Senior stands with his arms crossed in an exercise room.

Age in Place

Baby boomers may soon find themselves in a serious dilemma. Rather than planning ahead, many people only think of eldercare after a crisis has occurred. Our eldercare infrastructure, mostly made up of private pay options, isn’t quite the most affordable thing in the world. Some people are lucky to have loved ones that can step in as caregivers, but understandably, this is not the case for everyone.

Sometimes, children live out of town, or they’re too busy managing their own families, or perhaps their work lives are too hectic to provide the proper amount of care. For seniors without family caregivers, what can be done to stay safe, healthy, and age in place?

Private Caregivers

The most common things people need daily assistance with are: dressing, showering, running errands, cleaning, cooking/grocery shopping, transferring, and using the restroom. These are called ADLs. For seniors with savings, a private caregiver can be hired. A private caregiver is a person who helps a senior around the home. They provide assistance around the house with chores such as bathing, dressing, and clearing the home of clutter. Generally, private caregivers should not be expected to provide medical care, but can be a great aid when aging in place.

The downside, however, is that in-home caregivers can be costly if the senior is not on Medicaid or a Long Term Care insurance program. If you think a caregiver is necessary, check with local agencies such as the city and the county to see what resources are available. Additionally, applying for Medicaid long-term care is a good option if you meet the qualifications.

Staying Fit

Staying fit and physically active is a great way to remain independent and strong. The more activities a person can perform on their own, the more independent they can remain. There are a variety of programs and services available for seniors who would like to stay active. Some adult day programs offer wellness activities such as tennis, swimming, or hiking. Physical fitness improves strength and balance. It will help you stay strong enough to stay independent.

There are many different types of exercises you can take part in. Cardio is popular with people of all ages and increases the oxygen movement through your body. It also keeps the heart healthy. Of course, speak with your doctor before you engage in any new exercise program. Some cardio exercises include walking, light hiking, cycling, and rowing. Yoga and Pilates are activities that will help your balance and keep you flexible, which can help keep you from falling.

Train your muscles by using weight machines, free weights, or resistance exercises. Gaining strength can help you perform tasks around the home. The younger you start these activities the better off you’ll be in the long run. It’s never too late to start exercising; benefits are immediate.

Many people would like to remain in their houses and stay independent as long as possible. This makes sense both financially and on a personal level. It is important, however, to realize that as we age we have limitations. A failure to address these limitations can lead to injuries and sickness.

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