February is Senior Independence Month. We all want to remain independent, stay in our homes, and age in place as long as possible. Here are some tips to help older adults maintain their independence:
Studies show that even a little exercise, such as a 20-minute walk, has valuable and long-lasting health benefits. See if your health care plan includes a gym membership. Many Medicare plans include SilverSneakers, allowing you access to thousands of gyms and fitness centers across the country, as well as live online fitness classes and on-demand workout videos.
Socialization and community involvement have proven to be as important as physical activity to older adults’ health and well-being. Join a community center, engage in volunteer work, or join a book club.
Be sure to prepare and sign a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and Living Will. These documents allow you to appoint trusted agents to take financial and health care actions on your behalf in the event of incapacity. You keep decision-making authority over these important matters – as well as peace of mind.
The cost of home care, assisted living and nursing home care are very high, running in the tens of thousand of dollars per month. Meet with a professional who handles long-term care insurance to see if this coverage is an option for you – both medically and financially. It may leave your options open as to where to receive care in the future.
Keep your brain agile with crossword puzzles, Sudoku, “train your brain” games and classes, puzzles, or even learn a new language.
Ensure your home is free of tripping hazards, such as throw rugs and electrical wires. Put nonskid strips on stairs. Remove all clutter from passageways in and around rooms. Bring in a senior home modification professional if your home needs doorways widened, a ramp installed, or a walk-in shower created.
With a little effort and some creativity, you can live your best life and remain independent for years to come!
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