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  • Jered Stewart

We Are Never Too Old to Start Something New

I’m not close to retirement, but many of those I know who have retired often talk about how they are more busy now than when they are working.  Recently I read an article about how a “30-something” person was planning to “retire” early.  I’m not sure what that means?  I guess they’ve done well enough financially to never work again, but is that what retirement really is? 


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, engineer, worked at Western Electric, etc.”  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 our team works hard to provide more than just four walls and a roof overhead.  We provide many different programs and activities for residents to live in an environment where they can stay active, engaged, and hopefully have a sense of purpose.  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 “craft corner” as well as regular wellness workshops and activities.   Have you met our Wellness Team, Resident Service Coordinators, or Community Life Team?  These people are awesome and here to help.  


Regardless of what you do in retirement, my best advice would be to do something.  And whatever you do, do it with other people.  If you are more of an introvert that might require some energy, but take that risk.   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” is to keep moving, stay active, be social, and engage your mind and your body.   


“You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.”– C.S. Lewis

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