Today’s seniors are living longer than ever – and doing so independently. But how? It turns out that good planning and health maintenance are key. Planning for your future – the earlier the better – can help you live independently well into your 80’s. The sooner you make your plans for where and how you want to live in your retirement, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
Communicate with Family
Ensure that your family understands your wishes, preferably before you retire. If they are on board with your care plan early, there will be less stress and fewer difficult conversations later on. Discuss power of attorney and who will be your emergency contact. Make lists of your medications and any other care needs and keep them in a folder that is easily accessible to those who will be involved in your care, or those who will be checking up on you in your retirement. If the whole family is on board with your decision, they can help you maintain your home and your health much longer.
Assess Future Needs
Based on the state of your health, and looking into the future of your needs, asses your current living situation. Does it make sense to move to an independent senior living community early on, to secure your place at a continuing care facility that can meet your needs now and in the future? Is your current home adequate if your care needs changes? For instance, is there a bedroom on the main floor in case there comes a time when you can no longer get up the stairs? Do you have friends and family willing to help with care and maintenance if you experience a change in health or a long illness?
Having conversations about care with our loved ones can be draining and stressful. It’s important to remember that your senior years are meant to be enjoyed. Spend more time with friends and family, enjoy the hobbies you love, and travel as your budget and health allows. Study after study has shown that they key to longevity and health is to stay busy, have fun, and form strong friendships. Ensure that you take advantage of all the joy your retirement has to offer!