Be a Part of It

What’s “it” you ask? We’re referring to your life and its activities, hobbies, exercise and just good old fashioned fun. Any variety of these targets the social, physical, mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of our well being and has many benefits. Having fun can delay aging, improves your mood and helps fight age related illness. Being active can help prevent or control some chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis and affect how long we live. Hobbies make us feel good and help maintain independence. When we participate in activities we feel better about ourselves and have healthier relationships.

Being active in a group can be motivating and means having companionship and a feeling of safety and security. “I think you gain the most when you exercise with other people. Exercise in and of itself is wonderful, but doing it with others has added benefits,” mused Shayna Wong, Activities Director at Foundation House at Northgate, a retirement community offering both independent and assisted living. She added, “It’s like therapy every day. You get support from your peers, share your goals and lots of laughs. The mind/body connection is very important. You’ll get better sleep, improved flexibility and balance, increased endurance and a better quality of life.”

It’s vital to engage and relate with others who share the same sentiments. Seniors like to talk about their past accomplishments to gain a sense of identity and have a sense of fulfillment. When they’re actively involved with others they receive emotional and physical benefits. “Working with seniors for over 10 years, it’s apparent that those who remain active and engaged are healthier in body, mind and spirit,” said Pamela Williams, Administrator at Foundation House at Northgate. “And it’s never too late. I’ve heard from families who tell me their mom or dad was a loner or recluse, but once they moved to a retirement community and became involved they saw a new side of them. Being with others pulls them out of their shells and the social interaction has helped them immensely.”

Those who are active boost their ability to think critically and analytically. Exercise, Tai Chi, card games, bingo, painting, singing and the like, can increase mental capacity. Jocelyn Washington, Personal Care Director at Foundation House at Northgate for 12 plus years, noted that seniors who are active remain mentally clear and healthier. “Physically active residents seem to have less illness and depression. They’re sharper and have less down time after surgery or set-backs.” Trying something new, different or challenging can possibly prevent or delay dementia or Alzheimer’s, as well.

Change up your routine and reap the rewards of an active, engaged lifestyle. Doing it with others is a great way to start. The benefits of a well rounded life experience are vast, so be a part of it.

~ by Pamela Williams

Pamela Williams is the Administrator at Foundation House at Northgate. You can reach her at (206) 361-2758 or