6 Ways on how seniors can prepare to "Age Well"
Updated: Jan 26
Aging is inevitable, but aging well takes a little bit of effort. It's important to educate and discuss the various ways your aging parents can prepare to enjoy their later years to the fullest. While regular exercise, doctor visits, and a clean diet are a given, there are many additional ways to ensure quality, dignified living for your loved ones as they grow into their elder years.
1. Encourage regular strength and balance exercises
Regular exercise is a key to optimal health well throughout one's lifespan. However, as your parent's age and become less mobile, their physical activity is likely to decrease. As such, it's important to get them active to ensure optimal health and dignified living as strength and balance exercises will increase the amount of time your aging parent is able to live independently.
Make it a priority to educate your parents on the types of exercises they can do to improve strength and balance, and encourage them to join an aqua fit group or yoga class. Being able to maneuver their home and access the items they need will prepare them to age well. Regular exercise will also help prevent falls, one of the most common injuries for seniors.
2. Adapt the home ahead of time
As soon as you see the decline in mobility, it's crucial to take the proper steps to adapting the home to suit your aging parent's needs. Often times, these changes are only done once problems and safety concerns have emerged.
By adapting the home today, you can prevent hazards moving forward. So, evaluate your loved one's aging condition and see where you can make some changes to improve their quality, independent living. It could be as simple as installing safety bars in the bathroom or as complex as widening the door frames to fit walkers and wheelchairs.
3. Explore senior care help options
There are various options for senior living help available to increase your aging parent's quality of living if they're unable to fully provide for themselves in the future. Put a plan in place for the proper course of actions to take for different scenarios. For example, discuss who in the family wants to take care of meal preparations, home repairs, house cleaning, transportation, finances, etc. If no one is able to assist, there are professional services that can fill the job.
4. Consider senior care options and create a plan for the future
In order to avoid difficulties down the road, it's recommended to discuss your aging parent's future living arrangements while they're still healthy. While every senior wants to remain living in their own home independently for as long as possible, it's crucial to have an idea of their desires if their current situation is to change. Furthermore, discussing the proper course of action to take, it need be, allows for you and your family to create financial plans to ensure optimal. dignified living for your loved one as they grow older.
5. Create a plan for emergencies
As your parent's age, it's important to have a plan put in place in case of an emergency. Determine whether your loved one needs an emergency medical button installed in their home, create a list of emergency phone numbers for them to use, and if needed consider getting your elderly parent a cell phone. It doesn't have to be the latest iPhone nor does it have to be anything more than a cell phone with large buttons and a bright screen. Adjust the settings so the font is easy for them to see, and it'' give the entire family peace of mind.
6. Discuss the things no one wants to bring up
Bringing up the topic of 'what to do if you pass way' is never an easy thing to do. However, it's one of the most important steps to ensuring dignified senior living, even after their passing.
The only way to honor and fulfill your parent's wishes is to discuss their desires while they're still here. Knowing exactly what your parents want when they pass away will give you the confidence and reassurance you need to make the right choices in the future. So, as uncomfortable as it may be, discuss your parent's will, determine who will be the power of attorney, write down the passwords to their online accounts, and have a clear understanding of what their wishes are. Make sure both you and your parents have signed copies of the documents, and the most important yet stressful decisions following a passing will be already done for you.
Age well with dignified living
With these six steps, every senior can age well and with dignified living. Some situations are bound to change as times goes on your parent could even become adamant about remaining in their home despite agreeing to senior housing previously. You may have to make difficult decisions that aren't necessarily outlined in these six steps to ensure optimal living for your parent but having this guideline will certainly help.