If given the choice to age well, to enjoy your golden years full of energy and exuberance, or to age poorly and suffer from health issues that prevent you from fully living the later years of your life, you would most likely choose healthy aging. In fact, you are probably already taking steps to ensure that you age well by eating right, exercising regularly and scheduling routine checkups and screenings with your doctor. However, even doing all the right things doesn’t always prevent issues from arising.
Below are 6 tips for creating a contingency plan that ensures you are prepared for those possible hiccups along the way.
1. Perform an annual home safety review. Certain areas of the home can become hazardous as you age. For example, bathtubs, stairs and kitchen appliances may require some updates to ensure your safety down the road. Although some of these changes may seem premature right now, performing an annual home safety review will ensure you are prepared if there are any changes in your health or mobility.
2. Improve your strength and balance. Falls can be detrimental to older adults as they often lead to serious disability, health problems and even death. Taking the necessary precautions to prevent falls is extremely important, but so is exercise. Improving your strength and balance can help ensure you recover faster from a possible fall.
3. Explore your care options. Where do you hope to age? With advancing age often comes the need to seek additional assistance from outside sources. If remaining in your home is important to you, then reviewing your in-home care options ahead time and developing a plan of action with your family members will make the decision process much easier for everyone.
4. Plan ahead. At some point, household chores, meal preparation, transportation and home repairs will become challenging and you will need to seek assistance. These tasks can be hired out to a reputable home care agency or shared among family and friends. Explore your options and make a plan for when assistance becomes necessary.
5. Create an emergency plan. In the event of an emergency, whom would you call? What would you do if you fell and were unable to call for help? Do you have a caregiver, family member or neighbor that can regularly check in on you? These are important questions that should be addressed when planning for emergencies. Also, make sure that emergency phone numbers are clearly visible near your phone or programmed into your speed dial, and consider investing in a personal alarm system.
6. Draft advance care directives. An advance health care directive, also known as a living will, is a set of written instructions that specify what medical actions should be taken in the event you are unable to make decisions due to illness or incapacity. All adults should have advance care directives in place.
For additional tips on aging well and information on in-home care, please visit Home Care Assistance at www.austinhomecareassistance.com or call (512) 623-7800