It’s never too late to start thinking about how you will remain an independent senior. Outside of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other severe illness, we all think we would be able to take care of ourselves as we age. The best time to prepare for senior independence is now, whatever your age.
What steps can you take to ensure that you can be an independent senior?
- If you have decided to live in your present home or apartment for many years, prepare it now for when you are older. Many seniors with chronic illnesses know that there may come a time when it is more difficult to move around or reach certain things. Think ahead and make your home senior ready.
- Where you live is important. Not only do you want to be close to your friends and family but you need to be in an area that has services for seniors. Most seniors are also looking for a healthy outdoor environment. Walking trails and parks are high on their lists of wants. Some towns and cities are rated as retirement areas. Do some research, preferably before you retire and make these decisions while it’s still easier for you to move.
- Decide on what type of accommodation will be best for you as you age. Staying in your home isn’t always the best answer. Owning real estate also may not be best idea since you have to maintain it. Part of being independent is being able to make the best decisions for yourself and look after your own living space. Quite often the best place for you to live may be an apartment or shared accommodations with a close friend.
- Look into services. There are so many options out there. Almost everything can be delivered these days. It saves you time and money. Since many seniors don’t drive, look for delivery services in your area for groceries, library books, prescriptions and just about anything you will need.
- Stay organized. One of the biggest signs that a senior is no longer able to care for themselves is a messy home. Get rid of clutter and things you no longer need. Take care of what you have. Look after your living space, your belongings and yourself to the best of your ability.
- Join a senior’s centre. Rare is the town or city without one or several. Take advantage of senior transportation and visit the centre at least once a week for companionship, games and learning.
- Stay involved. That means different things to different seniors. Some seniors like to volunteer and get involved in their communities. Others stay involved with life by taking online courses and learning new things. Whichever describes your way of involvement, always keep up with the news, especially what is happening locally.
Society is changing and that affects how we live as we age. The number of seniors is growing and towns and cities are still adapting. Preparing for our senior years and managing to live independently will also change over time. Keeping your life simple and looking at your options will help.