There are many pros and cons to advancing in age. On one hand, we’re wiser and more secure than we’ve ever been. But on the other, our declining health can present challenges when it comes to remaining independent. We don’t want to burden our families, but giving up everything we know and love isn’t worth it, either. Here are some helpful dos and don’ts for keeping our lives under control as we age.
DO consider moving.
Making cost-effective, safe decisions is key to retaining independence. While you may feel very attached to your current home, it may be much more beneficial to move. There could be a number of reasons why. Perhaps selling your current home would give you the extra money needed to hire part-time, in-home care, or you could check out Pegasus Senior Living.
Senior living communities can customize the level of care you get, so you can live independently, but know that help is right there when you need it. As we know well, declining health means that we might have different needs in the space of a week or month.
DON’T assume benefits will keep you secure.
The main reason we often sell our homes and downsize in older age is because, our government benefits don’t cover everything we need. In general, you shouldn’t assume that Medicare will cover expenses associated with in-home care or senior living. If money is very tight, see if you qualify for Medicaid in your state. They may be able to provide part-time caregivers if relocation or liquidating certain assets isn’t an option.
DO maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Just because life is winding down doesn’t mean you should let it all go to seed. The quality and length of your life can be drastically improved if you pay closer attention to a few different areas. Eating a whole food, mostly plant-based diet can help you control your weight, which can reduce medical costs. Getting a few hours of exercise per week can help you maintain healthier joints and bones as well, which can reduce your chances of getting injured in a trip and fall scenario.
DON’T shy away from others.
Perhaps the biggest health tip is staying social. Talking frequently with others is scientifically proven to help you preserve your memory and other cognitive capabilities. Plus, staying in the loop gives you a network where you can ask for help if needed – which you absolutely should do. Recognizing and avoiding risk is more important than ever in our golden years.
Besides, social interaction and group activities can be very empowering. With certain family members and health situations, it’s easy to always feel as if we have to rely on others, rather than work with others to stay healthy and happy.
A lot of people prepare for older age when they’re still young, but you shouldn’t feel as though all is lost if you haven’t. You just have to be open to change. Let go of things you don’t need, consider moving to a living situation more suited to your needs now, and stay engaged with others. After that, all that’s left is for you to find the comfort and enjoyment you’ve worked your whole life for.