4 Tips to Help Seniors Live to the Fullest While Planning for the Future: Guest Blog by John Moreland

This post was written by John Moreland, a retired accountant who writes for Elderimpact.org sharing resources and tips with his fellow retirees and their loved ones. 

4 Tips to Help Seniors Live to the Fullest While Planning for the Future.

Are you a senior who could use some guidance on living safely and well while planning for the future? Many seniors prefer to age in their own homes rather than in a care facility or with a family member. Still others seek the community that assisted-living facilities offer. What’s important is that you’re able to live life to the fullest while making arrangements for your future.

1. Think Safety

A safe environment is a huge part of aging, so take some time to think about safety. If you’re planning on aging-in-place, will you be able to move around your home as you get older and your mobility decreases? Will certain home improvements need to be made?

Because falls are very common for people over 65, talk with family members and construction professionals with fall prevention in mind. Invest in upgrades such as grab bars, non-slip rugs, and proper lighting, now, so that they’ll be ready for you when you need them most.

2. Find Fun Ways to be Active

An active life is a healthy life, but it doesn’t have to mean boring daily workouts. Find unique ways to stay active. Have a dance party in your living room, start a garden in the backyard, or take a trip to the mini golf course. Or try an activity you weren’t able to do prior to your retirement. Just be sure to consult your doctor before trying anything too strenuous!

3. Consider the Benefits of a Service Dog

Did you know that there are service dogs that can aid those with dementia or Alzheimer's? If you or your spouse has either of these disorders beginning work with a service dog in the early stages can help you both prepare for the condition as it worsens. And even if you don’t suffer from these illnesses, a service dog could help evoke happy memories and improve your mood.

4. Spend Time on Hobbies

Many elderly people suffer from loss of meaning later in life, which can lead to feelings of depression or hopelessness.

Stay engaged in everyday life by working on hobbies and interests. If necessary, ask a loved one with help acquiring the materials you’ll need to make your projects a success each day. Stimulating hobbies like reading, knitting, and painting are all great ways to help seniors build a sense of purpose.

That said, if staying busy with hobbies just isn’t that appealing, you might consider finding a job. Depending on how much time you’re seeking to fill, you might start a new career or simply seek out a part-time job. Fulfilling work will help you stay active and put a little extra cash in your bank account in the process.

5. Plan Ahead for End-of-Life

This can be difficult to think about but making end-of-life plans will benefit you, your spouse, and your loved ones. For example, what lengths would you want doctors to go to in order to save your life? Having a living will in place will help your loved ones make the right decision for you in what will be a very difficult time for them.

You should also make sure your spouse and loved ones know where key documents are kept and that they can access them. For example, if certain records are kept in a safety deposit box, make sure your loved ones know it exists and can access the key. You may even want to provide them with instructions on what they'll need in order to access it, such as a death certificate, once you’ve passed. In addition to documents, make sure your loved ones have the passwords to any important online financial accounts, and even your email, so that they can monitor or close those accounts as needed.

The LastingMatters Organizer is a comprehensive guide and resource that will help you compile, organize, and communicate important information that your family will want and need when a life-changing event occurs.

Getting older doesn’t mean you should stop planning for the future. It simply means you’ll be making different considerations. When you take some time to plan for your senior years, you can ensure the time ahead is truly golden.

John Moreland is a retired accountant. He volunteers as a writer for  ElderImpact.org in order to share valuable resources and tips with his fellow retirees and their loved ones.