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How to Manage 4 Common Senior Health Stressors
For seniors, the golden years can be an amazing time. In retirement, you have the opportunity to invest more time and energy into your hobbies, travel to destinations you’ve always wanted to explore and volunteer in your community.
But seniors also deal with a myriad of challenges, particularly in relation to their mental and physical health. Being proactive about dealing with these difficulties can make retirement that much more pleasant. Here are a few ways for seniors to remedy these common health issues so that they can feel their best.
Remodeling for Accessibility
Plenty of seniors are perfectly capable of maintaining their independence well into retirement and would prefer to stay in their homes rather than an assisted living facility. But for seniors with minor mobility issues, certain modifications can make a huge difference in their quality of life.
Seniors who want to modify their homes for the sake of accessibility should start with the bathroom. Installing grab bars for safety and creating a wider shower entrance to accommodate mobility aids can make it easier to maneuver around. Plus, having an accessible bathroom can increase your property value, should you ever decide to sell your home. The cost of an accessible bathroom remodel will vary based on your location, but it is worth the price, and could yield you an ROI if ever you decide to sell.
While many seniors can continue living in their homes with some basic modifications, others might feel safer and more comfortable in assisted living facilities. However, finding the funds to pay for these accommodations can be complicated. Seniors often assume that Medicare will automatically cover the nursing home or assisted living expenses, but this is not necessarily true. Medicare will typically only pay for short-term care in skilled nursing facilities after qualifying hospital stays.
Seniors who do not have the savings to pay for assisted living out of pocket will have to first deplete their assets by personally financing their own time in a long-term care facility. After that, they will be eligible for Medicaid, which will pay for stays in most nursing homes. Seniors should ensure that the facility where they plan to live does accept Medicaid payments. Some seniors choose to sell their homes to pay for assisted living, but it’s important to know how much your home is worth beforehand so you know precisely what you can afford. Working with a real estate agent is also highly recommended.
Some seniors enjoy strong social networks in their communities. Others find that as the years go by, they feel lonelier than ever. Loneliness can feel debilitating for seniors, especially if they have recently lost loved ones.
Since many seniors live alone, they can easily go a while without having meaningful social interactions. Seniors should make an effort to find social groups and volunteer organizations that will gladly welcome them. Spending a few days each week working on meaningful projects or going on fun outings with other seniors can be life-changing. Some may also benefit from talking to a therapist.
Managing Medical Conditions
Lots of seniors have to manage medical conditions like high cholesterol, diabetes, and arthritis. Sometimes, keeping track of medications and finding the right treatments can be very stressful, and making a mistake can be dangerous.
A Place for Mom recommends keeping a running list of all of your medications and dosages, and minimizing the number of pharmacists and providers you work with so that wires don’t get crossed, which could result in confusion. Enlisting a loved one to ensure that you’re keeping up with your medication schedule can also provide peace of mind.
Some seniors may worry that their health will hold them back from doing what they really want to do in retirement. Yes, as we age, certain health-related stressors are just par for the course. But with smart financial planning, support from family and friends, and a positive attitude, you can still enjoy good health in your golden years.