About Karen Weeks: "After retirement, I was bored and struggled to find a new sense of purpose. So, I decided to learn a new skill. I took a computer course and learned how to build this website (www.elderwellness.net). Now, I try new things all the time. I believe nothing is off limits to seniors and I want to spread the word!"
Aging comes with a few unique challenges, such as increased feelings of isolation, a decline in health, or even changes in memory. It’s very important for seniors to meet these stressors head-on to maintain quality of life and enjoy all the freedom that comes with retirement.
Tackling Feelings of Isolation
A common source of stress among older adults is feelings of isolation or loneliness, and many seniors report feeling alone. You may have recently faced the death of a spouse or close friend or watched your family move to another state. Combat feelings of isolation and don’t let loneliness get the better of you; look for exciting activities in your area such as crafting, taking dance lessons or trying out a new fitness class. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, joining a class is a great way to challenge yourself and find ways to reconnect with people around you.
Overcoming Changes in Mobility
As you age, you may notice changes in your physical abilities, such as taking longer to climb the stairs or feeling a bit off balance. However, don’t let these changes in mobility hold you back; instead, make sure you’re staying active and healthy. Doing a few minutes of exercise every day will help you overcome changes in mobility, and you can maintain your balance and your independence. Do some light strength training to keep your muscles and bones healthy, and mix things up with some yoga or stretching to improve your balance.
Monitoring Declining Health
As you age, you’ll probably experience a few changes in your overall health and well-being. Common health changes in older adults include the onset of arthritis, changes in blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and declining heart health. When you notice changes in your health, visit your doctor as soon as possible, and find out what you can do to improve your health. Whether you change your diet to manage diabetes, take medication to lower your blood pressure, or do exercises to improve your joint health, being proactive and tackling changes in health as soon as possible will help you overcome any declines in health and wellness.
Preventing Changes in Memory
Forgetting where you put your keys can be disconcerting, and we all forget things from time to time. A common stressor for older adults is the change in memory that could signal the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. To keep your memory sharp and lower your risk of developing dementia, keep your body and brain active. Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet will keep your body and mind healthy. Another way to lower your risk of dementia is to keep your mind active. Try some puzzles, learn a new skill, and read books that challenge your mind.
Planning for the Future
Older adults often stress about finances, and you don’t want to be a burden to your family, either during your retirement or after you’ve passed away. Don’t let finances or funeral arrangements cause further anxiety, but plan ahead and give yourself peace of mind knowing everything has been handled. Taking steps to pre-plan your funeral will relieve stress and remove a burden from your family. Decide if you’d like a burial or a cremation, set the service, and discuss your preferences with loved ones. The average cost of a funeral is $9,000, but this can vary. Either way, decide how you’ll cover this expense to ensure your family doesn’t feel any financial stress while they go through the grieving process.
Proactively plan for your future and enjoy all the perks that come with age. Learn how to overcome some of the common health stressors you may face as you get older, and manage your health and wellness to enjoy the golden years of your life in great health.