The number of seniors aging in place is at an all time high. According to AARP, nine out of 10 seniors will choose to stay at home after they retire. But aging at home can have disadvantages if the proper steps aren’t taken to ensure seniors stay safe and healthy. Check out these tips for successful aging at home.
Make sure your home is also aging well. Keep your house free from clutter and uneven walking services that can lead to falls. Repair unstable furniture and install safety features in bathrooms and safety rails on stairways. It’s also important to keep the house free of mold and to make sure fire and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order. There are several organizations that offer free or low-cost home repairs for seniors. Dial 2-1-1 for more information.
Know when it’s time to hand over the car keys and take advantage of public or senior transportation services. As a group, senior are sone of the safest drivers, but studies show the risk of having a car accident increases for every year of driving after age 70. The key factors that should be considered are age-related declines in vision and cognitive functioning as well as physical changes.
Stay as active as possible. Mobility is one of the more important aspects of aging at home. Stretching improves flexibility, strengthens muscles and eases joint tension, which in turn helps reduce falls. Light exercise, whether it be a walk around the neighborhood or a dance class at a senior center has long-term physical and mental health benefits.
Widen your social circle. Maintaining a network of family, friends and neighbors can help decrease feelings of loneliness and depression. Participating in group activities such as church services or volunteer activities can also boost self esteem and feelings of self worth, and some studies have even linked meaningful friendships to longer life spans.
Eat healthy to stay healthy. We are what we eat, and as we age and become more at risk for certain diseases, how we fuel our bodies becomes even more important. Keeping your refrigerator stocked with lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables help keep our bodies strong and can help stave off illness.