The vast majority of people don’t really take the time to consider what it would be like if they were alone during their retirement years. When one is younger and life is a hectic blur of family and social obligations it seems almost unimaginable that at some point home would be a quiet space. It is in the face of this extreme quiet that many seniors realize how vulnerable they are. Fortunately, there are several upgrades one can make to ensure the experience is both safe and enjoyable.
Safety is a growing concern for seniors living alone. There is the risk of being injured at home when no one will be there to ensure medical treatment is available and the concern of going out alone.
There are several things seniors can do to improve their overall safety within their own home. Some companies, make it easy to ensure seniors have someone to reach out to in case of an emergency. Wearable devices are wirelessly connected to a broadcast system that can alert the company who will check on the individual. If there is a need for assistance the company can notify the proper authorities or a designated family member or friend. There are even devices that can be used away from the home base to ensure seniors traveling alone are able to receive help quickly no matter where they are.
In addition to creating a communication safety net, there are many home upgrades people can make to create a safer living environment. Bathrooms are often the site of home accidents due to tile floors and slippery surfaces. This is a great place to begin upgrading. Installing handrails near the toilet and in the shower, can make it easier to move in and out of the space. Homes with standard tubs may want to consider renovations to create a walk-in shower with a bench seat to make showering easier and safer.
Small upgrades throughout the home can make it easier and more enjoyable to live alone. New technology allows anyone to control their lights from their smartphone with the use of special Wi-Fi enabled smart lightbulbs. This means not having to get up and find a light switch in the middle of the night, a few taps of an app can change the lighting from dark to bright.
Managing one’s mobility throughout the aging process is a serious concern for most people. It is often seen as a certainty that along with the aging process comes a decrease in mobility. While for some this is true, there are many things individuals can do to reduce the likelihood that their lives will become unnecessarily restrictive as they age.
Diet and exercise are the two keys to maintaining one’s mobility well into retirement. Strength training is something that can be initiated at almost any stage of life with proper supervision and guidance. The benefits of strength training go far beyond losing weight. Strength training has the ability to improve muscle tone and strengthen bones. The bone strengthening benefits of weight bearing exercise are critical for elderly individuals who do not want to experience a significant decrease in their bone density or who are worried about increased fragility and broken bones.
Flexibility exercises are great for ensuring range of motion doesn’t become debilitatingly limited and can even help alleviate symptoms associated with the aging process such as improper posture and increased risks of falls.
Seniors who are overweight face added health challenges. This can be due to decreased ability or interest in cooking healthier foods. Obesity can also be a result of eating more convenience foods once they are cooking only for themselves. Regardless of the reason, a consultation with a dietician can be an informative lesson in healthier options that will make it more enjoyable and healthier to cook for one.
In addition to upgrading one’s home environment and health, seniors should also consider upgrading their social network. Connecting with people online is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family who may have moved away. It also offers an opportunity to connect with new people about shared interests. Having a broad range of people to talk to on a regular basis is an essential component of living alone with a greater sense of security and happiness.