The importance of independence is instilled in us from childhood. From learning to walk and talk to taking care of ourselves to living on our own to having a career and family, achieving independence is seen as an integral part of success, happiness, and fulfillment in life. That line of thinking is not something that lessens as we age. In fact, it may be even more important for seniors in retirement. Here are the retirement benefits of independence, and how you can empower it in an independent living community.
How seniors feel about themselves in retirement is often related, at least partially, to their level of independence, and those feelings can negatively or positively affect us both mentally and physically. As such, the retirement benefits of being independent include:
● Greater sense of self – Being able to take care of themselves, as much as possible, fosters a sense of achievement each day which in turn helps to improve one’s sense of self while also reducing the likelihood of depression and anxiety.
● Physical fitness – Seniors who do more for themselves are naturally more active which certainly helps with physical fitness. At the same time, people who are more active in daily life also are often more motivated in other areas as well such as nutrition, exercise, preventative health, and even staying socially connected.
● Brain health – Similar to keeping your body fit, keeping your brain active is beneficial, too. Again, being independent means you’re likely to be doing more physically which increases blood flow to the brain. Regularly performing mentally stimulating activities also helps with memory skills.
● More purpose in life – Having purpose in life has been found to not only increase happiness, but also longevity. Being able to set your own schedule, make your own decisions, and decide how you want to spend your days makes it easier to find and maintain that purpose.
● Sense of control – Sometimes it seems like the older you get, the less control you have - whether it’s your health, the health of your family and friends, or even your finances. As such, many seniors hold onto their independence even tighter feeling that, at least, is within their power.
One of the best ways to maintain your independence is to be in an environment that empowers it, like in an independent living community. Although independent living is a type of senior living, it’s specifically designed for retirees who can still live independently and would benefit from a maintenance-free lifestyle that gives you more time to be active, social and enjoy your passions. Here’s how:
● More freedom – Quite simply you have less responsibility than at home with maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, meals, and other daily chores all taken care of for you. With less worry and burden on your shoulders, you can devote more of your time and energy to things that bring you joy and purpose in retirement.
● More choice – From a range of accommodations to dining options to amenities to social opportunities, educational and enrichment programs, as well as organized activities, how you live and spend your days is completely up to you in our independent living communities. Your options are only limited by your imagination here!
● A focus on well-being – Being healthier can help you maintain your independence, and it’s easy to do in independent living. We feature a fitness program for seniors that focuses on strength, cardio, and balance, as well as health and wellbeing services and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Plus, delicious chef-inspired menus are prepared in collaboration with a nutritionist or dietician to ensure all meals are healthy, well-balanced, and appropriately portioned.
● Convenience – Yet another way we empower independence is by having everything you need right outside your door like a hair salon, pharmacy and award-winning therapy services all onsite. And with a location that’s minutes from shopping, dining and entertainment in Roanoke Valley as well as transportation service, life couldn’t be more convenient here.
● Peace of mind – In independent living, you’re in control of your daily care. However, if you ever need additional support; we offer home care services to help residents remain in independent living as long as possible. But, should your health needs evolve over time, we also have assisted living and memory care on campus, along with almost any care service you need within the continuum of healthcare.
For more information on how we apply these practices in senior living, download our Guide to Living Better, or contact Friendship today to schedule a virtual or in-person tour by calling 540.777.7103.