You've settled into a retirement center like Colonial Residence and find that many of the daily activities are done for you. Meal preparation and housecleaning are offered in many assisted living apartments leaving you with a lot of free time on your hands. Don't let yourself spiral into inactivity. Be creative with your time with some of these suggestions to keep you busy.
Become a Community Leader
Your retirement complex appreciates residents who become active in representing the interests of the community. This gives you a chance to meet the people that share the facilities with you and hear their concerns. You will also gain knowledge of the facility's plans so you can communicate them back to the residents.
Volunteer to Create a Newsletter
This could tie in with the above activity or become a standalone project for you. Interview residents and publish their interesting stories in the newsletter. Share upcoming event information and reviews of past events. This could be a simple project that you run by yourself, or solicit help from your neighbors to become your "reporters."
Take a Stand on Important Issues
You may have had little time to be the advocate you wanted to be. Now your time is free to start letter writing campaigns to local politicians on topics important to you. Volunteer at a local political office and get your neighbors involved.
Teach a Class
Perhaps you enjoy dancing or writing poetry. You likely have an interest that you could share with others by teaching a class in the retirement community. If you're unsure how receptive people would be, ask the administration if you can do a short survey of the residents to see where their interests lie. You may even get volunteers to help you organize a class.
Blog Your Experience
If you are tech-savvy senior, write a blog to share tips and experience that help others with their everyday problems. Each blog post can be a short solution to some of the common problems in other people's lives such as:
- removing stains from marble kitchen countertops
- adding a dimmer switch to your living room
- starting your own private delivery service
You'll create a following of people who appreciate your help with their problems. They will also give you other ideas for blogging topics.
Become Technical Support for Your Community
There is an opportunity for you to help the other seniors in your community use technology to stay connected with friends and family. Design classes to teach the basics of using social media, text messaging and email and then create a space where people can come every week, try out their new skills under your support and guidance. You could help to open up the world to seniors who have been reluctant to use a computer, tablet or smartphone.
There are a number of ways that you can use your time in retirement to help your fellow residents and the broader community. Once you start thinking of all the ways to keep busy, you may find yourself needing a break from your "retirement."