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One of the biggest mistakes seniors make when deciding to relocate from the city to a smaller community is thinking primarily about finances instead of what in their environment will keep them fulfilled, says Ken Prue.
A partner at Living Life Cycles, which helps seniors in eastern Ontario navigate important life changes, Ken says more and more he’s hearing one question from retirees as they plan their moves: What will I do?
“When seniors make the move from the city they might be leaving behind activities and social networks they’ve become accustomed to,” says Ken. In both their new community and their retirement residence, it’s important for seniors to have amenities, diversions and activities that will keep them engaged, Ken says, because idleness and social isolation are the enemies of healthy aging. “It’s important to know what nourishes you,” says Ken. “Having a sense of purpose and a range of activities that support that purpose are really important to overall health.”
Last summer, Murray and Lucy Browning, both 86, sold their North York home and made the move to Palisade Gardens in downtown Cobourg, a 10-minute drive from their summer property in Grafton and much closer to their son and his family in Peterborough.
“There’s always something to do,” says Murray, who likes that he can walk to the Northumberland Art Gallery and take in the occasional round of golf at a nearby course. A former librarian, Lucy has a particular interest in the book club, her husband says. “And they have a big library here.”
Down at the lake, the couple—especially Lucy— likes to swim and have taken several boat cruises with other residents. They’ve also enjoyed lakeside picnics with the Gardens’ “Lunch Bunch,” which has also introduced them to local dining.
“We really didn’t find it was a change so much, because there’s almost everything here.”
Delmanor Northtown – Photograph by Peter Bregg