Retirement is supposed to be one of the best times of a person’s life. They’ve worked hard, saved money, and now have all the time they want to enjoy the fruits of that labor. Aging also comes with some challenges, though, so it’s important for seniors to make adjustments as they age so they can continue to prosper and enjoy a high quality of life. Read on to find out about six of them.
Plan for the Future
No one wants to consider the possibility of developing a serious, chronic, and debilitating illness. Unfortunately, the likelihood of this happening increases with age. That’s why it’s important for seniors to make provisions for long term care so they can retain their independence and continue to live satisfying lives even in the face of illness or disability. It’s always better to make advanced plans than it is to wait until something goes wrong, so investigate options as early as possible.
Social interaction is essential for seniors. Isolation can contribute to increased risk of dementia, physical disability, and even early death. Staying connected means different things to different people, but it might involve moving to a senior living community, getting involved in volunteering, developing new skills or hobbies that involve heading out of the house to meet others, and more. Seniors can even benefit from using platforms like Facebook and Instagram to keep in touch with far-away friends and family members.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Physical activity is essential for people of all ages. Seniors, in particular, should aim to incorporate at least 2.5 hours of cardiovascular activity into their schedules each week and should also engage in strength training to maintain muscle mass. Routine exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous. Choose activities like walking, swimming, or resistance training.
Try Something New
It’s also important for seniors to exercise their minds. Reading, writing, and even doing crossword or Sudoku puzzles can all improve cognitive function. Plus, meeting new intellectual challenges is immensely satisfying, so it can also improve overall satisfaction.
The retirement years are supposed to provide plenty of opportunities to relax and focus on the self, but that doesn’t mean seniors are better off just looking out for number one. Having a sense of purpose makes people feel happier and more satisfied at any age. That doesn’t mean seniors need to maintain full-time jobs, but they should consider finding ways to volunteer, engage with others, and continue following their dreams.
Get Good Sleep
Seniors often report developing problems with insomnia and other sleep disorders. This can be quite problematic given that a lack of sleep contributes to everything from an increased risk of developing chronic diseases to depression and experiencing a lack of motivation. Practice good sleep hygiene by sticking to a regular bedtime, scheduling a time to turn off electronics and calm down at the end of the night, and avoiding afternoon naps.
The Bottom Line
Aging comes with certain challenges, but they shouldn’t mean seniors can’t live their best lives well into retirement. Thankfully, there are plenty of options available to seniors who want to remain healthy, active, and independent well into old age. Follow the tips above to get a good start, then make further lifestyle adjustments such as hiring caregivers or moving to a senior living community as needed.