No one wants to need assisted living establishments as they age but sometimes health and deteriorating mental acuity make some hard decisions necessary. Everyone wants to be healthy and sound of mind until the day they die. But, as nature takes its course, a person can lose mobility and suffer from chronic conditions that make it impossible to remain in the family home or live on one’s own. Others suffer from memory loss or dementia to the point where it is not safe for them to live on their own.
1. Plan for retirement Years Early
Don’t wait until health and mental issues make retirement planning impossible. Don’t make your children decide what is best for you. Plan for all the remaining years when there are still choices and possibilities. When a person is newly retired or about to retire, they should take a good look at what life might be like in five, ten, and twenty years. Make a long term senior living plan and a living will and a last will and give copies to the children if there are any, or have a trusted lawyer keep the copies so when you are no longer able to communicate your wishes, someone has a copy of your plan and what you want to happen..
If it is possible a person will need assisted living or nursing care in a facility in the future. Investigate possible facilities before they are needed. Choose possible nursing or assisted living facilities such as Brandywine Senior Living and alternative sites while it is still feasible to make your own choices. At retirement, seniors should sit down and plan their finances going forward. Not everyone has adequate savings to carry them through retirement. Some people will need to rely on social security and part-time employment for as long as possible. It is important to determine spending needs for necessities such as home payments or rent, utilities, food, and healthcare.
2. Plan Financially for the Retirement Years
The retiring person or couple should talk to a financial planner or other professional to help plan the way forward as they age and their needs change. They need to get their financial house in order as much as possible. With less money coming in, it might be time to downsize to a smaller house, townhouse, or apartment. Does the couple still need two vehicles? Healthcare costs will be increasing and steps should be taken to get the best plans for health insurance.
The ideal retirement planning takes place years before retirement when a person or couple has time for payroll savings plans and retirement funds to grow to cover the retirement years. It is never too soon to start planning for retirement. Funds are added to over the years, but not tapped into until retirement. That is the ideal but many couples and individuals do not make sufficient money to save the amount that is recommended by experts and retirement catches them underfunded. When there is less money coming in, the retirees will need to make changes in their lifestyle to match available money.
3. Take Care Of Quality of Life Issues
Once the retirement planning is done and the financial planning is done, there is quality of life issues that affect a person’s happiness and health. People want more than to just exist, they want to feel satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness as much as possible. Seniors want to feel secure in their living arrangements. They want to feel useful. They want to be as healthy and pain-free as possible.
People can have a good quality of life whether they are able to live in independent living senior communities, in senior communities with home help, in assisted living communities, or in nursing facilities with 24-hour care. Nursing homes can be places where residents live lives that are vibrant and fulfilling with the care they need when they need it. Check out each potential nursing home before agreeing to move there. Visit the site and meet the people. Like everything else, there are different qualities of nursing homes with a wide range of costs.
States including Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania have quality residential facilities run by Brandywine Living Centers. These high-quality facilities and others do their best to give residents good care and high quality of life.
4. Take Care of Mental and Physical health
No matter where a senior or couple chooses to live, they should get treatment for mental issues such as depression and dementia, or memory issues. When caught early, many mental issues can be improved or the progress slowed down. Chronic illnesses can be treated to limit mobility decline and constant pain. When people feel better and have pain under control, they are happier. Seniors who remain mentally active with reading, writing, playing brain games, crossword puzzles, sudoku, senior classes, and more stay more mentally alert and healthy.
People who are physically active with exercise programs, walking, cycling, dancing, golfing or other activities adjusted for their physical condition remain healthier with better immune systems, lower blood pressure, and better sleep quality. Physically active people have more stamina, less anxiety, and have improved strength. Exercise, no matter how gentle, really helps create a better quality of life.
5. Seniors Need To Feel Useful and Part of Something
People who are made to feel useful are happier. People who are encouraged to stay connected to their family, community and friends do better as they age. The residential community should offer opportunities for its residents to socialize and stay connected. Isolation is not good for anyone, but especially seniors. If possible, a resident’s family should visit often and take them on outings such as eating in a restaurant.
Volunteering is also healthy for seniors and there are opportunities to volunteer at churches, community centers, and charity organizations. There will also be opportunities within a nursing facility for more mobile members to help other residents get places and to visit others so they experience friendship and company. The most important way to improve a senior citizen’s quality of life is to involve them in the world around them so they feel part of something.