Living a Thriving Life in Retirement
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” – Maya Angelou, American poet
If you’ve been following the latest discussions on aging you will no doubt have come across the work of Ken Dychtwald, who has written a book, What Retirees Want, in which he discusses what has become known as life’s third age. With the increase in longevity, and the growing number of baby boomers who are retiring, Dychtwald says that this generation’s retirement looks very different from our parents’ or grandparents’. There’s time to try new things, be adventurous, maybe start a small business. What we are seeing, he argues, is an unprecedented change in society where older adults will be the majority and an important active link between generations.
Our traditional idea of what retirement should look like no longer matches real life. When “retirement” can last another 35 years, what should those later years look like, and how can they be put to the best use?
United Active Living’s philosophy embraces this new approach to aging, incorporating lifelong learning opportunities into daily resident activities, and supporting residents’ interests in the arts, music, dance and fitness. Getting older at United means having the opportunity to stay active, learn new things and ensure your later years are fun, enjoyable and meaningful. Lifelong learning is at the core of everything United offers.
Sharing positive and inspirational stories has become popular at United communities this year. A weekly Online Inspirations email goes out to residents with links from our arts and culture partners and interesting articles and links from residents. There’s also a bi-weekly Good News Bulletin at each community that shares uplifting stories from around the world, the latest community initiatives and personal stories from residents.
“The employees have as much fun working here as residents do living here,” said Kim Coulter, Fish Creek’s program development and creative expressions manager. “That’s reflected in our collaborative approach to programming. While COVID-19 protocols have impacted much of the programming, we are offering art and other creative supplies to residents for use in their suites. We’ve also still been able to do many creative things such as the door decorating contests in both Fish Creek and Garrison Green, the festive decorations, the special meals, the one-on-one fitness programs and much more.”
United Active Living is everything the name implies. The difference is that the residents and the staff are both transformed by the philosophy of developing the whole person. Everyone is given the opportunity to grow and to get enjoyment out of life at United. A community should support the goals of its residents. Residents who choose our communities are comfortable that United is there to give them complete support to live their lives to the fullest.
Community is all about the people who live there. Living a full life in your later years is a focus at United communities. Programs are designed around the interests of the residents. The art studios, for instance, are facilitated by professional artists. A kinesiologist leads exercise classes and can also design individual programs. We have a dozen partnerships that give residents opportunities to be involved in different aspects of arts and culture in Calgary – for example Calgary Civic Symphony, Lunch Box Theatre and the Calgary Philharmonic. Of course, during the pandemic we continue to offer world-class programs remotely.
We are starting to look at our life and our lifespan in a different way. Not by chronological age, but by how we view ourselves, our interests and our view of what aging really means.
If you’ve been thinking about retiring or moving into life’s third age, living in a United community offers a positive solution with a wealth of programs and activities, community support with assisted living and memory care options should you need them.
“Everyone is hoping 2021 brings us to the end of the pandemic so we can resume our normal activities. To that end, everyone at United is wishing employees, families and friends a very happy new year,” said Kim.
Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.
Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!
To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.
Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.