Share Travels with Friends and Family

Saint Augustine said,  “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Many people choose to use their retirement as a time to experience new places and make memories through travel. And they love to share their adventures with friends and family! Today’s technology makes it simple to instantly share your travels with the ones you love.

Use your smartphone

There are plenty of applications on your smart phone that can help friends and family feel like they are there with you as you explore. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Foursquare and Instagram make it easy to share photos and videos, check into places, and let users know what you are up to.

But there are also apps made specifically for travel. These apps include Travelog, which allows you to share stories and media from your travels

Start a blog

Blogging is a great way to keep people updated with each leg of your travels. If you have a laptop, you can take it along with you to document your trip. Or you can simply plan out posts for when you come back, writing about individual days, weeks, or locations. Blogs are also great for including video and photos and can easily be emailed to friends and family.

Send a letter or email to friends and family

Speaking of emailing, why not email a summary of your trip to friends and family to keep them updated on your journey? You might even consider snail mail if there is a specific person you would love to reach out to. You can include photos, funny stories, and give them the best souvenir that they could have asked for.

Take good notes

Take a notebook with you or use your smartphone to jot down interesting, funny, or romantic details of your trip. When you go to tell your stories to your loved ones, you’ll remember the best moments in vivid detail. Because you wouldn’t want to forget that time you ate pizza in Napoli or finally saw the Statue of Liberty!

Or snap a photo wherever you go

If you don’t feel that you will have time to take notes while you’re on your trip, you can just snap a photo when you want to remember a specific moment. It will save you time and help you keep memories alive and frozen in time!

Make a scrapbook

If you’re crafty, consider making a scrapbook of your travel time to show guests. While this can be a little bit more costly than the other solutions on this list, it is also the most creative! In fact, you can make this a project for you and your spouse, children, grandchildren, or friends! Let everyone share in your adventure.

Make an online photo album

Once you’ve snapped photos of your trip, you can simply upload them to a photo-sharing site like Flickr. You can then share the link with whomever you please and have a place online where these photos will always be stored.

At Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community, we love to hear our residents’ travel stories. And we keep an eye on their home while they are gone! Security keeps an eye on their patio home, and maintenance is on-call in case of an emergency. So pack your bags and start making memories to share!


Tips to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Aging does a lot to the body as well as the mind. Most retirees find that their memory and cognitive health decrease as they age, which can be frustrating and hard to deal with. But exercising your brain can help with these issues. In fact, it can help at any age. The New York Times reported that in a 2012 study, “Participants [of all ages] who regularly did more to challenge their brains — reading, writing, attending lectures or completing word puzzles — did better on fluid intelligence tests than their counterparts who did less.”

So, what can you do to keep your brain as sharp as a tack?

Read Up!

If you’ve been a lifelong fan of books, you may have been slowly building your memory without even knowing it. According to Smithsonian Magazine, being a bookworm throughout your lifetime leads to a slower decline of your cognitive function in old age. Beyond that, “Remaining a bookworm into old age reduced the rate of memory decline by 32 percent compared to engaging in average mental activity. Those who didn’t read or write often later in life did even worse: their memory decline was 48 percent faster than people who spent an average amount of time on these activities.” So whether you prefer a romance novel or a thrilling historical read, you’re doing yourself a favor by cracking open your favorite book.

Play Some Games

Some websites harness the power of science to create games and puzzles that are designed to help with memory and superior brainpower. Sites like Lumosity give you more tailored activities, but it comes at a price (this one is $15/month). Similar is My Brain Trainer, which provides brain teasers that are supposed to “train” your brain just like you train your body during a workout.

Laugh With Friends

According to Fitness Magazine, a study done on 80-year-old subjects showed that those the most social people in the group suffered 70% less cognitive decline than their less social counterparts. That’s great news if you love spending time with family and friends. Not only can they make you happier with their presence, but they can make your brain more sharp. Perhaps you should thank them.

Take a Class

It’s never too late to learn something new in order to enrich your life and keep your brain pumping. At Sherwood Oaks, we offer continuing education classes that are free and open to the public. During the month of October and in the spring, we offer classes three days a week on topics such as history, travelling, books, and more. Plus, some of our residents speak about their interesting careers!

While some memory loss is out of your control, taking these steps will help you to keep your brain in top shape AND add some enriching activities to your life. For more information on October’s upcoming speakers, call 800 642-2217.

Talking to Your Family About Your Retirement

Retirement is something you look forward to through most of your career. Finally having freedom from the stress of the 9 to 5 is something that comes well-earned. But with the decision to retire come a lot of decisions: decisions about money, decisions about your home, and decisions about your family. That is why it is critical to talk to your family about this change in your life. Keep the following things in mind when bringing up the next phase of your life to your loved ones.

Your family is concerned with your living situation.

Open and friendly communication is key when explaining your retirement plan to your family. Part of looking to the future is anticipating your living situation long-term. Many retirees choose to continue to live in their homes, while others downsize based on space or budget. Others choose to move to a retirement community such as Sherwood Oaks to help relieve the household duties they have and build a relationship with their neighbors.

If you do decide to sell your home, consider the consequences to your family. Retirees who sell their homes often are leaving the home that they raised their family in, making this an emotional decision, but one that may have their best interest at heart. Having an open discussion with your family where everyone’s feelings are heard, even if they don’t affect the end decision, will help everyone feel more comfortable with the retirement situation you choose.

Your family is concerned with the cost.

Money is a touchy subject, even when you’re talking about it with the people closest to you. It is important to explain how you plan to finance your life once you retire, as well as how you will handle any costs of long-term care. Most people are concerned with the burden that it could put on you… and possibly them. Be sure to come up with a clear financial plan to explain to your family to help ease their minds. This is especially important if you are retiring before your spouse. Going from two steady incomes to one will take some adjusting.

Your family wants you to be happy.

Families are very concerned with your quality of life following your retirement. They will want to know how you plan on spending your free time when you enter retirement. Do you want to take up volunteering or a hobby? Will you have a part-time job? Would you like to travel? Your quality of life will be a topic that your family will want to explore and be reassured about.

When discussing your retirement with your family, it helps to start talking early so that they have time to process and help you with the transitional period. And don’t worry if you and family members don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on your decisions. Make the choices that are right for you, and your family will be supportive.

Make the Most of Your Daily Walk

You may just think that “Walk this Way” is a catchy song, but did you know that there are actually ways for you to make your walk more effective? With so much room on campus to make walking outdoors a part of your healthy lifestyle, Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community is perfect for avid walkers. Here are some tips to help you make the most of every step!

  • Keep a good pace. According to the University of California, a person who weighs 150 pounds who walks at 3.5 miles per hour on a flat surface will burn 300 calories in one hour.

  • Step up! You might be walking more (or less) in a day than you think! If you have a goal of how much you would like to walk in a day, it’s a great idea to purchase a pedometer. They are inexpensive and can count all of the steps you take in a day, whether you are working out or running around the kitchen cooking a meal.

  • Pump it up. Pumping your arms can turn a nice walk into a full body workout! Don’t forget your upper body when it comes to your daily walk. If you’re looking for an extra challenge, try out some hand weights!

  • Walking the same course every day might help to keep you on a good schedule, but it can also get a little bit boring. Try to liven your workout by walking different paths on different days of the week or by getting off campus every once in a while for more diverse terrains. The Cranberry area has plenty of public park space to make the most of, and we are happy to recommend one to you!

  • Don’t be afraid to look for some support. If you are having a little bit of difficulty getting around or want some extra support on your walk, consider a cane or walking poles to help you out.

  • Remember to wear comfortable and supportive shoes, also.

  • Want to speed up a little bit? According to, “Instead of taking longer steps, take faster steps. Lengthening your stride can increase strain on your feet and legs.”

  • Find a buddy. Walking with a friend is a great motivator. And there are plenty of friends to walk with at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community. In fact, we have a walking group led by our fitness director called “Take a Walk with A Friend.” The group walks all over the campus, including the 3 miles of covered walkways, trails through the woods, and around our lake.  This organized activity takes place outdoors from May through November, although many residents can be seen walking outdoors throughout the winter. For more information, email us at

On your marks, get set, walk!