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Thread: Retirement - from a social perspective

  1. Top | #21
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    I think one of the reasons that social interaction is so vitally important as we age, is because social interaction includes mental stimulation. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to have mental stimulation. Isolation is very unhealthy for older adults. I've seen its negative impact when I worked as a home health nurse for many years. When I speak with friends who I exercise with, we often discuss politics, music and family issues. All of that is mental stimulation.

    I think the reason my husband's late grandmother, who was obese and suffered from numerous chronic health issues, lived to be 95 and was mentally sharp until 94, was probably because she had constant visitors from family and friends. She had a very positive outlook, despite her very limited education. That's the most important type of mental stimulation. Humans did not evolve to be isolated. We evolved as very social animals and that is why it's important to continue to have socialization throughout our lives. Even introverts need some social interaction with others. So, when you retire, build a nice social support system, get out and join a group, do volunteer work, get to know the people where you exercise, take a course in gardening or something that interests you, etc. You can also get socialization just by posting here and interacting with other members, if you are homebound and very isolated. It may not be a beneficial as actually being with others, but it is a form of social interaction and for some extreme introverts, that might be enough.

    Please don't take the above to mean that I don't think that a healthy, well balanced diet, exercise and maintaining a health weight aren't vitally important. I just think that interacting with others is just as important after we retire.

  2. Top | #22
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    I wonder how all these people raised on social media and tweets are going to be like wen they reach their 60s.

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    I may retire at 49 years, to avoid the 50Y kids of death.
    "kids of death". Sounds about right.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea View Post
    When do you want to retire and how? Do you want to keep doing things to “keep fresh”? Do you want to move? Are you worried about finances? Will you retire concurrent with your spouse or romantic partner?
    When do I want to? Now. When can I? End of next year.

    Doing things? I'm already ramping up a second "career" in art (career in quotes because I don't expect or need to make much money, but it gives me opportunities to stay mentally and physically active). I can also stay mentally active by trying to keep current with my son's work (PhD candidate in genetics). We also want to travel.

    Finances? Once Medicare and Social Security kick in, we should be fine, but we can't be frivolous.

    Wife and I want to move, but our preferred locations are not the same at the moment. We're working on it.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Not just dementia, The brain atrophies in a manner of speaking when not exercised. It is an empirical fact that stimulation can effect brain cell growth.

    Use it or loose it applies to mental faculties as well as the physical body.

    On this I speak from experience. When I got back to the forum after about two years in rehab I could barely put together a sentence.I see it around me in the place I am in. People who stay physically and mentally active are healthier and live longer. Those that do not can be observed deteriorating and dying. Death around here is a somewhat routine event.
    But, you had some serious health issues. I'm talking about dementia, which often occurs in otherwise healthy people. Oddly enough, soon after my last post, I picked up the Atlanta Journal which has a section on aging on Sundays. It listed physical exercise and socialization as the two known ways to lower the risk of dementia.

    I started to post a lot more about this, but then I realized that we are derailing a thread about retirement, so with apologies to Rhea, I'll stop discussing dementia. Most people enjoy retirement without developing it, unless they live to a very advanced age. Then the odds rise significantly, regardless of how much you use your brain. Brain stimulation is healthy but it doesn't necessarily prevent dementia.
    I don't know if it cures dementia but it might help to make it tolerable. Finding something to do when I leave my job that continues to allow me to be creative is my main concern. The Cognitive Dynamics organization has programs that demonstrate this by encouraging artistic and story telling abilities, as descibed in this article on "How Art Therapy Enhances the Quality of Life for Dementia Patients". I think the mind's main function is to be creative, intellectually or artistically. So that's what keeps it happy. And in the case of art it seems it might remain useful as well.
    Through the process of art therapy, relationships are built, empathy fostered, anxiety lessened, and a sense of mastery or control over their environment is developed. It’s a matter of discovering new ways to express yourself and communicate.

  6. Top | #26
    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    I may retire at 49 years, to avoid the 50Y kids of death.
    "kids of death". Sounds about right.
    Shit.

  7. Top | #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    I may retire at 49 years, to avoid the 50Y kids of death.
    "kids of death". Sounds about right.
    Shit.
    My kids accelerated my aging process for quite a while. Now they're reversing it.

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