July 15, 2022 Submitted by Linden Ponds
At Linden Ponds, an Erickson Senior Living community in Hingham, Mass., residents enjoy a vibrant retirement, thanks to a wide range of events and opportunities that foster meaningful social connections. As an added benefit, these activities and relationships often translate into a healthier lifestyle.
According to The National Institute on Aging, there is a strong correlation between social interaction and health as we age. According to a recent study, seniors with strong social connections experience reduced stress, improved physical health, and less depression and anxiety.
A vibrant environment
That active, engaged lifestyle was just what Ethel Fraga was looking for when she moved to Linden Ponds in November 2019, and since then, she has taken full advantage of the ability to participate - and lead.
"Ethel brightens everyone's day with her smile and her humor, and she exudes an energy that is contagious," says Molly Lynch St. John, community resource manager for Linden Ponds. "We are so fortunate as a community to have her here, where she truly shares her gifts."
Prior to choosing Linden Ponds, Ethel visited six different retirement communities in the area with her nieces.
"I found myself coming back to Linden Ponds several times," she says. "Ultimately, I could see, from the list of weekly events, that there were numerous activities I was interested in exploring. I figured I would find kindred spirits - those like me who enjoy meditation, poetry, walking, concern for the environment. It was obvious that this was an active community with interesting residents and lots of opportunity."
Soon after her move, Ethel joined the Spirituality and Poetry group and began teaching a class on mindfulness practices.
"I am a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction instructor," she says. "I enjoy teaching these practices for personal enrichment, better health, and stress reduction."
Ethel's talent for instruction was honed during her years of experience in education. "Prior to my retirement, I was a high school English teacher and then a school library director," she notes. "I tell people I saved the best teaching for last! I really enjoy teaching mindfulness practices and meditation here at Linden Ponds."
She also took the initiative to form a writing group.
"I call the group Poets Writing," Ethel says. "It is for people who enjoy writing poetry and wish to present their poems to the rest of the group. We then provide gentle feedback on each other's poetry. I found the club easy to start and received lots of support from management."
Time to explore
Extending her involvement to the outdoors, Ethel also enjoys exploring Linden Ponds' scenic 108-acre campus, which encompasses its own arboretum.
"I love walking," she says. "This large, beautiful campus filled with trees and bushes serves me so well. I walk two to three miles a day and, in doing so, I've met many residents who also enjoy walking."
Recently, Ethel combined her love of walking with social consciousness. In response to recent world conflicts, she organized a campuswide Walk for World Peace.
"As a child during World War II, we always prayed for world peace," she says. "That planted a seed inside me. I approached Resident Life with the idea, who, along with pastoral ministries and the fitness center, were very supportive of the Walk for World Peace."
The scenic walk covered the area between the campus clubhouses.
"Afterward, many participants thanked me for organizing it," says Ethel. "That did my heart good. In light of world events, I think it's important to feel like you are doing something positive. This was our 'something.'"
Just the beginning
Each day is a new adventure for Ethel, who says she's grateful for the abundant opportunities to explore her interests while enjoying the company of neighbors.
"Moving to Linden Ponds was a wonderful decision," she says. "I have met some very nice people, and it's been great to divest myself of the work associated with owning a home. I loved my home, but it's good to have more time to spend on being creative and involved."
Currently, Ethel's creative endeavors include organizing her poetry for publication and, most importantly, sharing her creativity with her fellow residents.
"I continue to meet new people," she says. "Smiling and saying 'hello' helps. I also value my dear friends here at Linden Ponds."
Invest in your future at Linden Ponds. From top-notch amenities and activities to affordable, maintenance-free apartment homes, you'll enjoy living your retirement to the fullest. Request more information today!