As we age, people start to think about what the best option for their living arrangement is: active adult living community 55+, independent/assisted living communities, multi-generational homes, or aging in place. Whatever you decide there are ways to help you live longer in your home independently safely.
Walk Your Way to Health
All types of physical activity deliver health benefits. For seniors, a daily walking routine is often the best option. Harvard Medical School cites various studies that have confirmed that walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes, reduces cravings for sweets, eases joint pain, and boosts immune function.
Achieving these benefits may require only 20 minutes of walking a day, five days a week. To gain even more from your walks, take them outdoors, with or without a friend. These short bursts of activity can improve your mental outlook in addition to your physical health.
Embrace One-Floor Living
Talk to a universal design specialist to learn how to prepare your home so you can age gracefully. You may need to make significant renovations, or your home may only require a few small changes to accommodate one-floor living.
If your house doesn’t lend itself to a first-floor bedroom, can’t accommodate assistive equipment in the shower, or requires more renovations than you’re willing to make, consider moving to a different home.
It will be easier to change your address now than to wait until health issues dictate a move. You’ll have more time to make decorating decisions and get settled in, so the new house becomes “home” to you and your family.
Get Comfortable With Technology
Technology is rapidly changing many aspects of life, from opening up new ways to receive medical care, new options for staying in touch with family and friends, and new says to manage tasks around the home.
If you aren’t already familiar with tablets and smartphones, take a class at your local library or community center, and learn the basics. (Obviously in person classes will have to wait until we are no longer under a stay in place order, but you may have a family member that through Face Time, Skye, or other video chat options could help you learn about your devices to help you, maybe even a grandchild). You’ll be pleasantly surprised by all the benefits these devices can offer.
Robots and smart homes will play a significant role in independent living. Soon, you’ll be able to control your entire home, from opening windows and unlocking doors to changing the thermostat and ordering delivered meals—all with your voice!