Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

      Wit and Wisdom      

a new view on growing older
Atria Senior Living resident painting at the community

How to reinvent yourself after retirement

Posted on December 9, 2021 by Admin

“After all that you’ve done in life, there’s still plenty of life to live. Each day, I continue to embrace life, pursue purpose and be open for adventure. It’s not always easy, but when I reflect over each experience, it’s always worth it.” 

The quote above is from Atria’s longtime friend Billie Jean King, a celebrated tennis champion and equal-rights activist. Billie Jean recently sat down with three Atria residents and asked them how they’re redefining aging, which you can learn more about in our Next Chapter video series. 

While their answers were as unique as each of their life stories, a common thread was woven between them. Each resident saw retirement as a both a time for reflection and for looking ahead – an opportunity to pursue new interests and reinvent themselves. Based on what they shared, and others have told us, we’ve compiled a few tips to help with your own reinvention. 

Escape the clutter 

By the time you’ve reached retirement, you’ve no doubt acquired a lot of “stuff.” While some possessions hold deep sentimental value, getting rid of – or donating – less cherished household items is often very freeing. Downsizing typically means less home maintenance, which frees up time for more joyful pursuits. In fact, many older adults have found that it actually changed their outlook on life and made them more open to new possibilities.

Go back to the future 

Reflecting on your past can help shape your future. What experiences brought you the most joy? Consider rekindling your passions for old hobbies or taking up a new one. Maybe there was something you’ve always wanted to try, like gardening, Thai Chi, playing the piano or painting, but never found the time to pursue. 

Whatever you decide on, remember that you don’t have to jump in feet first – baby steps are fine. Whether it’s talking about your interests with others, reading up about it, or acquiring any supplies that may be needed, your journey of reinvention starts with a single step.

Connect with others 

Wherever your interests take you, having others to share your time and experiences with fosters a renewed sense of self. Seek out volunteer opportunities, join a club, sign up for a community class or attend a lecture. And be sure to reach out to others – as the saying goes, a stranger is a friend you don’t yet know.  

Studies have shown that socialization improves well-being in older adults. That’s why Atria created the Engage Life® program to provide residents daily opportunities to express themselves creatively, connect with each other and nature, have fun, and stay fit with events that are tailored to meet their particular interests. 

Get the support you need 

At Atria, new chapters of life unfold each day, and living in a senior community can help you get the most out of retirement. Our vibrant communities offer engaging events and a welcoming environment where you can grow, stay active and connect with the world. With a wealth of experience and wisdom behind you and many opportunities ahead, we’ll help see that you’re well equipped to reinvent yourself for your next chapter.  

As Billie Jean King says, “Don’t be afraid to try something new or even start all over. I encourage you to go all in. Make this next chapter of your life better than the last.” 

Category: Active Aging, Community, Lifestyle, News In Aging, Wit & Wisdom

residents enjoying some morning stretches

Alzheimer’s Awareness

Posted on November 18, 2021 by Admin

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most prevalent health concerns among adults ages 65 and older in the United States. At Atria, the health and wellbeing of residents is our highest priority, and since November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, we want to provide a resource for caregivers whose parents may be showing signs of memory loss. Read on for an overview of the distinctions between dementia and Alzheimer’s, how normal signs of aging differ from Alzheimer’s symptoms, and possible treatments for Alzheimer’s. 

Normal signs of aging versus symptoms of dementia 

The symptoms of dementia are not a normal part of aging. Normal aging might include weakening muscles, stiffening of arteries, and some mild age-related memory changes. For instance, an older adult – or anyone, for that matter – might occasionally misplace car keys, forget to pay a bill, or struggle to find a word. People diagnosed with dementia, however, suffer from sustained problems with communication, memory, and attention. Signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia might include getting lost in their own neighborhood, forgetting the names of their own children, or being unable to complete routine tasks. 

Are dementia and Alzheimer’s the same? 

Dementia is a not a disease, but a broad term that refers to various conditions of cognitive impairment. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia – accounting for 60–80% of dementia cases. Other manifestations of dementia include Lewy body dementia, mixed dementia, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and more.  

Dementia may also be reversible – tied to underlying causes such as vitamin deficiency, thyroid imbalance, and pressure in the brain. Family history, poor heart health, and traumatic brain injuries increase the risk of developing dementia, though the strongest risk factor is age. The majority of dementia cases afflict people ages 65 and older.  

How is Alzheimer’s treated? 

Unfortunately, there is no cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Some medications do mitigate anxiety-related symptoms, and some treatments may alter the progression of the disease. In general, physicians may prescribe certain medications that improve cell-to-cell communication networks. As of July 2021, the FDA approved aducanumab (Aduhelm) to treat some cases of Alzheimer’s. 

A doctor may also recommend fostering an environment for an Alzheimer’s patient that’s calm, safe, and supportive, and an exercise and nutrition regimen that promotes overall wellbeing. (Specific suggestions may vary between providers.) 

Memory care at Atria 

At Atria, we believe that despite the difficulties of memory impairment, a person with dementia can continue to live an engaging, joyful, and meaningful life. Our propriety approach to memory care, Life Guidance®is a specialized service that promotes the health benefits of physical activity, social connection and individualized care. Learn more about all that Life Guidance® offers, and read about some of the signs that it’s time to consider memory care. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from Atria’s forward-thinking, highly personalized memory care, please reach out to the Atria community near you for more information. 

Category: Community, Dementia & Memory Care, News In Aging, Wit & Wisdom

Women Are at the Center of the Alzheimer’s Crisis - Atria Senior Living Blog

Women Are at the Center of the Alzheimer’s Crisis

Posted on July 31, 2015 by Admin

Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s and the reasons remain unclear. According to the Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report:

  • Women make up almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Among those aged 71 and older, 16 percent of women have Alzheimer’s and other dementias, compared to 11 percent of men.
  • At age 65, women without Alzheimer’s have more than a one-in-six chance of developing the disease during the remainder of their lives, compared with a one-in-11 chance for men.
  • Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.


Category: Dementia & Memory Care, News In Aging Tags: , , ,

Independent Living vs Aging in Place–Atria Senior Living Blog

A Declaration of Independence? The Debate Over Aging in Place

Posted on July 1, 2015 by Admin

The recent New York Times article “Imprisoned by Independence explores how older adults’ preference for “aging in place” may have inadvertently helped imprison them. According to the article, the desire for seniors to remain in familiar surroundings, and the fear of being placed in an institution, have millions fighting to remain in homes they can rarely leave due to physical limitations or health conditions. (more…)

Category: News In Aging

Five Brain Foods That Boost Memory – Atria Senior Living Blog

5 Brain Foods That Boost Memory

Posted on August 1, 2014 by Admin

Culturally speaking, we place a great deal of emphasis on physical health and the actions we take to keep our bodies healthy. But what about our brains?  As some of us age, we experience a decline in cognitive ability, memory loss and a general lag in mental processing. So, it is important to focus on not only how we keep our bodies healthy, but also our brains.

A simple place to start is with your diet. (more…)

Category: Dementia & Memory Care, News In Aging, The Atria Kitchen Tags: