There’s something inspiring about a person who is always looking for ways to improve the quality and meaningfulness of their life. Just because you’re now in your senior years, doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, those in a senior living community tend to have more time and opportunities to do what they’ve always wanted, at least that’s the case at a Bonaventure Senior Living Community.
Sometimes, an improvement is not only simple to do or learn, but also inspires enjoyment. You’ll find that with every meaningful experience there are benefits. Not only pleasurable benefits, but also various profits to your mental and physical well-being.
Reading is such a simple and easy way to improve your life. In fact, in may just be the easiest on this list. Studies show that reading can have an assortment of mental health benefits, as well as being quite the enjoyable pastime. Whether you’re reading fiction or non-fiction, with a printed book or an e-book, reading is great. It allows the reader to escape the real world and enter another world. A world that their mind creates through the book’s guidance. Reading can increase your intelligence, make you more empathetic, help you sleep, and most importantly, help fight Alzheimer’s disease. It does this by making your brain work. Inactivity of the brain is commonly known as a precursor to dementia. So go ahead, take a look in a book, and get lost in a world of pure imagination. If you’re low on books, almost all Bonaventure Senior Living Communities have a library for your enjoyment.
Writing has similar mental benefits to reading, but with a few more external advantages. Just writing anything, be it a list, memoirs, a novel, or simply keeping a journal, can be good for the one writing as well as the person that may be reading the writing. Writing can help reduce stress by externalizing emotions and forcing you to think about them as you put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). If you have family, they too will delight in your writings. By writing you are giving your family a gift that’s invaluable—a peak into your mind. You may write about things that your family didn’t previously know about you, or write some fictional story that will be cherished for years, or just write them an unexpected letter and mail it to them. However you choose to write, it will benefit yourself and those that read it.
Chess is nearly 1,500 years old and scientists are still discovering all the mental benefits of playing this classic game. If you don’t know how to play, it may seem like a daunting task to learn, but in reality, once you understand how the pieces move, you will find it has an almost addictive quality to it. Chess is the sport of the mind. Chess will exercise both sides of your brain, using the left hemisphere for object recognition, and the right hemisphere for pattern recognition. It’s because of this mental exercise that chess is also noted as being able to prevent dementia. In order to play chess, your brain must think ahead, so that you can plan the way in which you will be both offensive and defensive in the game. Other board games have a similar effect, but chess is by far the most studied and effective.
Learning a Language
Learning a new language may be a massive undertaking, but it may be worth it in the long run. Many seniors may feel that they’re too old to learn a new language—this could not be further from the truth. Most research shows that regardless of age, as long as a person is cognitively able, learning anything is possible at any age. If you’re retired and looking to travel, studying-up on a language that’s relative to where you plan on traveling to can be very useful. Imagine being able to fluently order your dinner at an Italian restaurant, in Italy. Learning a language may take time and effort, but it will end up being worth it in the end. Good luck, or as they say in Italy, “In bocca al lupo.”
Learning an Instrument
At all Bonaventure Senior Living Communities there’s frequent musical entertainment. But imagine being able to pull out a guitar or violin and play for a captive audience. Learning to play an instrument, like guitar or piano is surprisingly simple. With a few chords and a basic understanding, you could be strumming along with the best of them. Learning an instrument can have similar effects as learning a language, but can also help boost your self-esteem. Each time you play a correct note or chord it will be proof that you can do anything you want to achieve. Pick an instrument that is both simple and reflects your style of music. If you enjoy folk or rock, try guitar. Listen to classical? Learn to tickle the ivories by trying piano. You can even go really simple and try playing the blues on a harmonica. Whatever you choose, you’ll be happy making music for just yourself, your family and friends, or an audience of thousands.
Photography is a great way to capture a single moment, be it on film or digitally. Taking photos can be as simple or as complicated as you want, and as cheap or as expensive as you can afford. With everyone taking photos with their cell phones these days, there’s something to be had with a good, quality photo. Most digital cameras on the market have such smart technology that it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo. While there may not be many studied benefits to doing photography in your senior years, one obvious one is exercise. By taking photos, you are generally up and moving around, exploring the world for that perfect image. This alone can be worth it, not mentioning the appreciation your family and friends will have for you when they’re presented with a printed portrait.
Coffee and/or Tea Connoisseur
Just about everyone drinks coffee, tea, or both to some extent. Whether it’s a pot of coffee in the morning or a cup of tea before bed, coffee and tea are a huge part of American culture. In a Bonaventure Senior Living community, there’s always fresh coffee and tea to be had. The world of coffee and tea is huge. For coffee, there are different bean types, places of origin, roasting styles, brewing methods, and more. The same goes for tea. Brewing the perfect cup of coffee or tea can be an art form. Experimenting with different ways of brewing and different flavors can produce results so varied it would seem like a completely different experience from the last. The health benefits of coffee and tea are countless. While excess caffeine has been shown to slightly and temporarily increase your heart-rate, other benefits of coffee and tea are wonderful. Both coffee and tea have a large amount of antioxidants that can aid in a huge assortment of ailments: headaches to diabetes, and more. There can be a lot of fun and enjoyment to discovering all the ways you can brew a cup. Enjoy!
At any Bonaventure Senior Living community, we thoroughly support and encourage any ways you can improve your life. We’re always trying to make life better and let you live life on your terms. See how we do that by visiting our Twitter.