In an ideal world, your senior years should be a time to relax and put your feet up. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. In fact, many seniors find themselves plagued by a multitude of fears as they enter this new phase in life. Thankfully, Thriving.ai shares some steps you can take to address these common concerns.
Loss of Independence
Regardless of age, people generally enjoy independence and fiercely protect the freedom to do, go, and see as they choose. But as you get older, you may find that your physical and mental faculties are no longer as reliable as they were. The loss of your autonomy then becomes a frightening likelihood. Moreover, your safety also is of utmost concern, especially when you choose to age in place and continue to live independently.
To mitigate your worries, consider making improvements to your home to make it more accessible, which will allow you to continue living independently. As Nationwide notes, there are certain home improvements that will raise your quality of life more than others.
A time may come when independent living is no longer an option for you. Obviously, you want to remain at home for as long as possible, but if you begin to struggle with activities of daily living, it will be in your best interest to work with a care manager to determine the best next steps. This could be in the form of a home health aide or moving to assisted living.
Physical and Cognitive Decline
Beyond the obvious threat to your independence, a potential decline in your mental and physical capacity is also a serious cause for worry. Over time, your mobility will decrease as your physical limitations increase. You may even observe cognitive changes which often are less than ideal.
While there’s no way to stop time and the aging process, you can delay the inevitable through certain lifestyle choices. Regular physical activity and a healthy diet have been known to slow down aging, drinking should be limited, and smoking should be avoided. You can also work on keeping your mind sharp by keeping your brain engaged and being socially active. Look for Meet Up groups that speak to your favorite hobby, or go back to school to take online classes in a subject you’ve always wanted to study. Remote learning opportunities make it easy to learn at your own pace and on your preferred schedule, and becoming a lifelong learner can open the door to staying off cognitive issues.
The final big worry, and likely the biggest, is addressing financial concerns. After retirement, seniors ultimately transition to a fixed income made up of pensions and other benefits. And while many people have been fortunate enough to amass a comfortable nest egg, far more seniors live in poverty. Unfortunately, with today’s ever-rising costs—especially medical costs—a fixed income can have you feeling the pinch.
If you need to boost your income, there are many jobs that are suitable for seniors. You may even consider starting your own business helping other seniors. Caregiving, financial planning, and transportation services are some of the ways you can go into business supporting seniors. Just make sure you maintain precise records in order to spare yourself a lot of headaches come tax time. Investing in affordable, easy to use bookkeeping software can be a big help in that regard.
It's also wise to take stock of your current benefits and any insurance you may have. Many seniors assume that Medicare or Medicaid will cover their stay in assisted living facilities or retirement homes. But, unfortunately, this is often untrue, so make sure to find out what your insurance covers (and what it doesn’t), and explore options that ensure your needs are met.
Lastly, something your insurance will help with is counseling. Counseling or therapy sessions can help you sort through your worries and engage healthy coping skills as you navigate your daily concerns. Therapy generally costs between $65 and $250 per hour, but you can find therapists who accept your insurance. With a skilled therapist, you can find a better way to navigate the worries and obstacles that come with aging.
Suffice it to say, your worries are legitimate, especially as you face the new, uncharted territory of being a senior. However, it also doesn’t need to hamper your ability to live a full life. So, consider what’s ahead of you, and come up with a solid plan to meet your golden years head-on.
Thriving.ai brings everyone involved in health care, social care, informal family care and professional care together to support independent living. No more juggling apps and passwords, Thriving.ai brings it all together for you in one place. If you have any questions, let us know!