If retirement means catching up on daytime soap operas, playing BINGO and occasionally going out with friends, I have no counter to a recent study that suggests delayed retirement might delay dementia. Stimulation is what delays dementia, and at Lakeview Village, we define retirement by mastering Tai Chi, skydiving out of airplanes, conversing with peers at mealtime, and attending a myriad of social and educational activities.
Countless studies prove that living in an environment like Lakeview Village—that has a daily list of activities as long as my arm—not only delays dementia, but prolongs lives—because we know how to keep seniors active (retirement community residents can live years longer than their aging-in-place peers). This is of particular importance knowing that half of those over age 85 get dementia. My parents entered a retirement community in their mid 60s, and they are still enjoying retirement 20 years later.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for dementia, but prevention comes in many forms: Brain exercise games like those incorporated into our many wellness activities and physical exercise—from word games to outdoor scavenger hunts–work against its onset. As a continuing care retirement community, Lakeview Village provides residents with direct access to healthcare with our on-site geriatric clinic, and in-patient and out-patient rehab services, as well as numerous wellness programs. These provide opportunities for early detection, and early prevention. And if dementia presents itself, we have the programming in place to help residents retain their memories as long as possible.
When I walk through our dining rooms, and hear residents debating politics, or sharing stories from their adventures across the globe, I know that they are defining retirement in the best possible way. When I walk into our state-of-the-art Fitness Center, and witness men and women in their 80s doing cardiovascular and weight training, I know that they are taking care of themselves, and taking charge of their retirement. Are we always on the go? No–everyone needs rest, and we provide all the creature comforts to create a peaceful environment, too. But our golden years aren’t meant to be spent solely sitting in an armchair; we need to do more than that. At Lakeview Village, we play hard, rest easy, and think well for our age.