People of the older generation understandably want to stay and live independently at home for as long as possible. Here are five ways to keep living the life you have chosen and enjoy it to the fullest.
1. Focus on Fitness
Keeping fit is important at all stages of life but as we age and the chances of a fall increases, fitness is vital.
Exercises that focus on strength and balance are particularly important as older people often have poor balance due to a number of factors such as deteriorating vision and loss of muscle strength or joint flexibility.
Exercise, alongside a healthy diet, can keep you independent for longer by fighting off illness and strengthening your body, which in turn reduces the risk of a fall.
Gentle activities which can be enjoyed are daily walks, water aerobics, a round of golf or a yoga class.
2. Don’t Skip Medical Appointments
Always attend your medical appointments because it is better to detect a health issue early and address it with the right medication, than leave it too late and risk immobilizing yourself with a trip or fall.
A routine check-up is also your chance to speak to the doctor and ask any questions you may have. It also creates a good bond between you and your healthcare professionals so you work towards a common goal of taking all the necessary steps to stay independent, active and healthy.
A medical professional will also be able to organize a home assessment which supports your evolving needs such as the installation of a Lifton home elevator or eliminate any potential hazards.
3. Get Involved in Your Community
Whilst it will be fun to enjoy a new laid-back lifestyle in your retirement, a sense of purpose is a basic psychological need and by setting yourself a loose but regular schedule of events, you will feel motivated, positive and your daily life will feel more meaningful.
Volunteering also has psychological benefits as it increases overall life satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself because you are helping others. It can also help to decreases stress, ease depression and combat loneliness.
The feeling of satisfaction, belonging, and emotional bolstering that comes from giving something back to your local community, is tangible. Taking part in community initiatives, events, or neighborhood programs also gets you in front of like-minded people, helps keep your brain and body active, and even creates opportunities to develop new skills and interests.
Being active in the community in old age is a way to challenge the isolation and social exclusion that many older people feel in western societies which are much more tailored to the young.
4. Make Use of Connected Technology
Using email, social media and your smart phone are great ways to keep in touch with friends and family and reach out if you need help and support.
The internet of things also makes life at home easier as nowadays you can control the heating, the lighting and even home security systems from a simple app on your phone.
All of these functions help to run a more efficient home and often have a positive financial impact, leaving you to enjoy the savings on having a great retirement.
5. Save for the Daily Bills but Consider Long-Term Care Insurance
Retirement savings are important for living an independent lifestyle, but whilst they are key for covering daily purchases such as food, housing and clothes, if there comes a time when you might need extra care for eating, dressing etc, a financial back-up plan is going to be a good idea.
Insurance for long-term care is one option. It covers services like home care and assisted living when you have a high level of need.
Research to date has demonstrated that those who tap into their insurance benefits have a high level of satisfaction in regards to receiving significant help.