News &  Resources

I Want to Find Joy, Connection, and Purpose After Retirement

Two older adults, seated at dining table in dining room.

Disclaimer: This blog post is based on an article originally published in the Nob Hill Gazette and sponsored by Sequoia Living. Read the full article.

Many people build a life around their career, and when it’s done, they might find themselves at a loss. With the right support system, though, retirement can be the beginning of something new, full of opportunities for fulfillment and exciting experiences.

What hobby would you pursue if you had more hours in the day for your interests? What skills would you learn?

Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as Life Plan Communities, can provide much more than peace of mind in later life. Sequoia Living’s communities offer a chance to continue growing and exploring throughout this next chapter. 

How do you want to spend your free time? 

Even after you retire, the basic responsibilities of day-to-day life can consume your so-called free time: grocery shopping and cooking three meals a day, running errands and traveling to appointments, cleaning and maintaining a house… 

This is especially true for seniors without a partner, or those with decreasing mobility, but everyone could benefit from having more time to pursue their interests. Retirement presents an opportunity to slow down and enjoy a much-needed break after decades of work. Why not make the most of it? 

For many people, a Life Plan Community represents freedom. When you have support for the mundane tasks that can take up so much of your day, you’re free to focus on the things that bring you joy. 

Staying active and engaged: 

Sequoia Living communities offer fitness classes, walking groups, special events, and excursions, giving residents opportunities to meet other people while maintaining an active lifestyle. 

According to Cyrena Simons, a bicoastal retiree who spends half the year at a Sequoia Living community, living there has allowed her not only access to the outdoors, but freedom to take advantage of that access. She says, “We started doing even more hiking than before. To be at The Sequoias and able to go out every morning on a two or three-mile hike before breakfast is just delightful.”

Socialization and physical health often go hand in hand, and both boost mental health, making them a crucial part of a long, fulfilling life. 

Why are social relationships so important for older adults? 

Scientific research suggests that strong relationships are one of the biggest factors in long-term happiness, but it’s not just mental health that benefits. One Harvard study showed a long-term link between social relationships and physical health. People with stronger social connections had lower rates of several chronic conditions, including arthritis and cognitive decline. 

Whether it’s friendship or partnership, social bonds have a significant impact on well-being as we age. Unfortunately, loneliness is a common issue for older adults, especially those who live on their own. Almost a quarter of adults over the age of 65 are considered to be socially isolated. 

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Being surrounded by peers can make it easier for retirees to meet people and connect. In the words of Michael Gordon, a resident at a Sequoia Living community, “Making new friends when you’re in your 80s may sound a little odd to some people, but here I am, in my 80s, making new friends.” 

Finding community after retirement: 

One of the most important aspects of a Life Plan Community is just that: the community. 

While residents are encouraged to maintain independence, if they choose, they also have access to a support system and a whole cohort of people in the same phase of life. There are also all sorts of activities that allow people to bond over shared interests: Craft workshops, book clubs, art classes, discussion groups, and more.

According to Sequoia Living resident David Dissmeyer, “It is a place to meet with other people and discuss, learn and exchange ideas and create friendships.”

Finding purpose in a new chapter of life: 

With culinary services, weekly housekeeping, and maintenance taken care of, Sequoia Living residents often take up new hobbies and learn new skills, from growing flowers and vegetables in their dedicated garden plot to taking piano lessons. They’re encouraged to share their stories and devote their time to a passion project, whatever it may be.

It’s never too late to try something new. 

“Oftentimes, people have this perception that moving into an active aging community is the last chapter of their lives,” says Heather Harris, Life Enrichment Director of a Sequoia Living community. “I think of it more as a next chapter offering new experiences and friendships along with unforeseen possibilities.” 

Don’t miss out on the maintenance-free retirement lifestyle that awaits you at a Sequoia Living Life Plan Community.
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