10 Ways To Remain Connected During Retirement


 10 Ways To Remain Connected During Retirement

After a life of work and struggle, some people eventually reach retirement. Whether you're at the beginning of the process or towards the end, here are ten ways to stay connected.

1) Continue a hobby
One way to maintain your sanity is by continuing that hobby from before you retired. It could be something as simple as picking up knitting or going to dancing lessons. An added benefit of hobbies that don't require physical activity is that they can also help with anxiety and depression. You might also want to explore new hobbies now that you have time on your hands, like painting or photography.
2) Go to the library
The library is a great place to catch up on reading, learn something new and find out about resources that you may not be aware of. You might want to check out the Local Government's archive or visit http://www.libraries.org/ for further information and online resources.
3) Join your local library group
Many local libraries have groups that meet regularly for activities such as knitting, book clubs and movie nights. Your local council website should have details of the kinds of groups that are available in your area (here's a link to Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/ , and here's a link to New Zealand: https://www.libraries.govt.nz/ ).
4) Join a local group
If you're looking to connect with people in your local area, then why not join a group with similar interests? You could join a chess club or the arts collective, or maybe the local walking club. You might have to pay an entrance fee but that's money well spent if it means you'll be meeting new people.
5) Go to lectures and events at your university
Not only are some universities excellent resources where you can get help from librarians, they are also often great places for events like lectures and concerts. If you don't have a university near you then there may be one nearby for which you can receive discounted tickets.
6) Attend demonstrations and protests
Protests are a great way to get the message across. If you're passionate about an issue that is important to you, this could be a good way for you to express your feelings and thoughts.
7) Find out about local community groups
Local community groups can be a great source for socialising as well as making new friends. Here are some websites that should give you some details about local community groups in your area: http://www.communitygroupfinder.org/ , https://www.cpros.org/ , http://localplus.co.uk/co_uk/, http://www.communitymattersuk.org/ , http://www.community-matters.org.uk/ .
8) Contact your local hospital and mental health services
Many hospitals now have a list of services that can be found on the front page of their website (e.g. here is a link to New Zealand: http://www.recoverycollectionservices.org.nz/ ) along with details of their telephone number and email address, or contact details can be found in their newsletter, brochure or patient information leaflets if you don't have access to the internet via your phone or computer while you're there (for example, here's a link to Australia: http://www.healthdirect.gov.au ). If you're connected to their computer system, you can access their "find out about us" section.
9) Visit your local community centre
Many community centres offer a range of activities for the whole family, including board games, arts and crafts and books. Also, some have classes for older people and are very inclusive of people with a disability. Many also offer various facilities such as swimming pools, and sports clubs such as martial arts schools or yoga classes can be good ways to get involved in fitness that is not related to fitness equipment.
10) Make new friends online
The internet has many possibilities. You can "befriend" people on Facebook, Skype with your grandchildren in another country, find groups on social networking sites or forums, download books from the library or your local council website, read online newspapers and magazines, or play games online. Yes there are mental health risks involved when using the internet but these are outweighed by the benefits. So get connected!
"Learning is fun when you're having fun."
"Life's a journey, not a destination."
"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage."
A person who left a comment on this article said that Total Care has been brilliant for their family's elderly Chinese parents. It wasn't something they had planned on using, but they got help when it was needed.
If you would like help with an elderly relative in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch, check out these links:
http://www.totalcare.co.nz/blog/home-and-community-care-services/home-andcommunity services/?p=905
http://www.totalcare.co. nz/blog/?p=1396
If you have elderly parents and you're looking for help, it would be great if you could leave a comment after this post explaining what has worked for your family and also mention whether any specific help has come from Total Care or any other organisation. Alternatively, if your parents are in an aged care home please let me know what your experience has been. Thank you!
I would like to address the issue of loneliness at Christmas time and how this can affect people with mental illness who are living alone.

If you have read this far then thank you!
You may not have enjoyed reading the post in its entirety but if you've made it this far then it's quite an achievement. Reading is an excellent form of mental stimulation and exercise, which is good for your brain and helps prevent illnesses like dementia and depression.
Burning a few quid on some books is money well spent. 
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