Moving to a retirement community can be a big adjustment for some people, mainly dealing with loneliness or difficulty settling in. However, there are ways to make the transition easier and help you to have the best time possible in your new home. The following are things that you can do to help you, or your loved one, get settled into their new living situation.
Give Yourself Time to Adjust
It can be easy to feel discouraged after moving to a new place if you don’t feel like you fit in right away. However, just like with any life change, it’s important to give yourself plenty of time to adjust. You may not be used to a more laid-back lifestyle or doing the new activities you are participating in, so you need to allow yourself time to adjust and start to enjoy the new experiences you’re having. It can be especially difficult when you are older to adjust to a new place, but by taking things slow and being patient with yourself and your situation, you’ll be able to adjust more quickly.
Make New Friends
Regardless of the community you’re now a part of, it is important to meet new people and make new friends. Not only can this help you to feel more like part of the community, it can help you find people who are similar to you and enjoy the same activities. Having more friends in the same community is nicer and more convenient. It’s easier to visit friends who are right down the hall or in the next building from you than when your friends are in a different neighborhood or a different city. You can spend more time with them and have a larger social circle than before. Now that you have more time to do fun things, you can do them with your new friends, too.
Making sure to continue to set goals in retirement can help you to stay grounded while you don’t have a schedule like you did when you were working or had children in school. Exercise, crafting, social, or even educational goals are great ways to keep yourself busy and do the things that you’ve wanted to do but haven’t had time for.
Is there a quilt you’ve been wanting to make for years but never had time for? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn Korean, but never had the opportunity. Well, now you have the chance! There are many apps and resources you can use to teach you new languages, new skills, and new stories. Maybe now you can write your life story and pass it on to your grandkids.
Get a Dog
Dogs can be great companions for everyone, but especially those who are retired or home most of the day. There are many breeds that you can choose from to meet your wants and needs. If you like larger dogs, a lab mix might be a good choice, but there are smaller dogs, too. Most senior living communities allow pets, but make sure to check with them to see if there are any breed or size restrictions.
If you are allergic to dogs, there are still options for you that won’t agitate your allergies. Cavachons are generally hypoallergenic puppies, but they can shed some dander. Cavachons make great companions for those who are older and are gentle, playful, and mild-mannered. Consider adopting a dog when you retire if you want to have a constant friend!
Find a Hobby
If you’re a person who loves the outdoors, or if you just love to see nature, you may enjoy going for drives in scenic places around you or going for walks around your neighborhood. This will help you to get out of the house more and get fresh air and sunshine.
If you would rather stay indoors or do fewer mobile activities, you can do activities in your home. Have you ever been curious about where your family came from? You can do research about your ancestors and do family history work with your family. Or maybe you’d like to get back into letter writing. You could start writing letters to old friends or to your grandkids. There are many options for you.
Try New Things
If you’ve moved into a retirement community with amenities, this is a great time to try them out. Fitness facilities, group activities and outings, social clubs, dinners, or any other activities are there for your enjoyment, so you should try them out! You don’t have to commit to anything if you don’t want to, but you can have an outlet for when you want one.
Stay Close to Family
Keeping your family relationships a priority will help you to stay feeling happy and help you to stay up to date on what is going on in their lives. Going to your grandkid’s concerts, recitals, birthday parties, graduations, or even just having family over for family dinners will help you to keep strong relationships with your family.
You can have family members over for holidays and tell them stories about growing up or about their other ancestors. Keeping those family ties a priority and checking in on them will help you to feel more connected and less lonely.
Personalize Your Space
Making your space your own is one of the best ways to feel at home. Putting up pictures of your family, paintings that you love, or any other decorations you like can help to make it a space that reflects your personality. If your community allows it, you can paint the walls or add wallpaper to make it a more personal space that you feel happy and comfortable in.
Adding bedding and things like lamps or other personalizing décor can help you settle in and help you to enjoy your new home as much as possible. Extra seating may be good if you have a large family who will visit or if you plan to host any holiday parties. Whatever you plan to do, make sure that it is a place that you love, and you feel happy in.
There are many ways to help you feel settled into your new retirement home. Some of these ways involve other people like friends or family, but many are things you can do on your own. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it makes you happy and helps you feel fulfilled.
Looking for a new retirement community to call home? Check out our directory of senior communities!