woman with one of the best companion pets for seniors, a small dog

5 Best Companion Pets for Seniors in a Retirement Community

5 Best Companion Pets for Seniors in a Retirement Community

Pets are great companions for anyone, and most people will own at least one in their lifetime. Many senior living communities allow, and even encourage, pet ownership and its many benefits. We love our pets at Freedom Village, and residents get their furry friends involved in community events, take them on walks, and more!

The benefits of pets for seniors

Owning a pet can provide a wide range of physical and mental health benefits. For those who are up for the responsibility, owning a pet can be incredibly rewarding. Here are just a few of the many reasons to get a furry (or not) friend:

  • Companionship: Pets can provide seniors with unconditional love and companionship, which can help combat loneliness and depression. Seniors who live alone or who have lost a spouse may find that owning a pet can help fill the void and provide a sense of purpose.
  • Reduced Stress: Studies have shown that spending time with pets can lower stress levels and reduce anxiety. Pets offer a calming presence and provide a sense of comfort during stressful times.
  • Increased Physical Activity: Owning a pet, particularly a dog, can encourage seniors to get up and move. Walking a dog can provide a great form of exercise, which is important for maintaining physical health and mobility.
  • Improved Mental Health: In addition to reducing stress, pets can also improve overall mental health. Owning a pet can provide a sense of purpose and can help seniors feel more connected to the world around them.
  • Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that owning a pet can lead to lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease. This is likely due to the fact that pets offer a calming presence and can help reduce stress levels.
  • Socialization: Owning a pet can also provide opportunities for socialization. Seniors who own pets may meet other pet owners while out for walks or at the community dog park, which can help combat feelings of isolation.

couple with a small dog in their senior living apartment

The best companion pets for seniors

Ultimately, the best pet for a senior will depend on YOU! Your personal lifestyle and preferences will help guide decision-making when considering getting a pet. It’s important to choose a pet that you’re able to care for and that will provide companionship and joy. Here are a few pets that are well suited for older adults:

1. Dogs

Dogs can be great companions for seniors, particularly those who want to walk and exercise with their pet. Smaller dog breeds, such as Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas, can be easier to manage for those who may have mobility issues or a smaller home. Dogs can join in on the fun more often, making them a perfect addition to an active senior living lifestyle by dressing up for events and taking part in activities with other residents. 

2. Cats

Cats can also make great companions for older adults. They’re relatively low-maintenance and don’t require as much exercise as dogs. Some breeds, such as the Ragdoll cat or the Persian, are known for being particularly affectionate and docile. They’d love to join you for your coffee in the morning or curl up with a good book.

3. Birds

Birds can provide companionship and entertainment for seniors. They don’t require as much physical care as other pets and can be a good choice for people who live in apartments or other smaller living spaces.

4. Fish and turtles

Fish and turtles are also low-maintenance pets that can provide a calming presence for seniors. They’re relatively easy to care for and can be a good choice for seniors who may not be able to provide as much physical care for a pet – or those who enjoy setting up beautiful aquariums!

5. Small mammals

Small mammals, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, or rabbits, can be good choices for seniors who are looking for a pet that’s a little more interactive than a fish or bird but are nearly as easy to care for.

freedom village resident with her dog outside on a walk

How to choose the right pet for you 

Choosing the right pet is an important decision that should be made carefully. Here are a few tips to consider when selecting a pet:

  • Lifestyle: Seniors should consider their lifestyle and choose a pet that fits well with their daily routine. For example, a high-energy dog may not be the best fit for someone who has limited mobility or who lives in a small apartment.
  • Financial Considerations: It’s important to consider the financial cost of owning a pet. Be prepared to cover the cost of food, veterinary care, and other expenses associated with each kind of pet ownership.
  • Living Situation: Seniors should also consider their living situation when choosing a pet. For example, some senior living communities have restrictions on pets, and some pets may not be well suited for living in a small space. However, if there’s an extra bedroom, it could be the perfect spot for a rabbit playpen!
  • Personal Preferences: Finally, seniors should choose a pet that they enjoy and that brings them joy. Some older adults may prefer the companionship of a dog or cat, while others may prefer the low-maintenance nature of a bird or fish.

It’s also a good idea for seniors to consider adopting an older pet, as they may be better suited for a quieter lifestyle and require less training. 

Enjoy a fulfilling retirement at Freedom Village 

When you choose a senior living community that handles all of life’s annoyances like chores, home maintenance, cooking, and cleaning, you have more time to enjoy your favorite things, like your beloved pet. Learn more about our Active Life Plan Community and how it can improve your retirement today.

senior couple baking together

19 Hobbies for Seniors: Healthy Hobbies for Those Over 60

19 Hobbies for Seniors: Healthy Hobbies for Those Over 60

The idea of retirement as a time to sit on your front porch in a rocker has passed. These days, most seniors are opting for a more active retirement. Older adults are exploring new hobbies, learning new skills, pursuing old passions, and becoming more socially active than ever. 

Pursuing hobbies doesn’t just keep you entertained. Plenty of research shows that fulfilling, engaging activities help older adults maintain and improve cognitive function, mood and mental health, and overall happiness. Senior living community hobbies are plentiful and, best of all, are designed with the older adult in mind. 

If you’re a senior in retirement looking for hobby ideas, we have put together a list of 19 activities that run the gamut from indoor to outdoor, physical to intellectual, social to secluded, and everything in between. In fact, we offer many of these hobbies as part of the vibrant, active lifestyle our residents enjoy. 

Indoor Hobbies for Seniors

1. Cooking

The kitchen and dinner table play a huge role in our lives and memories. Many older adults are returning to the kitchen to learn new techniques, dabble with fresh and exciting ingredients, and explore the globe from the comfort of home. Instead of being a daily chore, cooking is a fantastic opportunity to bring friends and family together, entertain, and discover new favorite dishes. 

2. Playing a Musical Instrument

Retirement is the perfect time to dust off your musical skills (or develop them if you’ve never explored them before). Many seniors choose to spend their time exercising their musical chops in community choirs or orchestras or simply jamming with friends on a Friday night. 

3. Crocheting

Crocheting has enjoyed a renaissance thanks to the rise of the internet. Once you learn the technique, it’s fun and easy to create just about anything you can think of: blankets, clothes, little stuffed animals, fun embellishments for clothing, and so much more. 

4. Board and Card Games 

Game nights are an excellent way to spend time together, get a little competitive, and be social. Popular games include bunco, bridge, and many more. These days, you can even play games on the go with popular apps like Words With Friends and others. 

5. Arts and Crafts

Many people enjoy using their hands to create beautiful and useful items like jewelry, pottery, mosaics, etc. Scrapbooking is one popular activity that is fun for children and adults alike. Arts and crafts can be created solo or with a group, making it a perfect hobby for both introverts and extroverts.   

Outdoor Hobbies for Seniors

6. Hiking and Biking

The great outdoors offers so many opportunities to stay physically active, get some fresh air, and enjoy nature. Parks and nature trails provide solitude and scenic views, and many cities have bike trails that loop through the town and surrounding countryside. Freedom Village has beautiful trails that help our residents stay active and close to home. 

7. Gardening

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies for seniors (and other ages) for many reasons. It’s a great low-impact form of exercise, produces beautiful and tangible results, and allows you to wield your creativity. Many senior living communities, like Freedom Village, have community gardens and gardening clubs, which are great ways to meet others who share your green thumb and can offer tips and tricks.

Health and Fitness Hobbies for Seniors

8. Tai Chi

The ancient martial art of tai chi combines thoughtful movement with meditation for a whole-body wellness experience. This type of low-impact exercise focuses on strengthening muscles, toning the body, and slowing down the mind. Among many others, this is one of the activities offered at Freedom Village and one of our most popular.

9. Golfing 

Golfing is popular among retirees, many of whom may have played for work or recreation in the past. It’s a sport that can be played solo or as a group and is always an opportunity for conversation, refreshments, and good, clean, and competitive fun.

10. Pickleball

Pickleball is a hugely popular sport that combines tennis, badminton, and pingpong. It’s a lower-intensity cardio workout that comes with a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. It’s an excellent way to stay active with friends or a loved one. 

11. Bowling

Much like golf, bowling is an all-ages, all-level sport with a significant social element to it. Bowling alleys range from the classic to high-end, and most have leagues you can watch or join. It can be a fun one-off event or developed into an ongoing hobby. 

Social Hobbies for Older Adults

12. Clubs and Groups

Book clubs, cooking clubs, walking clubs, discussion groups … they’re all focused on one thing: bringing a group of people with similar interests together to do something enjoyable. The clubs and groups at Freedom Village cover a wide range from purely social (like dinner clubs) to educational and so much more.

13. Volunteering and Mentoring

Many seniors choose to give back to their communities through volunteering in their retirement. Research shows that volunteering improves mental and physical health, provides a sense of purpose, and is a great way to meet new people of all ages. Mentoring is another activity that provides innumerable benefits for both parties in a mentor-and-mentee relationship. 

14. Lifelong Learning 

Learning doesn’t stop when you reach a certain age. Many seniors choose to use their leisure time to expand their knowledge and broaden their minds. Active older adults can spend time learning a new language, diving into history, learning to write a book, or anything else that piques their interests. Plenty of courses are available online and through local universities to keep everyone engaged. 

15. Traveling 

Many couples and friends finally have the time in retirement to travel to their heart’s content without the pressures of work, family, or pets. Whether traveling across town or the globe, traveling together is an excellent opportunity for new experiences, cultures, and interests. 

Online Hobbies for Seniors

16. Solving Puzzles

Puzzle games are just a click away, thanks to mobile apps like Wordscapes, Candy Crush, and countless others. Solving puzzles is a great way to stay mentally sharp and keep your little gray cells active. Logic puzzles, sudoku, crosswords, and word searches are fun activities that can be fun (and sometimes a little addicting).

17. Video Games

Video games aren’t just for the grandkids anymore. With so many different gaming systems and types of games, seniors can find a video game for just about any interest. They can help you stay physically active, improve dexterity, sharpen your mind, or may prove to be just plain entertaining. 

18. Podcasts

Podcasts are like radio shows, only better. You can find podcasts for every topic, hobby, or interest. Whether on a long drive, cleaning the house, running errands, or traveling on a plane, podcasts are a great way to immerse yourself in a story or a wealth of information and make the time fly by. 

19. Genealogy

Many active older adults are tracing their family tree and learning about family history through genealogy research. Thanks to the online digitization of documents and sites like Ancestry.com, finding your ancestors’ stories has never been more accessible or more engaging. 

Find Hobbies To Enrich Your Life at Freedom Village

If your idea of retirement means an engaging social life with like-minded individuals in a community filled with a wealth of amenities, you’ll love everything that’s offered at Freedom Village. Our Active Life Plan Community has beautiful surroundings, a vibrant population, a plethora of events and activities, and so many wellness opportunities so you can make your retirement exactly how you want it.

Contact us to learn more, or schedule a tour and experience our senior lifestyle for yourself.

Shot of an instructor assisting a senior couple with weightlifting exercises in a fitness class

What is an Active Life Plan Community?

What is an Active Life Plan Community?

At Freedom Village, our residents enjoy an active and exciting

lifestyle.

We invite you to join our thriving Active Life Plan Community, where every day is filled with friends, delicious chef-prepared meals, engaging programs, and associates who care about your happiness and well-being.

Read on to learn more about what makes life at the Active Life Plan Community at Freedom Village so special.

Stay Active and Engaged

There’s a reason Freedom Village is among Orange County’s top-rated senior living communities. Our Healthy Living Wellness Clinic is just one of the ways we help residents stay active so they can live their absolute best lives. Wellness perks and amenities at Freedom Village include:

  • Wellness Clinic staffed by a nurse
  • Planned social and recreational programs
  • State-of-the-art fitness club with a full-time fitness trainer
  • Aqua classes
  • Exercise classes, such as balance, stretch, and tai chi

Freedom Village offers a way to experience the life you want, whether you’d like a poolside read, a session to focus on your health and wellness, a lesson in something new, or a class to learn the art of painting. Some of the fun things to do at Freedom Village include:

  • Monthly music concerts
  • Weekly socials and cultural outings
  • Art studio
  • Sip and Paint art classes
  • Men’s and Ladies clubs
  • Book club
  • Daily movies, documentaries, and educational programs

Freedom Village’s Resident Council also offers volunteer opportunities, providing another way for our residents to stay sharp and engaged.

Carefree Living Filled With Convenient Services

Free up your time and spend it staying active and doing the things you love. We’ll take care of the chores, home maintenance, cooking and cleaning – no extra charges or surprise fees.

When you move into Independent Living at Freedom Village, you gain access to all the services and amenities our community has to offer. These include:

  • Maintenance available seven days a week
  • Free scheduled transportation within a 10-mile radius
  • 24-hour front desk reception
  • Secure and gated parking
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in common areas
  • Cable TV
  • Water, sewer, trash service, and electricity

Kick back and relax while our dedicated teams keep you and your living space clean, refreshed, and ready for each new day.

A Personalized Continuum of Care

As an Active Life Plan Community, Freedom Village acknowledges that sometimes, care needs change. To meet those changing needs, a variety of supportive healthcare services and affordable options for care are provided on site, including nursing staff and EMTs on duty 24/7.

With unique residences or rooms in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing, we’re able to address residents’ individual care needs. These services offer peace of mind to the seniors who live here because they know they can count on the community’s support.


Ready to learn more about our Active Life Plan Community? Request a tour or brochure to learn more about the Independent Living lifestyle at Freedom Village today.

adult daughter with her arm around her senior father while they sit together on the couch

Tips for Talking About the Move to Senior Living

Tips for Talking About the Move to Senior Living

Many adult children put off discussing senior living, assuming they will address it when they are ready. However, your parents’ needs are likely to change quickly, so it’s a good idea to have the conversation sooner rather than later.

Keep an open mind when talking about senior living early in life without being overly prescriptive. Having a plan for your parents’ future living arrangements can prepare you for whatever may occur, as well as listening to their desires.

Read on to learn more about the best tips for talking about the move to senior living.

Six Tips for Having the Conversation About Senior Living

Use the following overview to start the conversation with parents, friends, or even another member of your family. Family dynamics and personalities will always shape how the conversation unfolds, but there are ways to approach that to make your loved one feel safe, heard and loved.

1. Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject.

It’s a good idea to discuss senior living with your loved one, regardless if they “need” to make the transition. In order to gain a deeper understanding of your parents’ point of view, ask more specific questions as the conversation unfolds. Both you and your loved one may feel unsure how to approach the topic. Start by asking, “How about never doing chores again?” or “Have you thought about an active senior living community?” can show your parents what they have to gain from the move.

2. Take the time to understand what your parents need.

Identifying your parents’ concerns and taking steps to alleviate them is part of selecting the right senior living community. It’s natural for seniors to worry about losing their independence, which is why conversations you have may revolve around this topic. Tell them that a maintenance-free community gives residents more freedom to do what they love, allowing them to be more independent and relaxed.

3. Understand the terms used in senior living.

Senior living refers to a wide range of options available to people over 55 years old. Life Plan Communities are the most comprehensive option and offer a permanent home and care services. The active, vibrant senior living of today is similar to a resort, not a nursing home as your parents once knew it. In addition to our full continuum of care services, Freedom Village offers a wide range of activities, services, amenities, events, and more. You can demystify senior living by offering these facts.

4. Know that senior living is a lifestyle.

People are often perceived as transitioning to a community because they have had an incident or accident or they have declined in health. Most of the time, this isn’t true. The possibility of moving into a community is available to older adults regardless of their age. The reason for moving may be to remain close to family and friends, for increased socialization, or for maintenance-free living.

5. Keep an open and collaborative mindset.

Let everyone who is important to your parents know that you are planning to have the conversation with them. When you receive input and support from others who care for your loved ones, you can make sure their needs, wishes, and best interests are always taken into account. Ensure that everyone important in your parents’ lives is aware this issue is now on the table and ready to be discussed.

6. Show empathy and kindness.

Taking the time to listen more than you speak will help you identify what your parents are concerned about and what their questions are about the transition to senior living.This entire topic can bring up feelings of frustration and fear for many seniors. Some might even prefer hearing about moving to senior living first from a doctor, priest, or close friend instead of their child. It’s even possible that someone else in your family is better suited to have this conversation with your parents.

If you think your parents or loved ones might be ready for senior living in an active community, explore how to get started with independent living below. We’re here as a resource for families and to answer any questions you may have.

A Personalized Continuum of Care

As an Active Life Plan Community, Freedom Village acknowledges that sometimes care needs change. To meet those changing needs, there are a variety of supportive healthcare services and affordable options for care provided on site, including nursing staff and EMTs on duty 24/7.

With unique residences or rooms in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, we’re able to address residents’ individual care needs. These services offer peace of mind to the seniors who live here because they know they can count on the community’s support.

Contact us today to learn more about how you/your loved one can benefit from the move to senior living.

Happy senior adult laugh during book club meeting

Making the Most of Every Day: Independent Living at Freedom Village

Making the Most of Every Day: Independent Living at Freedom Village

What have you got to gain from the move to Independent Living? Everything.

Moving to Freedom Village means being part of a thriving, welcoming senior living community where every day is filled with the company of friends, delicious chef-crafted meals, engaging programs, and the responsive attention of associates who care about your happiness and well-being.

We’re an Active Life Plan Community offering just that: a plan for your life. And with one- and two-bedroom residences, you’re sure to find the right fit for your independent lifestyle.

Read on to learn more about Independent Living at Freedom Village.

Stay Active and Engaged

Freedom Village is one of Orange County’s top-rated senior living communities for a reason. Our Healthy Living Wellness Clinic is just one of the ways we help residents live their best lives. Wellness perks and amenities at Freedom Village include:

  • Wellness Clinic staffed by a nurse
  • Health screenings
  • Planned social and recreational programs
  • State-of-the-art fitness club with a full-time fitness trainer
  • Fitness and wellness classes
  • Swimming and aqua classes
  • Exercise classes such as balance, stretch and tai chi

In this vibrant and social community, you can engage in all the activities that interest you while enjoying a vibrant lifestyle. Freedom Village offers a way to experience the life you want, whether you like to be poolside and immersed in a new book, focus on your health and wellness, learn something new, or are interested in exploring your artistic side. Some of the fun things to do at Freedom Village include:

  • Monthly music concerts
  • Weekly socials and cultural outings
  • Art studio featuring monthly art shows
  • Sip and paint art classes
  • Men’s and Ladies’ Clubs
  • Book club
  • Daily movies, documentaries, and educational programs

Freedom Village’s Resident Council also offers volunteer opportunities in the local community.

Carefree Independent Living Filled with Convenient Services

Free up your time and spend it doing the things you love. We’ll take care of the chores, home maintenance, cooking and cleaning. All these services are included. No extra charges or surprise fees.

When you move into Independent Living at Freedom Village, you gain access to all the services and amenities our community has to offer. These include:

  • Maintenance available seven days a week
  • Free, scheduled transportation within a 10-mile radius
  • 24-hour front desk reception
  • 24-hour front desk reception
  • Secure and gated parking
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in common areas
  • Cable TV
  • Water, sewer, trash service, and electricity

Kick back and relax while our dedicated teams keep you and your living space clean, refreshed, and ready for each new day.

Fine Dining Options

Freedom Village offers a variety of dining options for casual and classic dining lovers alike. Our four unique dining venues offer a dynamic culinary experience that will keep you coming back for more. We stay busy in the kitchen so you don’t have to (if you don’t want to).

In addition to home-cooked favorites and classics, our chef and his skilled culinary team prepare fine dining options from scratch. This includes many resident-suggested dishes that became fast favorites and are now part of our rotating seasonal menus.

Our meals are always made to order, and we offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-sodium options every day. Our chef’s garden is filled with fresh organic herbs grown right outside the kitchen, so you enjoy delicious meals prepared with the freshest ingredients possible. Our menus change every week and include up to 10 entrées to choose from. Plus, with a variety of baked goods straight from our kitchen, there’s always something delicious to eat.

A Personalized Continuum of Care

As an Active Life Plan Community, Freedom Village acknowledges that sometimes, care needs change. To meet those changing needs, there are a variety of supportive healthcare services and affordable options for care provided on site, including nursing staff and EMTs on duty 24/7.

With unique residences or rooms in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing, we’re able to address residents’ individual care needs. These services offer peace of mind to the seniors who live here because they know they can count on the community’s support.

Request a tour or brochure to learn more about the Independent Living lifestyle at Freedom Village today.