How independent living helps older adults stay socially active
My father, a pharmacist, retired in his late 50s when he sold his independent drug store. And then he went right back to work.
He did what is called “relief work,” meaning he worked a day here and a day there for other pharmacists who needed relief from the daily 9-to-9 grind.
In fact, he worked into his late 70s, by then working for a mail-order pharmacy. He wasn’t fond of computers but he liked compounding prescriptions—that is, filling capsules by hand—which a lot of younger pharmacists eschewed, a perfect match. That schedule also afforded plenty of time for travel and play with grandchildren.
For many older adults, retirement is much more than choosing senior independent-living accommodations and then spending one’s days just relaxing. For most, retirement is about staying physically active, remaining engaged within the community and learning new things. These older adults view retirement as an opportunity not only to do some part-time work—if that’s what they would like to do—but also everything they’ve always wanted to do but never had time for.
All of these pursuits lead to staying socially active—one of the best parts of independent living. In fact, being socially active has a wide range of health benefits. According to an article in Psychology Today, research outlines potential concrete benefits for older adults, including:
● Improved physical health. It’s suggested that social engagement helps to ensure a stronger immune system, helping seniors to fight off colds, the flu and, according to the article, some types of cancer.
● A longer lifespan. The article notes that those who spend more time with others and have supportive relationships—and are therefore not isolated—tend to live longer than others who are frequently alone.
To read more about the benefits of seniors being socially active, please click here.