Making the Most of Retirement: Creative Ideas for Staying Engaged and Productive

Making the Most of Retirement: Creative Ideas for Staying Engaged and Productive

Retirement can be an exciting and fulfilling time in your life, but it can also be a major adjustment period. For many seniors, the transition from a full-time career to retirement can leave them feeling uncertain about how to fill their newfound free time. However, retirement doesn’t have to be a time of inactivity or boredom. In fact, it can be an opportunity to pursue new interests, learn new skills, and engage in meaningful activities that bring joy and purpose to your life.

Here are some creative ideas for staying engaged and productive in retirement:

  1. Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to stay active and engaged in your community. Whether you choose to volunteer at a local charity, school, or hospital, you’ll be able to use your skills and experience to help others. Additionally, volunteering can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment that many retirees find rewarding.
  2. Take up a hobby: Retirement is the perfect time to explore new hobbies or to rediscover old ones. Whether it’s painting, woodworking, gardening, or playing a musical instrument, a hobby can provide a fun and creative outlet for your free time. Plus, it can help keep your mind sharp and engaged.
  3. Learn a new skill: Retirement provides an opportunity to learn new things, and there are plenty of options available. You could take a class at a local community college or online, learn a new language, or develop a new skill like cooking or photography.
  4. Travel: Retirement provides the freedom to travel, and it’s a great way to explore new places and cultures. Whether you choose to travel domestically or internationally, the experience can be enriching and fulfilling.
  5. Stay active: Staying active is essential for maintaining good health in retirement. Whether it’s taking a daily walk, going to the gym, or joining a local sports team, staying active can help you feel better physically and mentally.

Retirement is a time to explore new interests and pursue the things you’ve always wanted to do. By staying engaged and productive, you can make the most of your retirement years and enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding life.

If you’re looking for a vibrant and engaging community to enjoy your retirement, look no further than The Mansions Senior Living. Our community offers a wide range of amenities and activities to help you stay active and fulfilled during your golden years.

From our luxurious apartments to our state-of-the-art fitness center and pool, we have everything you need to live a healthy and happy life. Our on-site restaurant and coffee shop provide delicious meals and beverages, while our full calendar of events and activities ensures that there is always something fun and engaging to do.

At The Mansions Senior Living, we believe that retirement should be a time of adventure, growth, and fulfillment. If you’re interested in learning more about our community, we invite you to visit us and see firsthand what we have to offer. Contact us today to schedule a tour and discover the retirement lifestyle you deserve.

5 Fun Activities Seniors Can Do This Spring in Georgia

5 Fun Activities Seniors Can Do This Spring in Georgia

You might be wondering what to do with your parents and other grandparents this spring. While you might be ready to move on from the winter, spring is a great time to reconnect with family. In addition to weekly get-togethers, springtime is a wonderful time for seniors. From gardening to sports, seniors can do a lot in the spring. Below are a few fun activities seniors can do this spring in Georgia:

See Your Family

Seeing family is a great way to spend time with friends and loved ones. Even if you and your parents haven’t seen each other in a while, it’s still important to see each other. What’s more, it’s a great time to catch up with each other on topics you might have been ignoring for a while. As an added bonus, you might be able to learn much about your parents through their interactions with family. They might say things they wouldn’t want you to know. But more importantly, they might say things they want you to know. If you’ve been neglecting your parents, this is a great time to learn what they want.

Celebrate at an Event

While going to an event with your family can be great, you might have the best time of all when you’re with friends. If your parents enjoy going to events, you can help them by encouraging them to go to the events they like. Father’s Day, grandparent’s day, and other holidays are often times for family get-togethers. But there are also plenty of other occasions for your family to get together. You can help your family celebrate these occasions by encouraging everyone to get together and see old friends and make new ones. And don’t forget to take advantage of the occasion to catch up with your parents.

Walk the Dog

One of the best ways to spend time with your parents is to walk their dog. Not only is it a great way to spend time with your parents, it’s a great way to spend time with your dog. If your parents don’t have a dog of their own, you can also walk your dog while they accompany another dog. While you don’t have as much one-on-one time with your dog, it’s still a good way to spend time with your parents. If your parents live in an apartment or don’t have a backyard, make sure you bring a leash and plans for walking the dog to their house. Not only is it polite, it’s also a great way to spend time with your parents.

Host a Barbecue

While it’s not a barbecue for everyone, hosting a barbecue for family or friends is a great way to spend time with your parents. Hosting a barbecue is one of the best ways to spend time with your parents. Not only can you invite your family and friends, you can also learn a lot about them. Your parents might not have had the chance to cook a meal for a big group in years. While it might be a little nerve-wracking for you, it’s also a great way to catch up with your parents. And while your friends might expect food you’ve prepared, it’s a great way to spend time with your parents. If you live in a small apartment, you can make the barbecue more convenient by bringing food. You can make different dishes than you normally eat so your guests don’t feel self-conscious about eating your food.

Go Birding

While many people think birdwatching is for hobbyists, seniors can do it as well. Seniors can learn a lot about birds and their habitats through birdwatching. In addition to learning about birds, seniors can also make birdfeeders and birdhouses. Every fall, birdfeeders are a common sight. You can help your parents with this project and learn about birds at the same time. If your parents don’t know much about birds, you can still help them with this project. You can also teach your parents about the different habitats of birds and the importance of birdfeeders.


The spring is a wonderful time to spend time with family. Whether your parents are retired or still working, there are plenty of ways to spend time with them. If you’ve been neglecting your family, now is the time to catch up with them. Let them know how much you care by spending time with them here at Mansions Senior Living.

Love, Joy and Friendships: Seniors Share Their Stories at the Mansions

Originally posted here: https://citylifestyle.com/atlanta-ga/articles/home-services/love-joy-and-friendships

These folks know love and life!

We talked to the crew at The Mansions at Alpharetta Senior Independent Living for this special Valentine’s Day report. We asked about the love of their lives and where they find joy these days.

Linda Garyantes:

LOVE: As you live your life, the love of your life changes. When I was young, I lost my husband Joe at 57. I had to revamp my life and find new love! I moved back to Atlanta to be near my children and now I have grandchildren (8 of them) and great-grandchildren (3), so now, they’re the loves of my life! The newest isn’t quite 3 months old and my grandson moved all the way from Seattle to be near family, so we’re blessed.

JOY: The group I sit and eat breakfast with every morning always make me laugh. Laughter is your best medicine. We have people from both political parties plus independent, so our discussion can get quite animated. There are six in my group, and they have made me feel so comfortable and at home since moving to The Mansions in October.

Eloise Cowart:

LOVE: My husband, Fred. He was postmaster of our little town. We had two beautiful daughters eight years apart and we had a beautiful life. We knew each other very young in life. We had a good time together. My oldest brother married Fred’s oldest sister, so we were no strangers. We were 15 when we met.

JOY: I have so many friends. I’m the oldest in my group of friends and they are always there for me. We drink a little wine once in awhile and have a good time.

Ron Queen:

LOVE: As a divorced man, I have to talk about my daughters. My oldest daughter was born in the Panama Canal zone while I was in the Army. She left us three years ago. She was a wonderful person while she was here. My youngest daughter works for a “little” company (Price Waterhouse), lives in Milton and has two kids, a 13-year-old daughter and a 11-year-old son.

JOY: Miss Charlotte is a very nice lady. She and I have had an awful lot of fun. We met when she asked me to sit at her table and I’ve been sitting at her table ever since!

Jean Gaddis:

LOVE: Well, I have eight of them – my eight grandchildren. I couldn’t even pick a favorite out of the bunch. I’ve lived in Atlanta since I was two years old and both of my children married people who were local, so I have been able to see all of my grandchildren grow up. They are the light of my life. I don’t know God could have loved me so much as to give me perfect kids and grandkids – wait, no I shouldn’t say that – nobody’s perfect but they’re as good as they come!

JOY: It’s hard to narrow down who brightens my day the most at The Mansions! The reason I moved was because I was in a 5,000 square foot house by myself. I wanted companionship, camaraderie, and the people here (both staff and residents) are so friendly. Don’t get me wrong – I have my own privacy, or if I want company, I just open the door and walk out. I love my friends, but the staff have sure been great too.

Meet Katie – The Mansions at Decatur Resident

Each month, we’re going to highlight one of our great residents at The Mansions. This month, we’d like to introduce you to Katie Johnson, a resident of The Mansions at Decatur.

When we spoke to Katie in early February, she mentioned that she had been living at the Decatur location for a couple of months, and she’s loving her new home. Katie lives in a two bedroom, one and half bath apartment, which is the perfect size for her needs.

“It works out great for me because I’m single. It’s large. In fact, I lived in a house that was 50 years old, and my bedroom here is larger than the one at my house.”

Why She Chose a Senior Living Community

Katie realized that she needed to make the move to a senior living community when she started having problems with her knees and began having difficulty getting around. “I was unsteady with my balance,” said Katie.

Since moving to The Mansions, she’s begun to take full advantage of the wide variety of included amenities, including the FOX Optimal Living Wellness Program. “A therapist that comes to your apartment to administer therapy and it’s helped me regain strength and balance – it’s an unexpected bonus that makes a whole lot of difference for me,” said Katie.

Reasons for Choosing The Mansions

Her quest for the perfect senior living community began with research. Katie noted, “We did a lot of looking online. My eldest daughter came with me to look at this community. It was so strange the feeling that came over me when I walked in the front door.”

When she stepped into The Mansions, Katie said she immediately felt at peace – and at home.

Shortly after entering the building for the first time, both Katie and her daughter came upon a group of employees leaving a meeting. They were laughing and cheerful – and that fun attitude made quite an impression on her – if the employees were having fun, she would, too!

Why She Loves The Mansions

There are many reasons why Katie enjoys living at The Mansions, but one of the major things that has struck her is the diversity of the community. Many are former professionals – several of her fellow residents are retired schoolteachers and even nurse that worked at DeKalb General for more than 30 years. There are also homemakers and mothers who never worked out of the home. Even with their diverse backgrounds, Katie reports that all the residents get on quite well and has made some very good friends in the short time that she’s been living here.

“The people are very happy.”

The other items that have impressed Katie? She appreciates the fact that the community was extremely beautiful and well-maintained. “I always took good care of my home and I like that my new home is maintained, too.”

Katie also really enjoys the different types of activities that are available to residents, including Zumba classes, continuing education courses, and concerts. In the short amount. of time she’s been living at The Mansions, she’s already attended five concerts. Her next goal is to start taking part in volleyball.

“Anything that you want to do, there’s something to enjoy,” said Katie.

What Would You Like a Potential Resident Know About This Place?

Katie notes that you can be as secluded or as interactive as you want to be. If you want some time to yourself, you can have it, or “you can be the busiest person on the block.”

She’d also like potential residents to know that each apartment is a little different. For example, her apartment has a little outside balcony with a wooden floor while others – on the first floor – have a walkout patio. All are big enough for container pot gardening and lawn furniture.

Katie has already put out two chairs and a table on her deck, and she can’t wait until spring when she can have a cup of coffee on the deck in the morning!

About The Mansions at Decatur

The Mansions at Decatur Senior Independent Living combines luxury living with superb services, an ideal environment for those 55+ looking to lead a worry-free lifestyle. We are located a short drive from Atlanta. Schedule a tour today!

Fragrant, Sensory Sachets Given as Gifts

At Gwinnett Park, a resident named Paul has taken leadership of the DIY Culinary Herb Garden Program. When several fellow residents were in the hospital a few months ago, Paul led a group of other residents to dry the lavender from the Eldergrow garden. These residents created fragrant, sensory sachets as gifts for their friends’ return to the community.

In the video below, you can see a Sandy Springs resident caring for her Eldergrow Therapeutic Garden. As she waters the plants, she remarks on the colors and beauty of the garden. Caring for the garden is a purpose-building sensory activity for many residents.


Mansions Senior Living Brings Nature Indoors with Eldergrow

As the chilly winter months take hold outside, two Mansions Senior Living communities have found innovative ways to engage residents by bringing nature indoors. The Mansions at Sandy Springs in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and The Mansions at Gwinnett Park in Lawrenceville, Georgia, have partnered with Seattle-based Eldergrow to bring their indoor therapeutic gardening programs to residents.

Eldergrow’s mobile, indoor gardens are handcrafted by veterans and adults living with disabilities. The gardens are filled with fragrant, sensory plants, and herbs. Both communities were the first in Georgia to implement Eldergrow’s DIY Culinary Herb Garden Program, which is designed for Assisted Living and Independent Living residents. As part of an “Herb of the Month” program, communities receive fresh Herb of the Month deliveries and monthly Around the World curriculum to accompany the herbs.

Eldergrow Program at The Mansions

In November of 2021, The Mansions at Sandy Springs launched Eldergrow’s Therapeutic Horticulture Garden Program. This program is Eldergrow’s original program designed for Memory Care residents and includes an in-person Eldergrow Educator who teaches classes and provides garden maintenance. Residents kicked off the program by participating in a planting party where they designed their own garden and learned some of the therapeutic benefits of gardening.

If you’d like to learn more about this program or The Mansions, please contact us today!

Best of Gwinnett Winner!

We’ve done it again. We’re proud to have been voted for by the local community. We were named Best of Gwinnett in 2021 by Gwinnett Magazine.

Best of Gwinnett 2021

The Best of Gwinnett designation is the highest rating given to the businesses who receive the largest number of votes from the community. Polls stay open for a 10-month period. Once that period is complete the magazine will vet the businesses. Then, a special Best of Gwinnett issue will be released.

The Mansions is SO happy to have been recognized by so many members of our community!

The Science of Wellbeing

It’s no surprise that a connection to nature plays a positive role in our wellbeing. There have been hundreds of studies looking at this non-pharmacological approach to wellness and how it improves mood, pain management, and physical recovery. Neuroscience suggests that experiences rooted in nature are a positive distraction that can increase pain tolerance and improve coping and healing strategies (Franco et al., 2017).

Eldergrow Program at The Mansions

In 1996, Howard Clinebell coined the term “Ecotherapy” (a.k.a. “Green Therapy”), which refers to healing by healthy interaction with the earth. Scientists from the University of Essex found that as little as five minutes in a natural, “Ecotherapeutic” setting improved mood, motivation, and self-esteem (Barton et al., 2010). The act of gardening embodies these same wellness benefits.

A report done by the University of Washington found that daily gardening reduces the risk factors for dementia by 36% (Wolf et al., 2014). A systematic review in The Gerontological Society of America also found that specifically indoor gardening: (1) slows down cognitive decline in senior living residents with dementia, (2) reduces blood pressure, and (3) improves quality and quantity of residents’ sleep (Yeo et al., 2020).

Looking at the science of therapeutic gardening, it’s easy to see why nature can be so soothing. Mansions Senior Living is proud to partner with Eldergrow to bring the benefits of nature indoors year-round. Nature is a beautiful part of wellness and Eldergrow makes that wellness accessible to everyone.


Barton, Jo, and Pretty, Jules N. (2010, March). What is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health? A Multi-Study Analysis. Environmental Science and Technology, 44(10): 3947-55.

Franco, Lara S., Shanahan, Danielle F., and Fuller, Richard A. (2017, Aug). A Review of the Benefits of Nature Experiences: More Than Meets the Eye. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(8): 864.

The Effects of Isolation & the Importance of Socialization

As we grow older, we tend to become more isolated. Friends and family move away. We tend to restrict our social outings to the familiar, which can decrease over time. Eventually, our social group grows smaller. This can lead to extreme isolation. Studies have shown that loneliness and isolation can lead to serious health problems.

Effects of Isolation on Our Health

A report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) indicates that more than a third of adults over 45 and one-fourth of adults 65 and older are socially isolated. Older adults who are isolated are more likely to suffer from chronic illnesses.

The CDC also reports that isolation and loneliness can put a person’s health at risk. In fact, studies show that social isolation can increase a person’s chance of premature death – the risk might be higher than the risks associated with obesity, lack of physical activity, and smoking. It can also increase the chances of dementia by 50%, heart disease by 29%, and stroke by 32%. Further, if a person feels disconnected from society, it increases the risk of anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, cognitive decline, and potential suicide.

Yet, many older adults find it difficult to make new friends. There are many reasons for this. It’s harder to get out, or you might be too busy with other commitments. Others may feel that they just don’t have the skills to do it anymore. Most, however, can’t find the opportunities. No matter what the reasons, there are many benefits to socializing.

Why It’s So Important to Keep Socializing

Humans need regular social interactions. Studies have proven repeatedly that a strong social network can improve both physical and psychological health as well as decrease the chances of depression, reduce stress, and improve self-esteem.

Speaking of stress, lower stress levels can also improve your immune system response, making you less likely to catch a cold or other more severe infection. Socialization can also help your mindset. If you’re having fun, you’re less likely to feel depressed. Plus, if your social group likes to get out and do physical activities, then you’re more likely to stay physically healthy over time.

How to Stay Social

Most people don’t mean to lose touch. It’s just in our nature to put certain things like friendships on the backburner. You will probably have to take the initiative and reach out. While you might feel awkward doing this, you shouldn’t. Most people welcome the chance to reconnect with friends and family.

Invite People Over

Schedule a get-together with various people, especially if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen them. You can reminisce about old time.

Take Part in Activities

There are many clubs, organizations, and informational meets/seminars that can help you find likeminded individuals. Look for groups that do things that you’re interested in, and then get out there and connect with others.

Mansions Game Time


Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community as well as meet new people. You’ll usually find people of all age groups doing these sorts of activities. If you can’t commit to a regular volunteer schedule, look for groups that offer on-off participation.

Move to a Senior Living Community

Part of the reason that you might be isolated is that you’re still living in the home where you’ve been for many years. A senior living community offers a way that you can still have your own home – but with curated activities and communal dining, you have more opportunities to meet new friends.

Joining activities is key, and the right community will provide shopping outings, wellness classes, doctor’s visits, crafts, clubs you can join, and more. You can invite people you’ve just met over for tea or coffee, or you can sit with new people during mealtime. No matter how shy or reluctant you are, there’s bound to be a way for you to connect with new friends.

The Mansions Offers Many Socialization Opportunities

At The Mansions, each of our communities has its own schedule of events. We also provide regular outings to shopping districts, restaurants, casinos, and almost any other activity you can imagine. If you need help making friends, our staff is happy to make introductions to ease the way. We make socializing easy.

Schedule a free tour today!

The Mansions Testimonial from a Former Resident’s Family

We are coming up on a year since dad left us for his Heavenly home.

I’m writing to let you know how much we appreciate all that the Mansions did to make his final years enjoyable.

When we first started talking about his moving there, he was totally against it.

But the day of his move-in he told Linda “I think I’m going to like it here”. What a relief it was to hear that!

Everyone there was so kind and helpful. It made our lives so much easier knowing that he was in a safe place with meals provided and opportunities to socialize with others. He thoroughly enjoyed being able to sing at the weekly gatherings.

He enjoyed talking and eating with the friends that he made.

I’m sure he did not have the best attitude at times so let me apologize for that.

We are eternally grateful to you and the staff for all that you did for him.

Please let Aimee, Erin, Daryl and Curtis know that they all played a big part in making his life better.

Also, please tell the housekeeping staff that they are much appreciated too. Dad would always tell me that they had been there to clean and that they had done such a good job for him. That too added to his pleasure.

If ever needed, we would be happy to give a good recommendation for The Mansions.

Thanks again for everything,

Terry & Linda Mathias