Retirement, just like the rest of life, is what people choose to make of it. When some people think of retirement, they envision a group of older adults meeting up regularly for a game of bingo or a game of bridge. While this isn’t untrue for some individuals, it is a stereotypical assumption for the rest. Seniors are living longer, healthier lives and are accustomed to a different lifestyle than that of previous generations. Today’s seniors feel and act ageless. They want an abundance of choices. While Bingo isn’t quite as popular as it once was with the aging population, it doesn’t mean that Bingo is becoming obsolete, it simply means that seniors expect more out of their retirement. Today’s culture is consumed with staying busy – everyone is on the go and their planners are packed. Luckily for seniors living at Presbyterian Village North, there are more than 300-plus activities to choose from each month. These options do include bingo and bridge, among many other opportunities to explore, engage, create and indulge.
“You know when you visit a large, upscale all-inclusive resort and you wake up each day with a full calendar of activities and happenings at your fingertips? That’s what we want life at PVN to feel like,” said Lisa Englander, independent living life enrichment manager of Presbyterian Village North. “There’s social clubs, books clubs, clubs that focus on one particular hobby, there’s fitness classes, discussion groups, cultural and historical outings, educational opportunities, meetups for games, movie nights, entertainers, art sessions and themed parties. Our residents worked hard doing significant things throughout the course of their lives, and we want them to feel rewarded in their retirement. We want them to feel like they are living at a resort, and that they have many options available to them to continue leading the life they love or to start leading a life they love even better today.”
Beyond providing residents with an abundance of choices, the main purpose of such well-rounded programming is to help them feel connected, relevant, productive and like they are still living with purpose. It can be hard to go from being an involved parent to an empty nester or going from a workaholic to a retiree. Research conducted by the University of California, San Francisco shows that loneliness affects 40 percent of seniors on a regular basis. Other research conducted in Health Psychology shows that people who are lonely report their symptoms being approximately 40 percent more severe than those who are less lonely. Feeling lonely on a regular basis can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Some of the significant side effects of loneliness are cognitive decline, potential progression of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, obesity and even the common cold.
“Social connection is important at any age, and our goal is to make sure that people living in our community feel fulfilled in the life they are living,” said Englander. “We want residents to have so many choices so that there is literally something for everyone, no matter what their interests may be. August is known for its dog days of summer, and we have some cooler activities and outings planned this month to keep everyone out of the extreme heat. We will be celebrating Restaurant Week, having travel club meetups, delivering a therapy lecture, reuniting veterans at Happy Warrior meetings, hosting bible studies and more. We have watched friendships blossom, families enjoy quality time together and people fall in love at PVN. What an amazing time to be alive!”