10 Tips to Make Aging Gracefully More Manageable
Being on the Baby Boomer generation's tail end, I'm happy to report I've now entered the senior citizen club.
Am I happy about it? Yes, for many reasons. For one, I'm stunned by the differences in behaviors and views within just one generation between my grandparents and my parents. When my grandparents were in their late '70s, my grandmother wore a housecoat and baked cookies. My grandfather read the newspaper and gardened.
My parents are now in their late 70s. If they're not zooming off to weekend get-togethers for two Corvette clubs, they're riding roller coasters at Disney World or Busch Gardens. So I'm looking forward to seeing what my retired (or maybe semi-retired) life will be if theirs is any indication.
I'm also anxious for that famous quote, "With age comes wisdom," to start working its magic.
It already has. When I helped run a senior travel club for close to a decade, I learned so much from my active, vital, fun-loving members, who never hesitated to share their wisdom — and they spared no details!
I'm grateful for all of those reasons and have tips and tricks on making my life easier as I age.
I've already been using many of the suggestions below to make my life easier as I age.
Now let's keep you fired up on all cylinders. Let's delve into that financial health first, as many consider it the most challenging. Then, relax a bit by reading some tips regarding your physical health and finishing with some mental health helpers. These tips on how to age well will make growing old gracefully not just easier, but more fulfilling.
1. Sign up for Life Insurance
Suppose you followed your own parents' advice and bought life insurance when you were young like I did, then good for you. If you didn't, don't worry, it's not too late to get a policy.
Life insurance is a necessary financial tool to help make sure that your family is protected. It's simple to find term life insurance quotes with a quick, online search.
Life insurance provides peace of mind that your loved ones won't have to worry about financial issues when they're grieving your passing. There are a variety of life insurance options, including:
- Whole Life Insurance: Also called permanent life insurance, this policy offers a payout after death as well as a cash benefit to help your loved ones pay medical bills. But it's expensive and includes a medical exam. So this particular type of coverage is ideal for those who are very healthy and with more expendable income, who want to leave their family with more in the wake of their passing.
- Term Life Insurance: This type of policy is more affordable than whole life insurance since it doesn't build cash value. Still, it does have a payout upon the death of the policyholder. It's an excellent option for those with health conditions who may not qualify for other life insurance policies. Still, it has an age limit of 89.
- Universal Life Insurance: Easier to qualify for than whole life insurance, it's an excellent choice for healthier individuals over the age of 89 with a not-so-tight budget who want to make sure their funeral and other expenses are covered.
- Final Expense Insurance: For those who want affordable insurance and don't have a large number of debts to cover upon their passing, this is a good way for those with strict budgets to cover funeral and other final costs.
Since each life insurance provider has its own internal algorithm for calculating monthly premiums, compare at least three companies to get yourself the most affordable rate.
2. Have a Last Will & Testament
Set your mind at ease by ensuring your finances are not left in shambles for your family by providing your last will and testament is up to date. Seek a lawyer to create the primary document for transferring your assets upon your death. Decide who will manage your estate as executor or trustee.
Suppose you don't draw up a will. In that case, you will have no say in what happens to anything you accumulated in your life, including bank accounts, securities, and real estate. Instead, all of that will be determined by the intestacy laws of the state where you reside.
3. Look for Senior Discounts
Now comes the fun part regarding tips for your financial health — discounts! I'm not just talking about all of the discounts provided by such organizations as AARP or special senior days at grocery stores.
While there seems to be a senior discount everywhere you turn, you may be surprised to learn there are even more than you think, and they can be substantial.
These two examples that surprised me:
First, T-Mobile offers an age discount at age 55, and I now save $40 a month on my phone bill. Additionally, car insurance companies offer age discounts, such as Allstate, which has a 10 percent discount to any retired person at least 55 years old.+
Make a list of all of your bills, then research each company for age-related discounts and contact them to have the discount applied.
4. invest in Balance Aids for Bathroom Safety
Did you know your balance can start to decline in your 40s? Don't wait until you're in your mid-60s and have a fall to buy yourself some gadgets you can use to help maintain your balance. A key part of embracing the aging process is surrounding yourself with the right aids.
You'll want to focus on your bathroom, as the National Institute of Aging found that 80 percent of senior falls happen there. The following bath safety items can help:
5. Try Memory Foam products for Comfort
Memory foam is not just for beds. It made my life so much easier when I found memory-foam shoes while working a front-desk job in which I was on my feet for 10-hour shifts at a time.
In addition, I have memory foam mats in my bathrooms, so I can stand in comfort when I step out of the shower and when I'm in front of the bathroom sink. If you find yourself in pain and not sleeping, wedge pillows and knee pillows can make a significant difference.
6. Invest in Exercise Equipment
Physical activity will help you enjoy more of your life longer. It slows age-related conditions, including osteoporosis and sarcopenia, and keeps your doctor happy by doing what you can to help existing medical conditions.
Suggested exercise equipment for seniors includes a mat, a foam roller, resistance bands, a dumbbell set of light weights, pedal exercisers, and an exercise bike. In order to live longer, you must focus on developing healthy habits. And this involves having an exercise program that works for you.
7. Read in Large Print
I recently discovered the joy of large-print books. I now feel like a speed reader.
Thanks to technology making virtually everything customizable, you can also make life much easier on your aging eyes. You can adjust almost everything you read on-screen, from your phone to your computer monitor, to your ebook device.
I even recently adjusted my DVR recordings list, so I find I'm no longer squinting to read show titles from across the living room.
8. Keep Medication Organized with a Pill Organizer
I take three medications a day, two in the morning and one before bed. Keeping my pill-taking straight could get a little complicated, especially when I veered from my routine, such as when on vacation.
I've found the simplest way to make sure I've taken the right medications at the right time is to use a pill organizer. There are electronic versions, but for now, the simple, inexpensive day-separated plastic container helps make my life easier.
9. Stay Connected
This past year, many of us have experienced what many senior citizens usually do — loneliness and isolation. These feelings can make life so much harder, resulting in several conditions, including depression and cognitive decline.
Reach out and grow your network to help maintain good mental health. Nurture relationships with your spouse or partner, family, friends, neighbors, and others in your community, including young people.
This old age tip will ensure longevity if you're aging in place. Staying connected keeps your emotional state in good condition.
10. Stay Positive
Being in the proper mindset will make your life easier as you age.
What is the proper mindset? Positive aging, which is catching on with older Americans, according to an AARP survey. The term means adopting a positive view of aging as a healthy, regular part of life.
In order to accept old age gracefully, you'll need to stay positive.
In addition to the elderly advice mentioned:
- Remain curious about life.
- Never stop learning about new things.
- Practice positive emotion exercises.
- Adopt an overall healthy lifestyle.
- And don't sweat the small stuff.
These tips for aging gracefully will ensure you lead a healthy and happy life as you move towards old age.
About the Author
About Carex Health Brands
Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.
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