As you get older, you may want to think about what changes could help you continue enjoying your life and remain independent and, in your home, as you age. Like any other stage in life, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for getting older. What may work for you will vary based on your needs, the needs of the people who live with you and your lifestyle. For example, some people continue to be very active as they age while others may need certain accommodations to address physical issues. However, all of the below are things everyone should take into account to some extent.
Does your home have a lot of stairs? Could you get around corners if you had to spend time in a wheelchair? You may want to prepare for temporary or permanent mobility issues or address existing issues. For example, you could have bars installed near the toilet and a seat in the shower. If your house is on more than one level, you might want to consider a home elevator. These can be installed in most homes and are probably not as costly as you might imagine them to be. You could even go a step further and look into smart residential elevators for homes. Smart technology can be a great way to age-proof your home since it offers such options as voice activation if your vision or dexterity is poor, and your elevator could be part of a whole system that makes it easier for you to turn on lights, call people, find movies to watch and more.
Isolation is a problem among older people, but it does not have to be. You should think about renewing and strengthening the bonds that you have with friends and family now as well as making new ones. If you have not yet retired, you might want to consider life after retirement and how you will maintain some of those ties. There are many opportunities for older retired people to remain engaged members of the community, whether it is through a place of worship, a hobby, volunteer work or even working part-time or running a small business.
Taking Care of Yourself
Getting older does not mean that health problems are inevitable, but you do need to pay more attention to the basics, such as exercise, getting enough sleep and eating right. Physical activity is good for both your mind and your body, and you can work with your doctor to identify an activity that is right for you.
If you have been putting away money in your retirement account for decades, you are probably in good shape financially. However, many people may have accessed their retirement savings for other expenses or simply not saved enough. And the importance of keeping your finances in order consistently leading up to retirement should not be overlooked. If you are still working, investigate stepping up your contributions. You might also want to brainstorm ways you could continue to make money after traditional retirement age, from continuing to work to more unusual solutions, such as renting out a room in your home on a temporary or long-term basis.