Living your best life during retirement
As we grow older, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including career transitions and retirement, children leaving home, the loss of loved ones, physical and health challenges — and even a loss of independence. How we handle and grow from these changes is often the key to healthy aging and feeling the best you can possibly be in older age. Award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences go to great lengths to ensure that residents in their communities live their best lives during retirement.
Exercise to look and feel good
The benefits of exercise for those in retirement is well documented – it can help regulate mood, manage stress and increase self-esteem. In addition, it’s been proven that exercising regularly in retirement can prevent disease and help improve blood circulation. It also helps keep bones strong and improves balance which helps lessen the chance of a fall. A simple, brisk walk is a fantastic start to getting moving and benefitting your retirement experience. LifeCare Residences’ communities both indoors and outdoors. Spending time outdoors can be responsible for many measurable beneficial changes in the body and the power that green space provides as a force for good has never been more apparent or more important during the Covid pandemic. All LifeCare Residences’ communities benefit from easy access to outside space. Although situated in the heart of London, residents at luxury retirement community Battersea Place are able enjoy the dual benefits of an onsite garden, as well as the beauty of 200 acres of wide-open space of Battersea Park; the latter provides an ideal setting for a brisk walk or gentle stroll in the lovely gardens or a spot of tennis, boules, bowls or croquet. Grove Place, a beautiful retirement community set in the rural Hampshire countryside, provides access not only to spectacular grounds, but also borders the beautifully wild New Forest, a haven for dog walkers and nature enthusiasts alike. It doesn’t stop there. For those keen to get more actively involved outdoors, residents at Grove Place are able to enjoy the beautifully tended croquet lawns and the immaculate nine-hole putting green or even turn their hand to a spot of gardening. At Somerleigh Court in Dorchester, Dorset, residents are right on the doorstep of Borough Gardens, a beautiful 19th century park laid out to the design of William Goldring – who was the brain behind Kew Gardens. Residents are able to access the adult fitness equipment at the park as well as the four tennis courts. Both Battersea Place and Grove Place boast well-equipped, indoor gyms and heated, indoor swimming pools which are only available for the exclusive use of residents and their families. Residents at Battersea Place are able to take part in onsite physical activities such as regular Pilates, ballet, reiki and meditation classes which are held in the gym. At Grove Place, near Romsey in Hampshire, residents are able to benefit from the services of a dedicated fitness trainer, Dan. During lockdown, Dan, has co-ordinated outdoor, socially distanced exercises on the lawn and in the carpark. During more normal times, without the Covid restrictions in place, Dan offers personal training and aquarobics which are popular with the residents. Strength training has been proven to reduce symptoms of many chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression. In addition, the residents-only gym at Battersea Place has been kitted out with specialist HUR SmartTouch gym equipment which can be tailored to a resident’s personal specifications. All adults experience some level of muscle loss and the ageing process compromises muscle cells’ ability to repair damage. However, research has shown that even into your late 80s, your body still has the potential to build muscle mass which can play a major factor in falls which is why the HUR SmartTouch is an ideal piece of equipment to aid strength training in older age.
Eating well in retirement
Eating well in retirement is essential to a happy one. The benefits of eating well are well researched and wide reaching. Eating well promotes energy and helps reduce the risk of heart disease. It also helps with weight control, which is important as we age. Being more sedentary and gaining weight at an older age can lead to higher chances of heart-related diseases such as strokes and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, nutrient deficiencies can affect mobility, weaken bones and muscles and can contribute to cognitive issues. Retirement communities such as those operated by award-winning LifeCare Residences fully understand the importance of healthy eating for their residents, and not only provide delicious meals in their chef-led restaurants, they do everything possible to cater to their residents’ special dietary needs. All the LifeCare Residences communities in the UK go the extra mile to ensure that their residents benefit from delicious and nutritionally optimal meals. At Somerleigh Court in Dorchester, the team has set up a home delivery service for residents with an emphasis on locally sourced and local farm produced products. This also includes providing fresh fish – high in essential oils and fatty acids – caught from the local coast, just ten minutes away. The team at Somerleigh Court has also put together ‘food passports’ which helps to ensure that all staff are familiar with the likes and dislikes of each resident, and most importantly to accommodate special dietary requirements. For those residents craving a satisfying ‘cooked’ meal, the in-house chef at Somerleigh Court is able to create delicious meals such as hearty roast dinners and fresh fish and chips. Residents at Grove Place also benefit from enjoying the seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in the dedicated kitchen garden. Home-grown leeks, onions, herbs, red chard and even rhubarb are regularly found on the menu. The main health benefit of this home-grown food is that it’s fresher. Fruit and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked. In addition, home-grown or locally grown food is picked at its peak ripeness, when it’s most dense with nutrients.
Socialising and playing games are good for the body and soul
Socialising after retirement can prove a challenge for some, with social circles sometimes becoming smaller, and as a result some may find themselves spending more time alone or relying on family for company. Staying socially active is as important to health as staying physically active. Positive social interactions on a consistent basis keep one’s brain stimulated, mentally sharp and intellectually engaged which in turn can help prevent general cognitive decline. Moreover, staying socially active and feeling part of a community empowers self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. At all LifeCare Residences’ communities, residents benefit from the services of a lifestyle co-ordinator who organises local excursions, talks from visiting speakers on a variety of topics, on site activities and functions. Many new residents find their social circle expanding once again, as they have an opportunity to meet and make friends in the comfort of their own home with like-minded, vibrant people – which is appealing at any age.
With numerous opportunities to socialise, including during meals, leisure experiences and outings, many residents find a restored sense of purpose and joy in their social lives once they move in. Grove Place is now home to retirees Elaine and Philip Gaussen who made the move to begin the next chapter in their lives and have never looked back as they thoroughly embrace the buzz and sense of community. Elaine adds, “We hadn’t realized how strong the Grove Place community was before we arrived. It’s so lovely to have nice friends and neighbours to socialise with. Everyone is so kind, and we feel at home here.” Like all LifeCare Residences communities, Grove Place provides ample opportunity for residents to meet like-minded people and even get involved in a range of activities and clubs on offer – be it board games, craft, ukulele, cards, falconry, archery, bridge or music.
Exercise, social interaction and eating well are all vital components for retirees to not only look and feel their best – they certainly contribute to helping them live their best lives during retirement.
If you would like to learn more about the LifeCare Residences’ offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call T. 0800 009 6950.
For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.