Guest post (Amy Collett): Changes In Your Senior Years Don’t Have To Cause Your Undue Stress
Delighted to feature another guest blog from the wonderful founder of bizwell.org, Amy Collett.
Once you retire, your life changes, and usually for the better. You are no longer bound to someone else’s time clock, and you have an opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy every hour of every day. However, your senior years may not arrive without a few snags. Issues with your eyesight might make it harder to drive, for example, or your home may become too much of a burden to bear. On top of those examples, we’re all dealing with a pandemic that has taken center stage in our lives. These are all stress factors that can have a negative effect on your retirement, but they don’t have to.
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Driving May Present a Problem, but There’s a Modern Solution
As we get older, each passing year presents an opportunity for issues, such as cognitive decline and failing eyesight, that affect our ability to drive. And around three-quarters of drivers over the age of 65 currently take a prescription that could impact their ability to stay safe behind the wheel. This can leave us feeling boxed in and unable to attend appointments or get around town without asking our friends and family.
There are a few different solutions to this problem, but ridesharing is one of the most effective. When you use a service like Uber, all you have to do is plug your destination into the app and enjoy the ride. While getting into the car with a stranger is the exact opposite of the advice we gave our children, ridesharing is increasingly common. What’s more, most companies require a background check for their drivers.
Don’t Rule Out a Senior Care Community
Our homes present another set of potential issues. Seniors are prone to falling due to many of the same reasons they might have trouble driving, including poor vision and medications. Unfortunately, using a ladder or a stepping stool as well as moving up and down stairs quickly, bending, and balancing, are all part of the process of maintaining your home.
If upkeeping your property becomes too much, an independent or assisted living community can help. Not only will you never have to clean the gutters again, but you also have a community of peers to spend time with, which can be a boon to your health, particularly if you’re previously living alone and suffering the effects of senior isolation. Take a tour of nearby facilities to make sure that you are getting the amenities that you want based on your budget and needs.
If you have significant equity in your home, you may be able to fund your stay in senior living through a home sale. When forming your budget, make sure to account for any additional home-selling costs, including taxes, fees, and realtor commissions.
Plan for End of Life
If you’re feeling stressed about your estate and what you’ll be leaving for your loved ones, make sure you have a plan in place. While you’ve likely already created a will, you may want to think about planning your funeral as well. Not only should you have a plan to cover the cost, you should also prepare for the service and decide what type of burial you’d like. You can take the burden off your family by prepaying for your funeral.
You Can Make Changes to Improve Your Overall Health
Other health concerns that can pop up over the years include arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. In the age of coronavirus, it’s essential that we manage these health issues with some lifestyle changes.
If you have arthritis, for example, including anti-inflammatory foods in your diet can help relieve stiffness. Likewise, when high blood pressure and coronary artery disease begin to rear their ugly heads, food plus senior-friendly exercises can help strengthen your heart. Diabetes also requires that you eat well and exercise. Yoga, Pilates, and walking are all low-impact forms of physical activity that, with your doctor’s approval, you can start with very little experience.
You may want to purchase a smartwatch or fitness tracker to help you reach your fitness goals. Not only do these devices track your progress, but they can also monitor important health metrics like your blood pressure, and they come with stylish accessories so you look and feel your best.
We all have to accept that things change as we age. What we don’t have to accept is that these changes have to lead to negative experiences. From learning how to use a ridesharing service to joining a senior community and improving your health and wellness, there are many ways to circumvent issues that shadow you during your senior years.