While many seniors will tell younger people to enjoy their youth, your senior years can be a great time to look forward to. In many cases, you’ll have more time to spend with family and friends, more time for hobbies, and more time to relax.
Getting older also presents some challenges, like declining health and mobility limitations (It’s these challenges that cause many seniors to recommend against aging…).
Aging is a natural process, however, and not something to be worried about or scared of. Instead, it’s something to prepare for.
Consider the challenges that aging presents so that you can age gracefully and get the most out of your final years.
Here are four things to prepare for as you get older:
- Metabolism and weight changes
- Cognitive decline
- Vision and hearing loss
- Increasing vulnerability
Metabolism and Weight Changes
As you get older, your metabolism slows down. A slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. It’s more important than ever to commit to some kind of daily exercise and physical activity. Consistent exercise can help boost your metabolism and keep a good range of mobility.
Keeping your metabolism in mind, pay attention when your body tells you it’s full. You may not need to eat as many calories as you did when you were younger. Listening to your body will help you eat the right amount.
Eat a good diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will help ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Try this 28-day Healthy Living Challenge to do more for your health.
Your cognitive abilities need to be kept in good shape during your early senior years. You can do mental exercises that help keep your mind sharp and engaged.
It’s also important to take this time to prepare for a day when you may lose some of your normal cognitive abilities. Get your finances in order.
What account information would a caretaker need? Put it all in one place. It’s worth having a hard copy. Let the people you trust know where it is.
It’s also worth sitting down with a trusted attorney to put together a will and make decisions on how your finances will be handled if you become unable to manage them yourself.
As you’re getting your finances in order, put in place safeguards that make it harder for you to be a victim of scams or fraud.
Is there a trusted person you have to call before making big financial decisions? What if you can’t reach that person? Are there withdrawal limits or other things you can add to your accounts so that even if you attempt to hand over your hard-earned money, you can’t?
Putting some safeguards in place early can help you stay financially stable throughout your senior years.
Vision and Hearing Loss
As you age, your body starts to wear down because it’s been living a full life. You may experience some vision and hearing loss. It’s important to have your eyesight and hearing checked regularly.
If you notice you’re squinting a lot, can’t see much in the distance, or are zooming in to see things better on your screen, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can test your eyesight, prescribe glasses, or even recommend surgeries to improve your vision.
If you have hearing loss, you may need to get hearing aids. A doctor can check your hearing to see what your needs are and work to prolong your hearing.
As you age, you become increasingly vulnerable in many aspects. Seniors can be more vulnerable financially to frauds and scams. Physically, seniors get sick more easily and may take longer to recover. It’s important to maintain good hygiene and wash your hands before meals.
To keep yourself from getting sick, don’t spend time with people who are contagious, especially during the winter. If a friend or family member is sick, send a card instead of visiting.
If you are aware of potential health issues in your family history or from your own medical history, see a doctor regularly. Regular checkups make it easier for doctors to advise preventive measures that can prevent bigger problems down the road. The earlier doctors catch a problem, the easier it is to resolve.
Preparing for Your Senior Years
There’s no reason you shouldn’t live your senior years to the fullest. Keep taking care of your body with good nutrition and exercise.
Take time to prepare for a day when you’re no longer able to be as independent as you once were — put your finances in order, finalize your will, and have crucial conversations with loved ones.
Pay attention to how your body is changing. Have regular doctor’s visits and be open with your doctor. The sooner an irregularity or problem is noticed, the faster and simpler it can be to fix.
Taking care of yourself and preparing for the future will help you have peace of mind and enjoy your golden years.