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Independent Living Activities: Promoting a Healthy, Fulfilling Retirement

By Stacey BurkeMarch 25, 2021
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Independent living activities may vary from one community to the next, but the focus on offering an active, engaging lifestyle in a senior-friendly environment remains the same. Independent living residents enjoy hassle-free living without the burden of daily chores. This allows them to spend more time focusing on their hobbies, relationships and developing a healthy lifestyle.

Independent living offers a variety of activities for seniors designed to appeal to many different interests and preferences. Whether you’re interested in staying fit, learning a new skill, or simply making new friends, you’re sure to find activities that spark your interest in an independent living community.

Activities appeal to diverse interests

Independent living communities allow active older adults to explore, have fun, and try new things so they can lead healthier, happier lives. Communities offer a full calendar of events to give residents the freedom and flexibility to choose the activities that interest them most.

“When building an activities calendar, we make sure we have a balanced mix of events that engage residents’ physical, emotional, intellectual, and creative needs,” says Shawn Richard, Vice President of Residence Experience at Holiday Retirement. “We also ask residents for feedback often. We want to know what they liked or disliked, and use this information when planning ahead.”

Learn more about how independent living activities benefit seniors.

Promoting social connection

The amount of free time that comes with retirement can be both exciting and overwhelming for some older adults. With family and community dynamics continuously changing, the importance of focusing on a fulfilling social life can combat feelings of boredom and isolation. Between coffee at the cafe with a friend and lively board game nights with your peers, independent living activities and amenities leave no shortage of opportunities to connect and socialize.

Independent living activities that encourage social connections may include:

  • Movie night
  • Happy hours
  • Spa day at the beauty salon
  • Library
  • Billiards
  • Computer rooms
  • Outside grilling area
  • Community garden
  • Karaoke

Boosting health and wellness

Physical activity helps seniors stay healthy and improves their quality of life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From fitness classes to walking clubs and communal gardens, independent living activities and amenities offer residents a variety of opportunities to support a healthy, active lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to maintain your fitness routine or just want to try something new, there will be plenty of options to get you started.

Independent living activities and amenities that encourage an active lifestyle may include:

  • Fitness center or gym
  • Group fitness classes
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics
  • Yoga and chair yoga
  • Dance classes
  • Zumba

Flexing mental muscles

Learning a new skill or fine-tuning the ones you already have can keep the brain sharp while encouraging social connection. Group and individual activities are the cornerstone of cognitive and emotional wellness in independent living facilities.

Whether it’s learning a new language or building model airplanes, engaging in classes and exploring new hobbies allow independent living residents to meet others who share similar interests and build a sense of community.

Independent living activities that strengthen cognition and social connection may include:

  • Painting classes
  • Educational lectures
  • Book clubs
  • Computer classes
  • Foreign language classes
  • Writing workshops
  • Quilting
  • Woodworking classes
  • Musical instrument lessons

Talk with a Senior Living Advisor

Our advisors help 300,000 families each year find the right senior care for their loved ones.

Exploring your surroundings

For many older adults, access to complimentary transportation is a valuable independent living service. Although some independent living residents may choose to continue to drive, many communities offer access to reliable, hassle-free transportation for shopping, medical appointments, and other errands.

Independent living facilities plan and coordinate group outings and outdoor excursions to allow residents to explore their surrounding community. These activities allow residents to try new places and experiences while bonding with fellow residents.

Independent living activities that encourage residents to explore and try new things may include:

  • Concerts
  • Local museums
  • Sporting events
  • Plays or musicals
  • Movies
  • Picnics
  • Nature trail walks
  • Community service projects
  • Trips to farmers markets
  • Visits to the park

Embrace your independence

Taking time to nurture a lifestyle that’s fulfilling and engaging after spending decades working or raising a family is invaluable. Independent living enables seniors to maintain autonomy while pursuing interests and living life to the fullest in a secure environment.

If independent living sounds like a good fit for you or a loved one, contact one of our Senior Living Advisors. They can help answer your questions and find personalized senior living options that fit your budget and lifestyle.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Adults Need More Physical Activity.” https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/inactivity-among-adults-50plus/index.html

Association for Psychological Sciences. “Learning New Skills Keeps and Aging Mind Sharp. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/learning-new-skills-keeps-an-aging-mind-sharp.html

Stacey Burke

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