Adjusting after a move to a retirement home

Moving to a retirement residence is a great way for older adults to embrace the next chapter in their lives. With all of the activities and amenities offered, there are many ways to benefit from your new residence and meet people who share your interests and priorities. Taking advantage of what’s offered can help ease your transition and also help to improve your quality of life.

Familiarize yourself with others
Sometimes, the best way to ease into a new place is to get to know your neighbours. Since existing residents are always looking to make new friends, introducing yourself shouldn’t be intimidating. As you’re walking around your community and familiarizing yourself with all that it has to offer, say hello to everyone you pass, and strike up conversation with those who seem interesting. When caregivers and other staff greet you, try to extend the conversation and see what you can learn from them. They’re there to help make you feel comfortable and at ease. As a result, they’re some of your best resources for when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

Get involved in activities
There will be many activities and mixers at your retirement community geared toward fostering relationships and improving your physical and mental well being. Even if you’re hesitant to get started, challenge yourself to get involved; activities are great way to keep active and meet your neighbours. Game nights, exercise classes and other fun events stimulate your mind and body and can lead to new friendships and revived interests. Some residence even have volunteer programs for seniors who want to give back to their communities, such as Chartwell’s HOPE (Helping Others for Purposeful Engagement) program. Getting involved in that regard can not only make you feel good about yourself, but can also connect you with other residents who share your same values and priorities.

Stay connected with loved ones
When getting adjusted to a new place and meeting new people, it’s just as important to stay connected to the people you know and love. If you want to stay connected to your loved ones, try familiarizing yourself with social media. Why not have a younger relative or friend help you get started with a Facebook or Twitter profile that will allow you to connect with your loved ones who are also on the sites? Not only does social media help you stay in touch with your family and friends, it also keeps you updated on breaking news. The benefits of technology are so great that certain programs—like Cyber Seniors—have been created to teach older adults how to get online and connect with others via the Internet, reports Global News. Open an account today if you don’t already have one. You could be pleasantly surprised with what you find!

To learn more about Chartwell’s holistic active living programs, or to download a sample activity calendar, click here.