Growing older can present a host of challenges, for both physical and mental health. This is especially true of retirees, who lose the ease of being around people each day and having constant activities. There is also the challenge of replacing the purpose given by work into a new pursuit.
With the average retirement age being 63 years old, more and more people, including the now or soon to be retiring generation of baby boomers, will face these challenges and more. For a person in retirement or a family supporting a growing loved, there may seem to be few solutions.
However, in a survey about retirement, 48% of respondents reported being happier in retirement than expected. This may be because:
- According to 2015 data, the happiest retirees engage in three to four activities regularly.
- A study found that physically active people in their 70s and 80s had a loneliness onset rate of 12.2% compared to 22.6% of their sedentary counterparts.
- According to some, retaining strong social support is important for well-being.
Individuals who are retired and growing older face the challenge of maintaining those activities and continuing to be physically active. Families can be a strong support in keeping those activities going.
One of the more difficult aspects of growing older is dealing with memory loss. Memory loss can be short-term, forgetting small bits of information that just occurred, or long-term, such as an inability to recall past events. Here are some ways to help a retiree or elderly family member with memory care.
Social integration can be very beneficial for reducing memory loss. According to a 2008 study, seniors with the highest levels of social integration experienced memory decline at half the rate of seniors who were least socially integrated.
While it may be difficult within a home to get a retiree or elderly family member the socializing they need during the work day, supporting them to become more socially active in clubs and groups can stave off that memory decline, while providing the retiree or elderly family member an activity.
Examples of groups include:
- The Rotary
- Non-profit organizations
- Health support groups
- Hobby groups
Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamins and supplements can also help in staving off memory decline. Studies have shown that there are essential nutrients found in supplements that support higher brain function. A supplement such as fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which can increase gray matter in the brain. Gray matter helps with memory retention.
Other supplements include:
- N-Acetyl L-Cystein
- Ginkgo Biloba
All of these supplements target areas of the brain to treat memory loss. These memory care supplements can help with the day to day living of retirees and elderly family members.
While many see these as a last resort, assisted living facilities for the elderly can provide structure and social support, as well as a host of activities, which are all important for general well-being and memory care.