Getting Connected: Finding the Support Resources You Need
Today’s retirees are nothing like their predecessors. Not only is the current crop of seniors looking at possibly decades of life ahead; they still have much to contribute. Here’s how to find the support resources to stay connected in senior living.
One man, who spent his career in the mortgage banking industry, asked for active retirement resources. “I would appreciate additional sources for my personal direction at this point in my life. At age 68 I am looking at retirement (with one eye only) but want to stay active and perhaps be of service to others. Can you recommend books, etc.?”
14 Curated Resources for Connected Senior Living
Following are some of the best “new retirement” books, websites and networks we’ve found to support seniors in this new stage of their life journey:
- The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife. Author Marc Freedman is an “encore careers” expert who defines what this “Third Age” of life looks like.
- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Physician Atul Gawande’s book is a riveting read for people of any age. It explores how life was meant to be versus how we’re living now, with numerous stories that showcase the difference an informed senior (and his or her family) can make in how the senior chooses to live his or her later years. He discusses senior living extensively, including the surprising origins of assisted living.
- Positive Aging: A SMART 365 Guide to Thriving and Wellbeing At Any Age. Kathy Gottberg shows us what the “Third Age” can look like when we approach aging with a positive mindset rather than fear and trepidation. From her initial chapter, “Why I Don’t Think I’m Old and Don’t Think You Should Think It Either,” this feisty 60-something Boomer guides seniors in harvesting life’s joys and welcoming what comes next.
- Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Roz Chast’s graphic memoir is funny, poignant, comforting and candid. The New Yorker cartoonist tackles aging, debility and dying head on, with humor and humility, putting a highly personal face on what caregiving looks like.Even the decision to move her parents into a senior living community is accompanied by wit: “My mother played classical piano in a group that, to all the members’ amusement, was called Classical Pianists in Retirement: CPR.”
- How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. A lighthearted romp that goes beyond the typical financial planning advice of many retirement reads. Author and speaker Ernie Zelinski’s book is an inspirational yet informative guide focused on helping you make your retirement years the best time of your life.
- Encore.org, “Big Shift” author Marc Freedman’s site contains a number of Resources for Encore Seekers who want to use their next act for greater good.
- The Center for Conscious Eldering can guide a senior on their inner journey. For many, addressing deep questions about meaning and purpose becomes important later in life, especially if someone hasn’t explored these subjects earlier.
- Sixty&Me is a site by, for and about woman 60+, focusing on life and career reinvention, retirement, travel, health, money, friendships and more. Upbeat and chock-full of useful information in a digital magazine format.
- Suddenly Solo, started by a sociologist in his eighties, is “A lifestyle road map for the mature widowed or divorced man.” The site focuses on solo living for older men who may be living alone for the first time, and includes advice on dating and relationships, health and fitness, finances, and more. They’ve published a book with the same title.
- Leading Age is a non-profit consortium of 6,000+ organizations representing the entire field of aging services, including hundreds of businesses, consumer groups, and foundations. The site provides portals for aging services technologies, applied research, housing services and advocacy.
- Life Planning Network (LPN) is a community of professionals and organizations from diverse disciplines dedicated to helping people navigate the next phase of their lives, and change how we think about aging. LPN has a network of nationwide chapters and consultants to help people identify and move toward their goals in the second half.
- The Transition Network (TTN) is a national member organization focused on retirement solutions for mature women who are in transition. A unique TTN service, The Caring Collaborative, provides members with hands-on support when circumstances require it, such as a broken leg or temporary illness. The program offers a variety of services chapters can adopt, depending on their needs.
- Vital Aging Network is a non-profit whose mission is to promote self-determination, civic engagement, and personal growth for people as they age, through education, leadership development, and opportunities to connect.
- Village to Village Network is a national, peer-to-peer network that helps communities establish and effectively manage Villages. “Villages” are virtual, membership-driven, grassroots organizations run by volunteers and paid staff that coordinate access to affordable services for seniors, including transportation, home repairs, social and educational programs, and wellness programs — all with vetted and discounted service providers.
Don’t Overlook the Obvious
One of the most available, yet often overlooked resources, is your local senior center. With more than 12,000 senior centers operating nationwide, it’s likely that a community will have one. If a town is very small, there may be a central senior center in the nearest larger town that serves several communities.
While senior centers provide a wide range of activities and functions, many also publish a resource guide to senior services in the area, from medical to social, housing to finance, and more. The office staff will be knowledgeable about local senior services and senior living communities. Find a center by searching online for your town and the words “senior center”.
In addition to this list, many retirement websites are location-specific, so you may want to search for retirement support resources in your area.
Here in southern California, for example, the newly opened Kensington Redondo Beach is a senior living community unparalleled in the area, offering full spectrum retirement living in some of the country’s most beautiful surroundings.
We also offer an array of outstanding activities and events to keep our active residents as busy as they choose to be. The Kensington Redondo Beach is truly the ultimate senior living resource for discerning seniors and their families.