So You're Headed To Assisted Living? 7 Ways To Stay Busy, Productive, And Content
If you're like most folks entering the golden years of life and facing the challenges of aging, you don't want to leave your own home under any circumstances. However, oftentimes, this transition becomes necessary, due to safety and wellness reasons. While it may not be easy to give up the home you've lived in and loved for so long, the more positive you are about the situation, the better it will turn out for you.
Here are 7 ways to keep busy, feel productive, and cultivate a feeling of content in your new home:
1. Breathe, Relax, And Smile
Everyone else at the assisted living facility has had to go through the same adjustment you're now facing, so take comfort in the fact that people will understand and be likely to reach out and welcome you. One of the most important things you can do when you meet people is smile, so make sure you're direct with your eye-contact and that you flash your most charming smile at everyone.
2. Get Involved With Local Youth
If you think about it, the elderly population in America is one of the country's greatest natural resources but also the most untapped; your experience and the life-lessons you've learned can help people, in particular, young people. See if there's a program in the area that connects you with kids around town and allows you to extend your wisdom and grace. For example, Senior Corps helps put together people over 55 with America's youth in a number of interesting and beneficial ways all across the country; if you live in New York City, you could check out the DOROT program, where you could show a child how to bake something wonderful or read books together. There are numerous opportunities, but if you don't find an existing program locally, why not contact the school department and see if you could initiate a new group?
3. Increase Your Technical Savvy
Keeping in touch with family and friends doesn't have to be sparse if you're not too quick on a computer. Why not ask about lessons at the facility or the local library? Chances are good that some group around has a volunteer operation going where they teach people just like you how to take advantage of modern technology. You may not be interested in tweeting your life away, but making occasional posts about how you're doing or commenting on how family members are getting along will keep you connected. You might also learn on your own, if you're so inclined.
4. Start A Club At The Assisted Living Facility
Even if you've never played an instrument in your entire life, since music is a universal language, this is a great time to start. You could have a great time laughing at yourself while you learn and enjoy the company of perhaps a few people with a little more musical expertise than you. Start a card-playing or movie club; it doesn't really matter what the club is about, so long as you bring people together in good fun.
5. Invite Your Family To Meet Everyone
Rather than just visiting you, your family can experience the entire community at your new assisted living facility. Invite them over during a social activity, where they can lend a hand or join in on the fun and have the opportunity to meet some of your neighbors. This will provide a more enriching time for everyone, including you.
6. Stay Active Physically
If you're able, keep yourself out and about as much as possible. It's not just good for your body; it's also good for your socializing. You could invite someone to walk with you, for example, who needs to add more exercise to their day. Join up in any activities the facility offers, too, like yoga or meditation.
7. Maintain A Positive Attitude
You'll inevitably meet someone in your new community who sets the perfect example of how not to act: constantly complaining, always grumpy, and most often, by themselves. Even though misery loves company, nobody really wants to be so glum. Keeping a healthy attitude will go a long way toward your vitality and happiness and that optimism is contagious! People will naturally want to be around you, because doing so makes them feel better about themselves.
There are plenty of ways to move forward with positivity, despite the fact that you're moving away from your home. Consider the many advantages to your new living arrangement and welcome the changes as a means of expanding on your happiness and ability to enjoy all that life has to offer. No matter what, you'll make the best of it.