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View from the Village: staying connected and active in the new year

Staying connected is something we all take for granted. Without being aware of it, retirees can lose connections beyond their immediate family. This is the time of life to make a conscious effort to stay in touch with friends and neighbors so as not to feel isolated.

Opportunities that allow you to experience life abound in the Kentlands and Lakelands community. This year the Village at Kentlands and Lakelands (VKL), a program of the Kentlands Community Foundation, sponsored events and helped residents with transportation requests, walking partners and simple household chores. Don’t face your future with fear and dread, understand that you are stronger and more resilient than you think. Understand you are not alone.

Getting older does not automatically mean poor health. Plenty of older people enjoy vigorous health and preventive measures like healthy eating, exercising and managing stress which can help reduce your risk of illness or injuries. Also, it’s important to realize that significant memory loss is not inevitable. Start brain training with games and puzzles and engage in stimulating conversations with people of any age. Surprise yourself by learning new things and trying new environments. The more your brain sharpens and the sooner you start working on it, the better you will feel.

Change can often throw us off track. Coping with it is not easy. Realize that you have many things to be grateful for and enjoy what you have. Even if it’s difficult for you, don’t deny your feelings whether positive or negative. Processing your feelings will enable you to deal with them in a more meaningful way. Don’t surrender to feelings of despair; find meaning and joy in the life you have.

The VKL — a community-based, membership program that lets neighbors help neighbors enjoy healthier, safer and happier lives in their own homes — offers you the chance to stay balanced, energetic, healthy and happy. Look into our new small clubs or even suggest one to us. Get help in your own home or walk with a new partner. Refer to our frequently posted calendar of events on our website at www.villagekentlandslakelands.org or the bulletin boards in the Kentlands Manor or Chevy Chase Street condos. Finding ways to connect and chances for giving back to your community—volunteering—can ward off depression and expand your network of friends and acquaintances. Give it a try by joining the Village at Kentlands and Lakelands; the only thing you have to lose is that feeling of isolation. Living is much more than eating and breathing—become reengaged!

 

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