Want to Age Well? Here’s How to Prepare.
You’re most likely already doing many things to ensure that you stay in good health and are able to enjoy your later years. You’re eating right, exercising, and getting checkups and screenings as recommended by your doctor, right? It also makes sense to have some contingency plans for the unexpected.
Adapt your home.
Common areas that need attention as you age include: stairs, baths, and kitchens. You may not need to make changes now, but you should do an annual safety review to plan for necessary updates as your needs change over time. Some changes are easy and inexpensive, while others may require more effort.
You can do more than change your surroundings to prevent falls. You can also do strength and resistance training to improve and maintain balance. Your choice of shoe can also make a difference.
Consider your housing options.
Consider neighborhoods and housing complexes that aren’t developed specifically to serve seniors but are senior friendly because they have plenty of coordinated care and support available. Furthermore, you may want to look into finding an assisted living facility that’s right for you.
Think ahead and plan to ask for help as your needs change.
Some tasks can be taken over by a family member or close friend, while for others you may hire someone as your budget allows. Things such as transpiration, meal preparation, home repair, grocery shopping, and other errands may become more difficult to accomplish without assistance, over time.
Do you know whom to call in an emergency? Are your emergency numbers near your phone or easily located if you don’t have a landline? Is there anyone who regularly checks up on you? What would you do if you fell and couldn’t reach your phone? Do you or have you considered carrying a cell phone?
Write advance care directives.
Every adult should have advance care directives, which include: a living will and durable power of attorney for health care or healthcare proxy. These documents allow you to have your medical wishes carried out even if you become incapacitated by injury or illness to express them.
It’s better to have a plan and options available and not need them, than to wait until you need them to try to put these things in place. The last thing you’ll want to do in a stressful situation is figure things out on the fly. Take a little time now to get prepared and then relax, knowing that you’re prepared for what may come.