Families sometimes consider sending seniors to nursing homes for more hands-on care as they age. For those fearful of questionable living conditions, neglectful assisted-living staff, and lacking safety alert systems, a home care agency may be the answer to your nagging question: What does this next stage of life look like for me? If aging in place appeals to you, you can seek out services in your area to learn more about your options.
Ultimately, aging in place, or aging at home, has more benefits than people may realize.
For one thing, seniors still maintain their independence and routine when they live at home. They keep all their home’s everyday comforts without losing a sense of security and familiarity.
Families also don’t have to shell out money for room and board at a nursing home. Most importantly, senior citizens, such as yourself, don’t deal with the stress of leaving home and risking exposure to potentially deadly bacteria.
If you’re insistent on maintaining your independence and can’t bear the thought of spending your golden years within the confines of an assisted living facility, you’ll need to prepare accordingly for the obstacles and restrictions of aging in place. Fortunately, a healthy lifestyle lies within the realm of possibility, even for those reclusive seniors with a there’s-no-place-like-home mentality. Not sure where to start? Follow the steps below.
Reach out to people you know
You never have to go through any transition alone. If you need help with physical services, like washing yourself or getting around your home, a relative, a friend, or a trained aide can assist you.
If your family lives farther away, geriatric care managers can work with you to find a long-term plan that works.
Find ways to reduce stress
As you get older, it’s imperative to monitor stress levels. Stress puts pressure on your body, which, in the long run, can make you sick or tired.
Look at what causes you stress, whether it be finances, your environment, or your thoughts and emotions. Ask for help with these things if you can, or declutter your home and mind with particular exercises and activities.
Utilize technology to get you timely help
Utilize technology that keeps you in touch with help in a medical emergency, especially if you live alone. You can use medical alert buttons or set up cameras for your loved ones to check on you.
Fill your social calendar
As you get older, it’s sometimes easy to sink into grief over losing spouses or friends or thinking too hard about mortality. Seeking out time with friends and family, going for walks, or taking people out for meals are all fun, are meaningful ways to fill your time.
If your family lives far away, video chats and scheduled visits fill the time nicely. You might also host book or quilting clubs or find places to volunteer at.
It’s cliche advice, but seniors must get their sleep. Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns are common problems, so do what you can to relax before bed. Turn the lights down and choose a reasonable hour to get into bed.
Make healthcare visits a priority
Even if you made your health a priority years prior, continue to keep that habit now. Regularly get screened for different kinds of cancers and other health problems. Also, keep up with vaccinations, dentist visits, and vision tests.
Get out in the sunshine
Vitamin D has plenty of benefits for the body, including helping you absorb calcium and other nutrients and lowering your risk of developing different illnesses, like heart disease and cancers. You can get Vitamin D from sunshine, but you can also get it from eggs, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese.
Each person is different, so you can try all kinds of ways to keep yourself healthy and happy at your own home. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, but most of all, continue to enjoy living your life where you’re happiest.