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  • Jered Stewart

The "New" Retirement

I can’t wait for retirement! I’ve been busier during retirement than when I was working. When I was your age I wanted to retire, but now I want to keep working. Retirement? What’s that?

It seems the concept of retirement has changed quite a bit over the years. Once a time for rest after a lifetime of work, now retirement seems to offer opportunities like never before. Take a class, learn a new skill, travel, volunteer, help at a local food pantry, learn a new language, take up golf, the list goes on and on.

However, for many older adults it seems like the retirement years can come with a loss of purpose. After a lifetime of working 40 years or more, many of us tend to identify with our careers. “I was a teacher, accountant, fire fighter…” Maybe you’ve lost a lifelong loved one and are grieving and don’t know what to do next. Life changes, sometimes quickly, and sometimes we may wonder about our purpose. Do we feel valued like we once were? What do we do now?

At Bethany we’ve been working hard over the past few years to provide more than just four walls and a roof overhead. We want our residents to live in an environment where they will have opportunities to live lives of purpose and value. Do you want to try something new? How about restorative yoga or tai chi? Do you want to learn how to email or use social media? If so, try the Bethany Internet Café. There is also a new “craft corner” as well as regular Wellness Workshops and Speaker Series. Have you met our Wellness Team and Resident Service Coordinators? We have quite an awesome group here, all willing and able to help.

Regardless of what you do, my best advice would be to get out and do something. And if you do, try to do it with other people. Maybe if you’re an introvert like me that will take some work and extra effort. Sometimes I’d prefer to read a book and be left alone. But we must remember that social isolation and loneliness are some of the greatest risk factors for poor health. A recent report I read stated that social isolation and loneliness is worse for your health than smoking! So if you want to be healthy, and happy, get out of your house and do something. The best way to enjoy “retirement” and stay young is to keep moving and be social.

“Loneliness and the fear of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”

  • Mother Teresa

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