It’s an unfortunate reality that as we age, our bodies and facilities will start to diminish. This affects everyone differently, but very few people are as able at age 70 as they were at 17. Over time, older loved ones may start to struggle in their everyday lives – and that’s when families begin considering senior living options for their older members, such as luxury retirement communities.
There are numerous options in senior living, with different emphases. In any case, though, there is one vital aspect to this that is often overlooked: the creation of healthy aging plans. A healthy aging plan can do a lot to ensure your loved one enjoys their retirement years to the fullest!
What Is Healthy Aging?
Simply put, healthy aging means finding the right balance between a person’s quality of life and relative independence, while still dealing with the problems that come from aging. In other words, healthy aging means allowing older people as much freedom as is reasonably possible, in the face of whatever mental or physical challenges they face.
This is combined with services intended to promote physical and mental health. Older people should be eating well, to maintain their body, as well as staying active. Socialization is another key aspect here, as loneliness can seriously impact an older person’s quality of life.
Creating A Healthy Aging Plan
1 – Start early
Like all late-life planning, it’s best to start a healthy aging plan before significant medical issues begin to have impact. Think ahead about what may be the best choice, when the day comes. This also allows you, or them, to begin putting money away in expectation of a future move into a retirement community.
2 – Consider their wishes
Forcing an older person into a retirement community against their will is a worst-case scenario. It is far better, and less traumatic if they are allowed to make their own decisions about their life unless there is truly no other safe choice. This should extend both to the question of whether they enter a retirement community at all, as well as what type of community and the features it offers.
3 – Understand their health challenges
Take stock of their mental and physical situation, in collaboration with their doctor(s). This should include predictions about the expected evolution of these conditions over the years to come. This will help you find the best facilities for their needs.
4 – Be realistic about their physical abilities
Every person ages differently. Some people maintain high degrees of mobility and motor control, even well into their later decades. Others may need significant physical support, or be unable to perform daily tasks due to physical impairment. This will also point toward the best option for their retirement.
Every person is different, and every retirement option is different – but with careful planning and understanding of your loved ones’ situation, you can do a lot to ensure they fully enjoy their final decades of life!