But if adjustments aren’t made, the results can greatly impact our health and happiness.

Consider these common life events and the steps you could take to make the most of your retirement life:

Losing your social network

As we age, our world may shrink. We lose family members, friends move on and it becomes harder to meet new people. Once you leave the work world, finding opportunities for socializing can become more difficult.  

Steps you can take:

  • Create an active plan to maintain current friendships and social opportunities

  • Explore ways to meet new people or attend events where you can be a part of a social network

  • If transportation is an obstacle, look for alternatives. Is a bus or ride service available? Are there family or friends who may be able to drive?

Loss of participation in activities

No longer being able to drive to a recreation center or course can cut off your ability to get together with friends or fellow team members for a game of golf, tennis or pickleball. Another obstacle can be the result of no suitable activities available in your area.

Steps you can take:

  • If transportation is the problem, consider the steps above to see if you can line up a ride

  • Look for a local recreation center with easier access from your neighborhood

  • Are there any opportunities for activities within walking distance of your home?

Struggling to keep mentally fit

The more we use and push our brains, the better. Look for ways you can engage with others to stimulate your thought processes, either socially or while learning a new skill.

Steps you can take:

  • Look first for activities that involve others for the added benefit of socialization

  • Search the internet for games, puzzles or other pastimes that give your brain a workout

  • Sign up for educational classes, music lessons or other opportunities to learn

Not eating a healthy diet

As we grow older, our appetites and energy for shopping and cooking can often decrease. It may become easier to eat a snack for dinner or miss a meal entirely, leaving our body and mind little fuel to function at its best.

Steps you can take:

  • Commit to eating at least one healthy meal a day

  • Get inspired by recipe books, internet searches or cooking shows

  • Invite guests over. Sharing a meal together is just more fun

Independent living communities can encourage you to embrace life’s changes

There is one solution many retirees have found that not only helps adjust to life’s changes but can bring inspiration and a sense of belonging.

Consider moving into an independent living community.

There you’ll not only find a tailor-made focus on a healthy and fulfilled life, but all the extra advantages that are included.

Imagine a life where you can…

1. Be surrounded by your new friends and neighbors or enjoy the privacy of your own home when you want

2. Have the option to pick and choose from a full activities calendar or sit in the shade and read a great book

3. Take an excursion to the city, transportation provided or take an afternoon nap

4. Cook an inspired meal in your own kitchen or enjoy a chef-prepared dinner with friends

5. Maintain your fitness routine by swimming laps or take advantage of the outdoor yoga class

6. Keep your brain fit by attending a lecture or exploring your creative side in the artist studio

All of a community’s opportunities contribute to a life filled with meaning and joy. And one more benefit? It’s maintenance-free so your time is truly your own.

Ingleside at Rock Creek Independent Living

At our community, we not only help you embrace the changes in your life but celebrate them as well. We understand how wonderful retirement can be. And while there may also be challenges, the possibilities are endless.

With your choice of floor plan, amazing amenities, a full social calendar, healthy dining and meeting and making new friends, we think you’ll love embracing your Rock Creek life.

Call (202) 905-0018 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.



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