Start the year off right by making some simple changes for aging well in the comfort of your home! Over 90% of older adults state that they wish to remain in their own homes as they age, but few do what it takes to help make that happen. Rather than unrealistic resolutions for 2016, start with five simple steps towards aging well and taking control of “aging in place” the way you want.
Five Easy New Year’s Resolutions for Aging Well at Home
- Do “quick clean ups” regularly to maintain home safety. You don’t even have to do this one yourself: get help from our home caregivers or your local home care company/cleaning service or family! Just make it a regular part of your schedule to do a quick cleanup of an area of your home, to reduce clutter, ensure safe pathways for walking and make sure items are in easy reach. One way to do this is to pick one room/area for each week. You can use our falls prevention home safety checklist as a guide to help keep your home safe and comfortable.
- Organize your records. Okay, this may take some time…so resolve to spend a little time getting started on this and at least pulling together the most important information in January. If you don’t already have a medical records notebook (or online version), pull together your basic medical information: doctors you see (including their specialty/what they’re treating you for and how to reach them), diagnoses, medication list (preferably with previous medications you’ve tried that have not worked or caused side effects), and recent tests/summaries. This year, begin collecting a copy of any important test results (blood work, findings from scans, etc.) to add to your notebook or scan into your online record. Make sure your designated healthcare surrogate can access this information.
- Add a few minutes of extra movement to your day! Every little bit helps when it comes to exercising, so if you can add some extra movement to your daily routine it can go a long way to increasing mobility and strength. This doesn’t have to be anything major, and make sure to talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions. Think about: parking further away at the store/mall, taking a walk around the block, doing some gardening, or just making sure to get up and walk around or stretch when sitting too long. Here are a few of our posts for some additional ideas: Active Aging Exercises and Balance and Falls Prevention In-Home Fitness.
- Schedule your preventative healthcare. Medicare covers a lot of preventative screenings and services at 100%! Take a look at what you need to do this year and put the visits on your calendar, including your annual wellness exam. Staying healthy via prevention is your best bet for aging well at home on your own terms!
- Plan something fun every month (every week would be even better!). Resolve to plan at least one event to look forward to each month. This could be the chance to try something new such as taking a class, attending a local site or event or trying a new restaurant. Or, schedule time to a visit with an old friend or family member you don’t see as much as you’d like. You could plan a small trip or just get to know your local area better. Our senior concierge provides assistance with planning and logistics if you need it…from determining the most senior-friendly ways to travel or attend an event to driving you and being there with you in case you need help. It’s important to do something for yourself on a regular basis…it helps you with aging well, keeping your mind active and continuing to thrive.
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Our team wishes you a happy, healthy 2016 of aging well and wisely on your own terms! Contact us if we can help or if you’d like to suggest a topic for our blog.