No Intelligent Activities in Senior Complex


I have been living in a senior apartment complex for four years. I like my apartment despite its small size but I am frustrated that the only activities that are offered to the tenants are bingo and arts and crafts. I have yet to meet anyone who is interested in reading books so a book club would probably not be welcomed.

This complex is a toxic pool of gossip. The tenants are either gossiping or watching TV. I am not professing myself to be highly intelligent but I do enjoy having conversations about business, foreign languages, health and current events.

We have beautiful weather in my area but I hardly ever see anyone taking walks or using the fitness room. I realize that some elderly people don't have the capacity to exercise such as walking but there are many who could enjoy walking around in the fresh air.

Retirement should not be the end to engaging in intellectual activities and keeping informed about local and world events.

I keep hoping for a new neighbor that doesn't substitute television for a good book.

Comments for No Intelligent Activities in Senior Complex

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Thanks for the Great Advice
by: Anonymous

Since my post, I have been reading books for a Travel Book Club at one of my local library branches. I looking forward to attending my first meeting next month. I have already read the next book selections for oncoming meetings. It is a shame that out of 228 tenants, I can't find anyone who has an interest in reading. Oh well!!

I found a quotation in a book that I am rereading that is very appropriate for the discussion in this post.

"The brain is like a muscle. When it is in use we feel very good, Understanding is joyous."
Carl Sagan

Come on everybody. Turn that TV off and flex those brain muscles. It's a big world out there and there is a lot to learn about life.

Book Club
by: Leaking Ink/MA

Perhaps you could join a book club at your local library.

I live in a 55+ adult community and love it, but I am active both in and out of the community I live in.

Before I retired, a retiree that I knew suggested that when I retired to create routines for myself for a portion of my day, and to also make it a commitment to never turn on the tv during the day.

It is the best retirement advice I ever received and has served me well over these 2 years and 9 months since I retired. I believe it is the secret to the wonderful retirement that my husband and I are enjoying. If I happen to be home during the day, I listen to music (various genres). "No tv during the day" has the benefit of forcing you to meet people and get involved in various activities. I enjoy watching tv shows and movies after dinner and kitchen clean-up.

Sometimes, I read a book or go on my iPad while watching tv; other times, I just strictly watch tv; and still other times, I don’t watch tv at all in the evening, but do other activities instead.

I know retired people who keep their tv on all day and evening every single day. It is so sad to me because they don’t have an active life, then they get bored, and some get depressed, and just can’t get out of the hole that they’ve dug for themselves. "TV during the day" is such a bad habit to get into.

They could actually be enjoying their retirement if they could just get beyond that one habit.

Wendy: Totally Agree. My 90+ year old parents watch CNN all day long and are mad at the world. Stop watching! Please! It's really seriously not good for your mental health.

I agree
by: Anonymous

That’s one of the main reasons I’d opt out of a retirement community...but I will say I don’t see much difference in other types of communities either.

It’s sad that so many people have no interests beyond TV and no desire to keep learning about life.

I did live in an area with OLLI, which is Osher Life Learning Institute, which is designed for seniors who are interested in much more than crafts and enjoy the company of others on a more intellectual basis. Unfortunately they are usually only in bigger cities.

Lots of groups on line you could find plus all kinds of courses to take.

I\intellectual Activities
by: Anonymous

If you live in the US most states will allow you to take courses as an auditor at community colleges or state universities if you are over 60 years of age. Some colleges have programs for retired people with short courses as well. We have learning in retirement at our community college. The courses are light, no homework and you can meet people.

Take charge
by: We-Zer

Wendy is right on you starting a book club. Who is in charge of the activities that are offered now? Why don't you talk to them to see if they can enhance the programs.

One thought came to my mind. You say some of the people are toxic and gossip which is normal but not nice for sure. You could start a club called 'good deeds'. It could be a club where you all meet each week and decide what good things you could do for your neighborhood. Maybe you could plant flower bulbs near a veterans monument. Go to a cemetery and rake some leaves with the cemetery's permission. If you know of a shut in person, you could make some freezer meals so the person could just warm up a dinner in the microwave or cook in the oven. Go to a nursing home and visit sick people, read to them, play cards with them.

At your first meeting with your new members have a brainstorming session to decide what to put on your list, what is seasonal like raking and planting flowers. What is important to do soon and what can be done in a month or two. You could have a 6 month calendar of things to do and plan.

Collect soda cans and bottles and take to redemption center. Use the money for good deeds. Become pen pals with a person in the military. Send goodie baskets to people in the military.

by: Sherry/ NC

You could also start a walking club; just be the leader and others will follow!

Take a college course
by: Michael D. Bell Venice Florida

Is there a local college near you? Some colleges offer free tuition to seniors if you simply want to sit in the class without the need to earn credits. You can participate in subject areas that interest you. Also, you will be around younger people, and that might help you live longer. Get away from those old farts that are holding you back!

Book Club
by: Wendy, retirement enthusiast

I encourage you to put up a flyer advertising a Book Club.

Even if it starts with just a few of you, cool! It will grow...
or it will become a book club of known readers. All good.

If not, most Libraries have book clubs and you'd chat with people of all ages and backgrounds (which makes the books more interesting and diverse discussions).

If not, Google: Book Club near me
There are oodles that come up and one might work for you!

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