At what age do we start planning for old age and 5 ways to do it
Aging is a time of transition. It happens naturally, but aging well takes careful planning. For many thousands of years, mankind has wondered when old age began. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, life spans in India started steadily rising, from 32 years to 66.2 years. This is majorly due to availability of a vast array of drugs in the market.
Older adults face many decisions in the last decades of their life. Taking some time to look at the issues ahead and plan accordingly can make the future easier and more enjoyable. The earlier one starts planning, the more prepared they will be to respond to changes that may occur in the process of ageing such as changes in health, mobility or social connections. Healthy ageing should include thinking ahead to the financial, medical, and family issues that one could face in old age. When planning, one should also consider the unexpected. This includes planning for what one would do if had a sudden onset of a chronic illness, developed a disability or had a change in resources.
To successfully plan, one has to start thinking about how one wants to live while ageing and what steps one need to take to achieve that lifestyle.
1) Healthy lifestyle: Being active, following a nutritious diet and exercising regularly can reduce the risk of health problems and increase your energy levels. Eating well gives your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs to ward off illness and keep you healthy. Good nutrition also helps to improve mental and physical well-being. Regular exercising will keep you agile and strong, helping to prevent broken bones and problems with arthritis later in life. It will also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
2) Regular Checkups and Screenings: Elderly should follow up with their doctors and get regular check up and tests which are recommended to them (mammograms beginning at age 40, colonoscopies beginning at age 50, etc). The earlier problems are caught, the easier they are to treat and the less likely they are to become chronic issues that keep you down in retirement.
3) Financial Planning: Understanding and planning for future expenses (unexpected medical cost apart from normal expenses) and staying informed about available income sources will help them maintain their desired standard of living. Income sources may include personal retirement savings and investments, private and public pension plans and other financial assistance.
4) Retaining Independence: A key step in planning for independence is assessing one’s home to determine if it can meet the changing needs while ageing. Elderly prefer to live their own homes for years with some modifications to their daily routines. If they decide that they can no longer live safely and independently in their home, they can explore the options available in their community. Planning for independence also includes thinking about what to do when elderly is ready to retire from driving. Many people outlive the ability to drive safely due to medical conditions that are more common in old age. It is important to consider how they will get around if they are no longer able to drive.
5) Social support: Part of aging well is having well-developed relationships. It is important for the elderly to have friends and social contact as isolation isn’t healthy. They can join some groups that share common interests or beliefs and can find some new friends. Volunteering work too can be a great way to meet new people. Social connections with community members of all ages can support physical, mental and emotional health and well being.
We urge people to plan ahead of their post retirement. Making choices now will give them greater control over their independence, quality of life and dignity.
We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.
Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation. We also have services for Dementia care.
2) Workshops and Events – We conduct many workshops and outings for seniors throughout the year to promote healthy and active aging. We get experts in their fields to conduct these workshops. In 2016 we organized over 40 workshops for close to 1000 senior citizens. These workshops are on technology, emotional wellbeing, health and fitness and recreation.
Know more here – Workshops and events by Samvedna
3) Great Times by Samvedna is our social and recreational club in Sector 43, Gurgaon, for members 55 years and above. Its a place where members come to get fit, meet like minded people and share their life experiences and give back to the community.Activities at the club include fitness exercises, group meditation, mind stimulation, tambola, dancing, book reviews, movies, community outreach, and talks on health management. The club has a library, computer room, visits by physiotherapists and doctors, access to board games and cards, a fully functional pantry with healthy and affordable snacks and tea and coffee on the house.
There are special discounts for group memberships. The club is open Monday-Friday, 11am to 5pm. There are special classes for yoga, computers, spoken english, dance, music and painting. We also have Bridge mornings every Tuesday and Thursday.
Know more here – Great Times Club