Hopefully, many readers will return to this article as the year goes by, to review the ideas presented here and find even more ideas for getting the most out of life as we age. For people who want to go deeper, they may want to read "Healthy Aging" by Andrew Weil, M.D. (Ad) Below is the article by Jennifer Scott.
4 Simple Ways Seniors Can Take More Control of Their Life, Health, and Happiness
You are only as old as you feel, but what steps can you take to help you feel younger? If you are an adult over the age of 65, you may be asking yourself this question on a regular basis. Well, the answers really are not as complicated as you may think. As it turns out, the simplest of changes for your physical and mental health can equate to the most significant increases in your quality of life. Here are a few of those simple changes for you to try.
Make Your Home Safer to Help You Age in Place
Right now, you probably feel fairly safe in your home. But as you age, maintaining that safety becomes slightly more challenging, which is why many seniors opt to modify their homes for safety, accessibility, and convenience. In terms of safety, the changes you need to make are ones which will prevent you from falling in your home. A minor fall may not seem like a big deal, but falls for seniors can result in serious injuries. Falls can even shorten your lifespan or hasten dementia.
With this in mind, you may want to start with modifications which will reduce fall risks, such as installing a walk-in shower or opting for non-slip flooring. Smart home technology can provide safety for older adults, as well, but adding these gadgets can also make your home more convenient for you to age in place comfortably.
Another way to stay safe in your home is by investing in a service for home maintenance. Depending on your mobility, attempting strenuous housework on your own can be harmful. Such tasks may include mowing the lawn, landscaping, and cleaning the house. If you need assistance, hire a professional who is located in your area and is within your budget.
Choose Wisely When It Comes to Medicare Coverage
You also do not want to fall short on your healthcare coverage. Medicare can definitely help you on this front, but you need to know a few facts to get the most benefits out of your plan. That typically involves supplemental coverage, by adding a Medicare supplement to your basic Medicare, OR converting from basic Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan. Before you make those changes, use an online Medicare guide to go through state-by-state plans and coverage. You may also want to do some research around Medicare coverage restrictions. Many Medicare newcomers are surprised to discover that they need to sign up for a separate Medicare Part D plan to cover prescription drugs, particularly if they are on basic Medicare plus a supplement. A drug plan is usually included in most Medicare advantage plans, but you want to be certain. That kind of information is vital, because in most cases you can only make changes to your plan once a year.
You can get a great deal more information about Medicare by reading, "Medicare for Dummies," (Ad), "10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make," (Ad) or a similar book before you make your final selection. It could save you from making a costly mistake in your Medicare coverage.
Use Your Diet to Improve Your Overall Well-Being
Medical care is essential for seniors; however, did you know that proper nutrition and a healthy diet can help prevent many chronic health problems for older adults? Nutrition is always important, but as you get older, your dietary needs tend to change. You may need more fiber to prevent diabetes, less salt to lower your blood pressure, and more whole foods to preserve your overall health. Getting whole foods into your diet can be tricky, however, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. So, if shopping for healthy foods is an obstacle, you may want to try a meal delivery service. (Ad) There are so many options to choose from and you can even customize kits to fit special dietary needs, including vegan, low-carb, and paleo. Many meals from various services are available for under $10.
Commit to Regular Exercise in Your Golden Years
Healthy eating is a good step to improve your health, but for seniors looking to really boost their overall physical health, there’s no better option than regular exercise. For older adults, that involves more than just a regular exercise plan. While exercise is important for your physical health, being active in your senior years requires that you always put safety first. Your physical abilities change as you age, so any form of exercise you engage in needs to be something that you feel completely comfortable with. A good way for seniors to engage in safe and low impact exercise is Pilates. It helps improve flexibility, balance, and strength, and reduces the risk of falls. Pilates studios have professional instructors who can help you modify moves and poses to your abilities, and you’ll get a chance to socialize. There are other low-impact forms of exercise you can try, too, such as swimming, yoga and even walking. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it regularly.
Searching for Happiness? Your Start-up Business May Help
Part-time or full-time retirement is rarely a good thing for us to do. In fact, many seniors make the choice to kick start their careers during retirement age. Over 25 percent of start-ups are established by older adults. That's up from 15 percent two decades ago.
Why are more senior adults choosing to start a business? For the majority, it comes down to what makes them feel fulfilled. Not surprisingly, three-quarters of senior entrepreneurs give their lives a satisfaction rating of 8+ out of 10 after starting a business. They enjoy the challenge and activity that entrepreneurship provides them.
So, if you’re feeling a bit stagnant and idle, then think about which parts of your jobs you loved and what you would want to do going forward. It is completely reasonable to build a career that revolves mostly around the things you love to do. Once you have determined which direction you want to go, it is time to choose a business structure that works for you (for example, many people choose to register as an LLC) and get started!
If you have no idea how to set up a business (most of us are unsure of what to do), then you could begin by reading a book like "How to Start A Business in 30 Days." (Ad) You might also take a class from a local community college. If you have a great idea, there are ways to turn it into a viable business.
The secret to thriving in your golden years is really no secret at all. Making healthier choices — for your mind, body, and spirit — will always lead to more quality in your life. That goes for seniors and anyone looking to live life to the fullest. Your happiness and health are up to you!
Don't forget to also check out the book "Healthy Aging" by Andrew Weil, M.D. (Ad) It will give you even more information about how to improve your life, health and happiness as you age.
For more great resources for your golden years, including retirement information for the US and overseas, check out the articles at Baby Boomer Retirement.
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