Tips For Aging in Place

As much as we want to rally against it, getting older is just a fact of life. So, once you start to age, it’s normal to worry what will happen. It’s also normal to want to stay as healthy and active, as well independent, for as long as possible. Read on to learn how you can stay active and age in place happily. Aging in place is defined by having the support needed to live as independently as possible while getting older. This looks different for everyone; however, many elderly people will eventually need assistance as they get older. This includes supports that allow them to stay in their home and maintain a high quality of life.

Stay Safe at Home

You probably want to stay in your home for as long as possible. After all, you’ve made a million happy memories living there and that’s where you belong instead of moving elsewhere. To remain in your home as you get older, you need to plan ahead. Aside from the financial aspect living on a fixed income, you need to make sure your home is a safe place to be. You should create a safety checklist for each level of your home. This needs to include rooms that need updated with safety devices, like the bathroom, and rooms that don’t need any modification. If you live in a two-story home, you need to think about being able to safely transfer from one floor to another.

As we get older, we’re at an increased risk of falls, so if your bedroom is on the second floor, it could pose a problem. You can either move your bedroom to the ground floor, or you could consider installing a lift to make life easier. Having available can offer a variety of home lifts to make your home a safer place, fit your budget, and even increase resale value down the road if you do decide to sell at some point. Installing a home lift can make aging in place easier and help you maintain your independence. You should look into installing additional handrails in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower. Medical alert systems can also be installed in your home to help you get the help you need in case an accident happens.

Get Your Finances in Order

Financial planning is important in every stage of life, including your golden years. You should create a budget that gives you enough money to live enough life without being too restrictive. If you’re on a fixed income, it’s even more important to know where your money is going each month. If you have been saving for retirement, you still need to think about how you’re going to use that money to live the way you want. If you eventually want to move into a senior community, you need to determine how much it’ll cost beforehand. Many assisted living centers are considered luxury, so the cost of living can be expensive.

Make Health a Priority

Maintaining your health is the best way to age in place happily. In addition to eating a healthy diet, you also need to focus on heart health. Regular cardiovascular exercise is the best way to ward off chronic medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and even mental health conditions. In addition to working out in your home, where you can perform gentle body weight exercises, you also need to get outside regularly. Exercising outdoors is a natural mood booster. Using outdoor gym equipment, like the kind offers, is a great alternative to going to gym. You can get a full-body workout while strengthening your core. Keep in mind that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. As you get older, it’s not uncommon to feel alone, especially if you’re an empty nester. If you’re feeling down, reach out to the appropriate parties for support. In addition to free online services, like crisis prevention, there are also community supports in place as well. Most importantly, don’t feel ashamed if you do need to reach out for help.

Create a Transportation Plan

As you get older, it’s important to stay as active as possible. It’s also important to socialize regularly and not isolate yourself at home. If you’re still able to drive, make sure you keep your license current. If you rely of alternative forms of transportation, you have several options. In addition to car service, you can use senior community transportation services, Lyft and Uber. You can also look into rideshare within your community as well. Let family and friends know that you would like their help getting around town.

Embrace Technology

Technology is here to stay, so it’s important to learn how to use it properly. There are multiple platforms to help you stay in touch with family and friends. FaceTime, Zoom, and Google Meet make online chatting easy. In addition, you should upgrade your smartphone and learn how to use it as well. You can download apps that make grocery shopping and even calling a taxi simple. You can also download medical emergency apps that will call for help with just a push of a button.

Research Insurance Coverage

As you get older, your insurance needs may change. You should research what your current plan covers and decide if long-term health care is an option. You also need to think about home healthcare options and whether this is something you’d want in the future. Having a home health aide come to your home and help with daily tasks can help you age in place without having to move.

Think About the Future

Even with all the modifications you make, you still need to think about what will happen if you can’t live alone. Where will you live? Will you move in with extended family, or will you move into a senior retirement community? Also, who will manage your finances in the event you are unable to do so? To avoid miscommunication, it’s a good idea to put your wishes in writing and designate a legal representative.

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