Make Lasting Memories with Your Grandchildren

A lot of families come to visit Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community each year, including those growing-like-a-weed grandchildren! It can sometimes be difficult for residents to think of activities to do with their grandchildren that everyone will enjoy. Generation gaps can really mess up plans, huh?

But with some creative thinking, you can plan a fun day for everyone that you and your grandchildren will remember for years to come.

For the younger ones…

When young grandchildren grow up, they will cherish the time they spent learning from you. The time they get to spend with you will help shape the people they become, so make the most of that time!

  • Pittsburgh Children’s Museum – Open seven days a week, the Children’s Museum is floors and floors of fun for kids and kids at heart! Explore permanent exhibits like the water play area, or attend an artist residency exhibit, like the XOXO: Love Letters Project that is taking place this weekend.
  • Carnegie Science CenterRobots, railroads, space stations, and magnetic forces. Does this sound like your idea of an adventure? Then take your favorite little explorer with you to the Carnegie Science Center. This trip will prove to be both fun and educational… and not just for the kids!
  • Stay In! – A night in with your grandchildren is filled with possibilities. From reading them your favorite books as a child to catching up on their favorite movies, you don’t need to get fancy in order to entertain! You can even plan a family game night or show them how to make their favorite food, asking them if they would like to help where they can.
  • Take Them for a One-on-One Lunch – Everyone enjoys dressing up for a nice afternoon of good food and big laughs. Take your grandchild to a formal lunch, one-on-one, so that you have a chance to talk to them and teach them table manners. If they are good, don’t forget dessert!
  • Outdoor Playground – Sherwood Oaks has a wonderful outdoor playground for grandkids and families to enjoy.

And the older ones…

Teenagers and adults obviously have different interests and hobbies than children, but just because your grandchildren are big, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have beautiful little moments with them!

  • See a Show – We’ve previously written about the wonderful cultural experiences that Pittsburgh has to offer, and it’s an exciting moment when your grandchildren are old enough to truly enjoy them with you! Treat them to a night at the Benedum and Heinz Hall and grab a bite to eat in one of the Cultural District’s delicious restaurants after.
  • Visit the Carnegie Museums – Another cultural activity that your grown grandchildren may enjoy are the Carnegie Museums, which includes the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. Whether you and your grandchildren bond over art or history, one of the museums will be sure to get you talking.
  • Work on a Family Tree – As grandchildren get older, they often show more interest in where they came from. Help them explore your roots and make discoveries yourself by working on your family tree. You can start online with or
  • Stop by the Billiard Room – Sherwood Oaks had a billiard room, just in case you want to challenge your grandchildren to a friendly game of pool!

For everyone!

  • Visit the Zoo
  • Go to a Baseball Game at PNC Park
  • Enjoy the walking trails around the lake and through the woods at Sherwood Oaks
  • Or stop by our picnic area, complete with barbecues and outdoor games like  shuffleboard, bocce ball, cornhole, badminton, basketball, lawn darts, horseshoes
  • Take a dip in our indoor swimming pool. Grandkids are more than welcome as long as there is someone else in the pool area. No swimming alone permitted!
  • Don’t live near the grandchildren? Set up regular visits with them over Skype and send letters in between visits!

Tips for visits with grandchildren:

  • Make sure to be clear with your children on how often you would like to see them and your grandchildren so that all of you can work it into your schedule
  • If the grandkids are visiting without mom and dad, make sure you ask what the rules are!
  • Make sure to baby proof the house if little ones are visiting

5 Healthy Choices to Make This Spring

Spring is officially here, even if it doesn’t feel like it in Pennsylvania today! Pretty soon, we will turn our attention from shoveling snow and remembering our gloves, to whose barbecue we’ll be at this weekend and which pair of shorts to wear!

With a new season comes a new opportunity for you to make better decisions about your life and your health. Luckily, there are small changes that you can make in order to be healthier by summer!


Get Enough Sleep

You aren’t your best when you’re tired or groggy. You are irritable and have trouble focusing on everyday tasks. The bad news is that insomnia is very common for people at retirement age. The good news is that senior citizens need less sleep than younger adults (around 7 hours), according to a 2008 study.

If you’re having trouble getting to or staying asleep at night, try to avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol before bed. Also try to avoid working on the computer or watching television, as well as exercise. All of these things can stimulate your brain and keep you awake much longer. Try setting a goal bed time and aiming to get the correct, customized amount of sleep so that you feel perfectly rested!


Drink Enough Water 

You’ve probably heard that it’s good to aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Well, that recommendation remains the same when you reach retirement age. Drinking the recommended amount of water per day has many health benefits, from weight control to healthier skin. But if you don’t love the boring taste of water, here are a few other ways to stay hydrated:

  • Eat fruit
  • Add fruit to your water for flavor
  • Eat certain vegetables, such as cucumbers
  • Drink Milk


Kick a Bad Habit

We’ve all got them. From sneaking our favorite cookies to smoking, there are plenty of habits that we develop that can have a negative effect on your health.  But what do you gain by giving them up? It turns out that you get a lot. According to a 2012 study, “… A vibrant social life and quitting smoking can add five years to women’s lives and six years to men’s.”

That is five to six more years of growing your garden, celebrating birthdays with best friends, and watching grandchildren grow up. These are all things worth kicking your habits for! Whatever your vice, start small when removing it from your life. If necessary, consult the help of a doctor or a nutritionist who can help you make the right decisions for your health.


Add Super Foods to Your Diet

AARP recently came out with an article on “super foods.” These are foods that have an exceptional amount of nutrients and health benefits. The five foods that AARP highlighted were  artichokes, asparagus, fava beans, arugula, and green peas. Explore your favorite recipes for ways to incorporate these super foods. And if this small list doesn’t sound very delicious, here is a list of 50 super foods that you can pile on your plate!


Protect Yourself From the Sun

The sun is a warm welcome after a winter filled with snowy days, but that doesn’t mean that the sun is always your friend. Seniors still need to protect their skin from harmful UV rays by choosing a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection sunscreen with at least 15 SPF, but more is better! Check out this handy information from Bayhealth Medical Center on senior skin.


The small choices that you make each day can effect your health in big ways. Make the right choices and let this be the healthiest spring yet!

Be Flexible: Yoga for Seniors

Yoga can help those who practice with a wide variety of problems – from anxiety and pain to digestion and diabetes. It can help make you calm, flexible, and healthy. According to Livestrong, “Participants in a medical study in India saw their blood pressure decrease during three months of yoga.”

But it can be extremely intimidating! Especially if you’re at retirement age and have never practiced it before. The good news is that anyone can do yoga, and it’s never too late to try. You may just need to adapt your workout in order to not push the limits of what your body can do.


Start Small

Everyone’s level of physical activity is different. If you’re active, you may consider yoga to be quite easy. If you aren’t used to working out, it might feel extremely difficult at first. No matter what you think you are capable of, start off small. This may mean doing yoga for a shorter amount of time at the beginning or skipping moves that are too difficult for you.

Here are some simple poses from AARP that can help you get started on your own. Sherwood Oaks also has yoga classes that are exclusive to residents and perfect for everyone, whether they consider themselves an athlete or a newbie! Classes are offered weekly and are taught by our Fitness Director, a certified yoga instructor. Not only can you consider this a healthy habit, but it’s also a social gathering! We get a great turnout from residents each week.

If you want to get a taste for yoga before you come to a class, you can check out some YouTube videos to try out on your own. Like this one, which shows you some yoga stretches specifically tailored to seniors.



You won’t be able to keep up with everyone – and that’s ok! Remember as you start out that no matter how good you are at something, someone out there is better.

You need to learn the moves that work best for you. This could mean that you choose to do the adapted moves that your instructor gives you. If a pose is difficult for you and your instructor does not give you an adapted pose, go ahead and ask! Your body will thank you for not pushing it too hard.

If you’re practicing yoga on your own, do a simple search for yoga poses that may help your specific ailments. For instance, here are some simple yoga poses that have been shown to provide menopause relief.


Work Your Mind, Too

A lot of yoga focuses more on your breath than the movement of your body. Don’t ignore the part of yoga that explains how to breathe – it is just as important as every stretch! When done correctly, your breath can help you keep up your stamina and promote calm and concentration.


Keep Trying!

It might be difficult, but don’t give up. Like many kinds of workouts, you will get better the longer you stick with your yoga routine. Each week, you will be a little bit more flexible and a little bit more comfortable with your surroundings.


Have you been a longtime yogi? What are your best tips for beginners?

10 Apps Retirees Should Download Today!

Whether you choose to embrace it or not, it’s clear that technology is all around us! And while some of it can seem confusing or impossible to learn, some of this technology can help us in more ways than we realize.

Studies show that more and more senior citizens are tapping into technology such as computers, smartphones, and tablets. In fact, there are products out there created JUST FOR senior citizens, like this tablet. And with the rise of these digital machines has also come the rise of the “app.” The American Dialect Society made “app” the 2010 word of the year, defining it as:  “An abbreviated form of application, a software program for a computer or phone operating system.”

Apps can be easily downloaded to your computer, phone, and tablet, and many apps can help make life a lot easier! Here are 10 of our favorite apps for senior citizens.

  1. Find my iPad (Free)– We all get a little bit forgetful sometimes. But misplacing a pen or forgetting your keys on the counter is a much less costly mistake than losing your expensive tablet. iPad owners can rest easier knowing that Find my iPad exists. Find my iPad allows you to track down your missing iPad using a computer or smartphone. And if you lose those items, there are apps for that, too! Available on iOS devices (Apple products.)
  2. Pillboxie ($.99) – It can be hard to remember what time to take your medicines, which medicines to take, and which doses they are.  But Pillboxie can help keep you on track! You can set reminders so that you never forget to take another pill again. Available on iOS devices.
  3. Eyereader ($1.99) – Does it seem like your eyes are getting worse and that the text on the page you’re reading is getting small and smaller? Instead of carrying around a magnifying glass, just download this app that does the same thing! It is available on iPhone and even allows you to read in dark areas using your phone’s LED flashlight.
  4. Lumosity (Free) – We’ve talked about the brain training games provided through Lumosity before, but it’s worth a second mention. Keep your brain sharp while having fun. Sounds like a win-win, right? Available on iOS devices.
  5. Skype (Free) – You may have used Skype on your computer to video chat with friends and family who you don’t always get to see face-to-face. But you can also connect with them over Skype using your tablet or smartphone while you’re on the go – as long as you have Wi-Fi connection. Available on iOS and Android.
  6. Words With Friends ($4.99) – Playing games are fun. Playing games with friends or family adds in just the right amount of friendly competition to take that fun to the next level! Words With Friends is a Scrabble-like word game where you can challenge other users – like your daughter or next-door neighbor. Available on iOS and Android.
  7. Goodreads (Free) – We’ve mentioned Goodreads, too, but for someone who is always looking for the next book they can read, it’s great to have the app, too! Available on iOS and Android.
  8. Facebook (Free) – Facebook is becoming wildly popular with senior citizens for connecting and keeping up with friends and family. The app means that you will never miss a like, comment, or wall post! If you find the regular app too fussy, you can try out the Facebook for Seniors app, if you have an Android device.  Available on iOS and Android.
  9. AARP (Free) – Get the latest news and tips from AARP with their simple app! Available on iOS and Android.
  10. Yesterday USA – Old Time Radio (Free) – Feel like radio shows just aren’t what they used to be? Yesterday USA allows you to listen to radio shows from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, all for no cost!  Available on iOS devices.

It’s Never too Late to…

Recently, we saw a story on AARP about Ernestine Shepherd, who holds the title of the world’s oldest female bodybuilder. Pretty amazing, right? Ernestine is currently 74, and she didn’t start bodybuilding until she was in her 50’s!

Those who think that you can only reach huge life accomplishments before retirement are very wrong! Retirees can absolutely set big goals and achieve them with hard work, just as they always have.  If you need some motivation for doing BIG things during your retirement, here are a few of our favorite success stories to show you it’s never too late to…


Publish a Book

You’ve heard of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” books, but did you know that Laura didn’t begin writing them until 1931, when she was 64 years old? Laura was a previous editor of the St. Louis Star, and her daughter had encouraged her to share her life story through the young adult novels. She wrote them all by 1943, when she was 76! Talk about a late bloomer.



Olive Riley shared her thoughts and ideas on a blog until she passed away in 2008 – at 108 years old. Olive started blogging in 2007, and at the time of her death, she had posted more than 70 entries about her life. The Australian woman’s tales included stories of both World War I and World War II, growing up without today’s luxuries and technologies, and raising three children on her own. What kind of story do YOU have to tell the world?


Start a Company 

After a lengthy and successful career in marketing, Cinde Dolphin started her own company at 55 to help winemakers in California promote their businesses online.

According to the New York Times, “More than five million Americans age 55 or older run their own businesses or are otherwise self-employed, according to the Small Business Administration.And the number of self-employed people ages 55 to 64 is soaring, the agency says, climbing 52 percent from 2000 to 2007.”

Is there a business you’ve always had the dream of starting, but didn’t have the time? The time could be now!


Graduate from College

Kansas resident Nola Ochs graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s in General Studies and concentration in history. She was 95 years old. While a 96-year-old man broke her record in 2009, Nola’s accomplishment is tremendous. And she didn’t stop there. She received her master’s degree in 2010.

According to the FHSU website, Nola said, “I’m very gratified to have attained that distinction. I would like, in the long run, to encourage people to keep on learning. Our education is never complete.”


Learn a New Skill

While she didn’t learn to cook after 50, Julia Child DID put off finding her skill until she was in her mid-30’s. In fact, Julia said, “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” Her show “The French Chef” didn’t premiere until she was 51.

We wrote a previous post about hobbies you might consider starting during your retirement. Just because you didn’t master something as a young adult, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a pro at it soon!


There is a reason why these are called the “golden years.” Now get out there and shine!

Redesign Your Space for Spring! (Using Little Time & Money)

Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community is a collection of a variety of unique residents, and we love when they put their own spin on their patio homes. With spring on its way, many people are beginning to do their spring cleaning and, in turn, giving their home a new look for the new season.

We know that redecorating can get expensive, so here are a few tips on how to get a new look in your space for less.


Recycle Across Rooms

Sometimes you don’t need to buy new home items in order to get a fresh new look, you just need to move them from one room to another. If there is a side table you particularly love in your bedroom, consider showing it off in the living room. Move your favorite framed photograph from the hallway to the kitchen, where you can look at it more. You can even give items a new paint job to fit in with another room’s theme. Quick, affordable, and resourceful! Wasn’t that easy?


Rearrange Furniture

Sometimes the furniture in the room is right… but not in the right place. Take a look at your living space. Could it be arranged differently? Is your space being underutilized? Could you incorporate feng shui? Does the space make it easy for guests to socialize when they visit your home? Moving the couch against the wall or the chair further from the doorway can make a world of difference.


Update Photographs

Photographs add a world of personality to a room, but it’s easy to forget to update them. Children and grandchildren grow quickly, and printing out photos of their big life moments is easy now thanks to the Internet and convenient photo centers at stores like Target. Don’t have any recent family photos? Set up an appointment to get a new one done!


Update Focal Points

Curtains, rugs, throw pillows, blankets, and art are all things that attract a lot of attention and can be easily replaced. Think about a major item that attracts attention in each room of your home and consider updating it. This may include a new centerpiece for your dining room table, a new welcome mat, or new tea towels in the kitchen.


Add a Pop of Pastel

Light and airy colors are great for spring. Consider swapping out darker items in your décor for something more fresh and sunny. Put them in storage until you can use them again in the winter! Mirrors can also add a lot of light to a room.


Spend a Little Bit on Organization

Often, simple home clutter can be solved with a few organizational items. Purchase a wicker basket to store extra blankets in. Put a small basket in your entranceway to throw keys into to avoid losing them. You can ever scour Pinterest to find a fun DIY project, like this refurbished cake stand that you can use to display items in your bathroom or bedroom.


Replace Small Items

Small can make a big difference. While you may not think that replacing a lampshade or knobs on a dresser would make a big difference, it definitely can! A new vase or a houseplant can make a world of difference when it comes to adding that “home” feeling to your space. It’s great to dream big – but you can start small!

Use Your Hobbies to Earn Extra Cash

Hobbies can entertain us and give us a sense of accomplishment. They help us define ourselves and give us a way to connect with others who have the same interests. Hobbies can also be a great source of additional income, offering a fantastic opportunity for a retiree to fill their time and their wallet.

Think hard about the things you do for fun. Could you be making some extra cash WHILE you are enjoying yourself? Or perhaps there is always a lucrative hobby you’ve always wanted to try out but never had the time? The time is now.



Woodworking is a fine skill that can prove to be a very enriching hobby. It’s amazing what you can make by hand once you have the training, like furniture, picture frames and other decorative items, and stylish storage boxes. Sherwood Oaks has a large wood shop for residents to work in, giving you plenty of room to bring your creative ideas to life.



Original work is more sought after than generic art you can get from a big box store. Ceramic creation is a wonderful hobby to have, as you can make items that are both beautiful and functional. Molding and painting custom mugs and sculpting ornate vases will help you to keep your creative juices flowing, and once your masterpiece is complete it can serve as a great gift item for someone to buy. Sherwood Oaks makes the entire process simple, as there is also a ceramics studio on campus!


Other Crafts

If you’re a master knitter or have a talent for creating stunning holiday wreaths, you should turn that fun into funds! In the past few years, there has been more and more focus on shopping locally and opting for handmade items. You don’t need to look any further than the online merchant site Etsy to see how successful handcrafted items have become. If you aren’t sure of the kind of project you would like to work on, spend some time on the DIY section of Pinterest, or the project section of the Michael’s website.



It’s no secret that a little bit of sweetness is hard to resist. If baking for family and friends has made you the favorite person at every get-together, try to benefit beyond just their compliments. Start baking for pay at community events or by order for private events. You can even serve a certain niche by baking diabetic-friendly or gluten-free items.


Lending a Hand

It’s a hassle for many people to do even simple “handy” tasks around the house. Those who are good with their hands can make a good amount of money from doing household maintenance for other members of the community, whether it’s helping to install a new window or painting a room.


Carrying on Your Former Career

Retirement doesn’t mean that you have to completely abandon the skills you acquired during your career. If you spent the last 40 years of your life enriching the lives of children as a teacher, you could take on some work as a tutor or after-school babysitter. Former accountants can help others with their taxes. Writers can start a travel blog and allow businesses to advertise on their sites. There was a reason you chose the career you did, and it can be easier than you think to keep the aspects of your life’s work that you loved the most.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m pretty financially stable. I would rather do my hobbies for fun rather than pay.”

In that case, how do you feel about using your talents to make money for others? If you’re active, you can ask friends, family, and community members to donate money to a charity of your choosing in order for you to complete a 5k. And for those bakers we mentioned above, why not have a bake sale and donate your proceeds to a good cause?

No matter where the money goes, there is money out there to be made, even in retirement!

4 Ways to Plug In When You’re Snowed In!

Temperatures near Sherwood Oaks, in the Pittsburgh area, got down to a frigid -5 this week, with many schools and businesses closing for the day. This winter has proved to be a dangerous one, with temperatures often dropping below zero. When something as simple as walking outside can be dangerous, it’s better to play it safe and stay inside.

But how do you still manage to be productive in your day when you can’t run to the grocery store or stop by the bank? Technology has made it easier than ever to pass time productively as long as you have an Internet connection. Don’t suffer from the doldrums of winter. Instead, turn your day into a day of digital productivity. 


Play the Game

If you’ve ever been told that playing isn’t productive, you need to seek a second opinion. A good example of how play can contribute to your health and brain function is this example from US News:  “All animals play, even though playing is not immediately productive and is sometimes dangerous. Yet grizzly bears that play the most survive longest. Rats that socialize more with other rats develop bigger, more complex brains. And play stimulates nerve growth in the portions of the brain that process emotions and executive function.”

The web has made some of your favorite brain games accessible on any computer, phone, or tablet you have near you.  AARP offers a wide variety of games, including those in the category of “Brain Games” and a paid service called “Brain Fitness.” You can also look into brain training puzzles through Lumosity or simply browse the archives of crossword puzzles from USA Today.


Get a YouTube Education

YouTube has much more to offer than just funny videos of cats and the latest music video crazes. There are a lot of valuable tutorials that you can watch in order to teach yourself new skills. And the best part of YouTube is that it’s free!  You can search for tutorials on anything from how to play a few chords on a new instrument to how to do basic edits to a photograph. For those artists at heart, here is a tutorial on how to draw a realistic eye:


Get a Handle on Your Finances

Knowing where your money is going to and where you can make adjustments to your budget is valuable at any age. You can create a free account today on, a financial website that helps you track which categories of products and services you spend the most on and reach financial goals you would like to set for yourself, like budgeting for a vacation or contributing to a grandchild’s college education.

Sites like and are also good resources when looking for financial information tailored to seniors. Like this Forbes article, which details the danger in hiring a financial planner who says they specialize in senior finances.


Become a Top Chef

Even the most talented cook can use a little bit of inspiration every now and then. Pinterest is a great tool for collecting and organizing pieces of information, including cleaning tips, products you would like to buy, inspirational quotes, and… delicious recipes.  Browse the site’s “Food & Drink” section to see if anything catches your eye, or use the search function to find new twists on old dishes. It’s a huge help when you’ve got to accommodate your daughter-in-law’s gluten-free diet or switch to a heart-healthy diet as instructed by your doctor.

Not the chef of the family? Pinterest is FILLED with activities for a snowy day, like home décor projects you can DIY and tips for reorganizing your home.

And if when you’re done collecting home organization tips and realize that you need to clean unnecessary items out of your life, it might be time to consider a reorganization of your belongings into a patio home or apartment at Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community!

Entertaining in a Small Space

In your home, you’ve probably hosted a get-together or two (or hundreds)! And while having a large living room or family space once made sense for your growing family, making the decision to move to a retirement community such as Sherwood Oaks, and downsizing possessions and space, is a practical decision for a retiree.

Just because you don’t have the space you once did, that doesn’t mean you can’t host family gatherings as you always have. You just need to think about the space in your patio home or apartment in creative ways.


1. Add some mirrors to your décor.

Mirrors help to open up and brighten a small space. Before a get-together, consider adding some mirrors to your décor. This can be achieved by hanging a mirror on the wall, adding reflective vases, or incorporating a mirror into your centerpiece.


 2. Get creative with the furniture.

Foot stools, spare crates, and furniture from other rooms and outdoors can make great seating. Giada De Laurentiis made this suggestion to The Daily Meal: “Ditch standard table seating and get some great floor pillows.  Have your guests circle up around the coffee table and eat in their lap!” This is a great option for children and relatives who don’t mind opting for the floor.


3. Put your sink to work!

She Knows gave this great tip for entertaining with limited refrigerators space:  Put ice in the sink and use it as a beverage cooler. That way you can free up space to put your famous veggie dip in the fridge until you’re ready for it.


4. Opt for apps.

If serving a full meal seems like a big task for your small space, consider serving appetizers instead. Things like dip and chips or other bite-sized snacks will take up less space but are still delicious. Just remember to tell guests that you will not be serving full meals and try to schedule the gathering so that it won’t interfere with meal time.


5. Take advantage of counter space.

Unless someone will be using your toaster during your party, it’s a safe bet that you can store it in a cupboard. Think about what won’t be put to use and put it in storage temporarily.


6. Think about convenience and traffic flow.

Making the most of your space and having a good flow through your house is important when it’s crowded! If you have a plate of hot dogs on your kitchen counter, have the buns there, also. Don’t put the napkins across the room from the plates. Having guests running around trying to complete their plate is hectic and counterproductive.


7. Make some moves.

Consider moving furniture to other rooms that won’t contribute to seating or table space. You don’t need to redecorate your space forever, just for the day!


8. Have guests prepare food before.

In a great tip from Care2, have guests complete their dishes before they arrive if your event is potluck style. Failing to do so may just result in too many cooks in the kitchen…literally!


9. Take the party to a bigger space on campus!

Sherwood Oaks Retirement Community offers a variety of spaces on campus for hosting family parties, and we even cater! There is more space to fit all of your loved ones without having to leave home!
For more information on reserving campus space, call our receptionist at 724 776-8100. To talk about catering your party, call 724-776-8505 and ask for Jesse.

10 Simple New Years Resolutions for Senior Citizens

Happy 2014! We’re glad to have another exciting year in the books at Sherwood Oaks retirement community, and we are looking forward to everything the New Year will bring. With each New Year comes a new set of resolutions to set for a happier and healthier you.

If you’re looking for simple ways to make 2014 better than the last, here are some of our favorite suggestions:


1. Take Your Health Into Your Hands

Listening to health professionals is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Knowledge is power at any age. Do your own research on healthy habits you can begin based on your individual health needs. If you’re trying to watch your blood sugar levels, find some great sugar-free versions of your favorite foods. If you’re active and trying to come up with stress relief techniques, think about yoga or meditation. From dropping your diet soda habit to taking an hour-long walk a day, you can make small changes for a big difference.


2. Eat Better

Speaking of food habits, 2014 is a great year to provide you body with the right fuel that it is a great resource on nutritious eating, and it suggests that 50% of your plate be fruits and vegetables. It’s a known fact that when you eat better, you feel better!


3. Find a New, Healthy Activity

Not everyone is a runner, and some people hate working out in a group! The great thing about physical fitness is that there are so many ways to incorporate it into your lifestyle. Now is a good time to try out a sport you’ve always wanted to take part in or to swim laps a few times a week like you used to. Experiment and find the right activity for your personality and activity level.


4. Check Something Off of Your Bucket List

Entering your golden years doesn’t mean that the excitement is over! This can be the year you finally take that trip to Paris, reunite with your childhood best friend or buy your dream car. It might take some work, but think about the biggest goal you have yet to accomplish and start working toward it!


5. Connect More With Friends and Family

As children and friends get older, their families grow – and their free time shrinks. Make connecting with loved ones a priority this year. This can happen by scheduling a weekly Skype call with your grandchildren, having coffee every other week with your old high school pals or making sure to fit in a date night every month. Time spent laughing with those that mean the most is time well spent.


6. Reduce

One of the best lessons we ever learn is the difference between “want” and “need.” Making the move from a house to a retirement community is a great example of downsizing and making this important decision. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Look around your home and see where you can reduce clutter. In just a few minutes you can sort through one of those messes you’ve “been meaning to get to” and make your space more usable!

Similarly, the beginning of a new year is a good time to look at your budget and decide where you may be able to cut back.


7. Be a Kid Again 

Did you love riding bikes as a child? Did you take Saturday morning shopping trips with your mother? Think about a happy memory from childhood and bring it back to your life in a new way!


8. Tell Your Story Your Way

Sharing your life with your children and grandchildren will mean more to them than you know. Technology makes it easier to share photos and stories than ever before. Upload old photos toFlickr or start a blog to share your story with the world!


9. Brush Up on New Technology

Speaking of new technology – are you confused about theFacebook feature your granddaughter explained to you? Would you like to figure out how to video chat on your own? Learn about a piece of technology that is of interest through a local community class or your own research! Searching YouTube for tutorials is a good place to start, or reach out to the tech addict in your life!


10. Celebrate the Little Things

Every healthy check up, child’s birthday, and reached goal is another reason to celebrate. Make 2014 the year that you acknowledge and celebrate the good moments!