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Perhaps you’ve heard the term “aging in place.” It means, simply, that you can choose to live where you like during your golden years and, thanks to modern-era tools and technology, you can do so comfortably and confidently. The key is determination, connectedness and a little bit more.
Aging in place means living your best years, how and where YOU want to live them.
These days, seniors are more active and engaged than ever. Many are living where they want, how they want and they’re loving it. They have a few secrets—“keepers,” they sometimes call them—that they’re eager to share with others. Here are five top tips we’ve gleaned from seniors as they live their best lives, every day. You can do it, too!
Daily movement and simple flexibility exercises, seniors insist, are what keeps them able to live in their own homes and not become dependent on others for constant care. They enjoy fresh air, invigorating sunshine, and healthy levels of blood flow and oxygenation. Whether they take regular walks, work to an exercise routine, or merely keep active around the homes they love, they are moving, every day. Of course, be sure your attending physician agrees with whatever your daily regimen should consist of but, as you’ll likely learn, most active seniors insist that movement is a must.
Keep in constant contact.
Frequent conversation with others helps you exercise your mental acuity and provides uplift to your daily mood (keeping the conversation positive or otherwise stimulating). Conversations are healthy workouts for your brain as well as for your cognitive and communicative functions. Most important, conversation with friends, family, and others keeps you from becoming isolated and lonely. Plus, your loved ones will also have the peace of mind knowing they can reach you on a regular basis. When you maintain a regular communication regimen, you’ll make it easier on yourself and others while you continue to live where you like.
Keep up with technology.
The advances in technology allows connection via text, voice and video calls virtually anywhere (this harkens back to the previous tip). Even if you struggle a bit with vision or even hearing, there’s a technology option that can bridge that gap. And today’s technology doesn’t have to be daunting or frightening. While some seniors love digging deep into the technical details, others want easy tap-and-go simplicity; and the good news is that you can have it either way. Don’t forget that many of today’s seniors were technology pioneers back in the day so they understand firsthand the wants and needs of an aging population. The idea here is to incorporate the right amount of technology that keeps you active, aware and able, wherever and however you choose to live.
Keep your expectations in check.
The simple truth is that aging means change—and that’s OK. The way you age, the way you feel, the way you see the world around you means that you’ll be in a constant state of adaptation; accept and embrace it. Again, there are many more options and opportunities afforded to us these days as compared to generations past. When you set an expectation that you’ll simply skim just the best of what’s available around you (that is, only the parts and pieces you want in your life), you will have taken charge of how you respond to change and how you’ll manage your personal choices for what you’re gaining and what you’re trading off. The choice is always yours, and that is a very healthy mindset.
Keep on keepin’ on!
Summing up these five golden tips provided to us, the key takeaway is to keep going. Living how you want to live (“aging in place,” if you prefer) is about your decisions and determinations in how and where you’ll live. Again, you live in a time of choice where you have control over how your daily life will unfold and improve. Yes, these are your years to improve yourself, taking advantage of the new opportunities available to “senior” you while dispensing with previous duties and distractions of the road you’ve traveled to reach this higher ground. Keep going! You’ve reached the top of the summit and the golden valley lies in front of you. Enjoy it and engage in it the way you like. Why? Because you can!
Aging in place is a deliberate act and, while you’re keeping yourself healthy and happy where you live, you’re keeping yourself in charge. Sure, there might come a time when you need or simply want some living assistance but that, too, will be your choice. Do your best to keep active, connected and communicative. You’ll likely discover that you have more to enjoy each day, your way.