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‘But What Am I Going to Do There?’

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istock_000013014826xsmall“But what am I going to do there?” If you are thinking about moving to a retirement community, this question is always on your mind. And if you are a family member or friend helping an older adult transition to retirement-community living, it’s a question you will hear time and time again. And it’s an important concern!

A varied, accessible, relevant and interesting “life-enrichment” program is not only a good indicator of quality of care, it is a key indicator of quality of life in any continuing care retirement community, just like Bethany Village. Activities, entertainment, social clubs and speakers give residents the opportunity to continue lifelong interests and explore new pursuits.

Something as simple as a sing-along, bingo or a trivia game can enhance memory, encourage socialization, help relieve depression, encourage creativity and expression and stimulate ears, vocals chords and facial muscles. Art and crafts activities provide opportunities for self-expression and creativity, improve coordination and flexibility, build confidence, provide a sense of accomplishment, relieve tensions, and improve fine motor skills.

Bethany’s 15-member Life Enrichment Team, which has more than 150 years of combined experience, provides our residents with hundreds of activities, events and educational opportunities each month. In addition, almost 300 volunteers provide more than 34,000 hours of service annually. Residents make new friends, grow physically and mentally, and preserve or improve independence. And with an array of activity calendars, several newsletters, a website and an in-house TV channel, our residents always know “what’s up.”

The need to reach out and help others doesn’t disappear with retirement-community living, which is why Bethany makes a concerted effort to get residents personally involved in the community. Residents themselves initiate and lead some of our most popular activities, including a book club, veterans group, golf group, and Bible study. And members of Bethany’s championship Wii bowling team are always eager to teach others how to play.

Meeting residents’ physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and social needs as well as their need to engage with and serve others is what life enrichment is all about. So when the question “But what I am going to do there?” comes up, be sure you can answer it with an abundance of activities that contribute to personal wholeness, a sense of purpose and the quality of retirement life.

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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