Getting older is inevitable, and as you enter your more mature years, it’s understandable that health and aging stressors start to take over your daily life. Here are three of the biggest ones and how to deal with them.
1. Loneliness Can Become Isolating
There’s a reason that many healthcare programs have incorporated socialization into their framework. And it’s because many seniors admit that they struggle with social connections and feelings of loneliness. Up to 43 percent of older adults say they are lonely, Kaiser Health News reports.
For most seniors, it’s building—and nurturing—meaningful relationships that are the key to relieving loneliness. Spending more time with family, for example, is often a priority over visiting the senior center. Find the connections that matter to you and focus on ways to support those relationships in your daily life—your health might depend on it.
Research suggests that friendships are vital for seniors because socializing reduces stress, helps you get out of the house, and provides mental stimulation. You’re also less likely to be affected by depression, which can make you susceptible to a whole host of other health problems.
2. Living Alone Can Be Frustrating
Many older adults choose to age in place, and staying home keeps you independent and can reduce your living costs versus the expense of assisted living. Of course, living at home has its own challenges. Dealing with mobility issues is just one frustration of living alone, but technology and some smart renovations can help.
Smartphones Help You Stay Connected
For example, today’s smartphones can turn on lights, adjust the thermostat, and remind you when to take medication or go to appointments. They can also help seniors to stay connected with loved ones. A smartphone can interact with home-monitoring equipment, too. Whether it’s home security cameras or a system that allows loved ones to check in on you, a smartphone can help you feel more confident while living alone. There are many new models on the market that offer high performance and speed and have many unique features, and if you sign up for a new wireless plan, you may be able to save purchasing one.
Making Home Modifications Makes Life Easier
Apart from devices that alert loved ones when you need assistance, there are other steps you can take to make living at home safer and more convenient. For example, making slight modifications to your home can enhance accessibility.
Grab bars in the bathroom, for example, and a shower nozzle attachment can help you continue to bathe independently. Other improvements can be costly, but as the Administration for Community Living notes, there are many local and federal programs available to help finance home modifications.
3. Getting Around Doesn’t Get Easier
As seniors age, they tend to lose muscle mass and experience slower metabolism. At the same time, older adults are at higher risk of falling and sustaining serious injuries. But as Mayo Clinic notes, one way to ward off the signs of aging is by continuing to exercise.
Regular workouts can maintain your metabolism, sustain muscle mass, and even improve your balance. As one research review noted, studies have shown that exercise reduces the incidence of falls by anywhere from 13 to 40 percent. Starting out slow is a smart idea, but the benefits of exercise are too significant to ignore.
Stressing out over getting older doesn’t stop the clock. Fortunately, these solutions to common health and aging concerns can help you enjoy life more and worry less.