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A Few Important Ways You Can Start Preparing For Getting Older

A Few Important Ways You Can Start Preparing For Getting Older

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."

Sophia Loren

Okay, Baby Boomers, it's time to adjust to the idea that we are heading toward old age. I consider it a done deal already. I am officially old. I didn't think this old age thing would appear quite so soon. But here it is. But there is time to plan for what's still to come. Yeah, you heard me; there is more to come.

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There are decisions and plans we have to make. Funny, I don't remember planning for middle age. I have come up with a small list of things I consider important.

Retirement-Give some serious consideration to your retirement options. Should you or shouldn't you retire. Sure everyone looks forward to retiring, but many find that the reality of retirement is not exactly what they expected. Yeah, you can sleep in every day, but then what? If you have hobbies and travel plans to look forward to or projects you have anticipated accomplishing, good for you. Make yourself a to-do list of things you want to do in retirement. And then start doing them.

Many people don't have much to do without their usual daily work routine. They end up feeling lost and at loose ends.

So think long and hard about the plans you have after you retire.

Get your shit together. Or, in other words, get your affairs in order. None of us are going to live forever. So have all your wishes and plans documented for your family. You may want to have funeral arrangements set up so they won't have to deal with that job. You should have all your financial documents and your will organized in a packet for your loved ones. Try to make things as easy as you can for those that will have to deal with these things.

Living Arrangements-Next, you should think ahead about your living arrangements down the road. Will you downsize and look for a smaller place? Maybe moving to a smaller home closer to the family will be what you choose. Then again, perhaps you will decide to remain in your current home.

If you decide to remain in your home, you may need to make a few changes to the house. Many of us baby-proofed our homes when we had our children. Now it's time to safety-proof our home for ourselves.

Take a walk through your home and evaluate and look for any areas that may cause concern.

Bathrooms will probably be at the top of the list. For bathroom safety, walk-in showers, grab bars, and no-slip strips in the tub and shower are a good place to start. Also helpful would be a chair-high toilet or a raised toilet seat.

Falls can be another safety concern. Let's prevent broken bones and hospital visits. Throw rugs can be especially dangerous. Secure all your rugs with double-faced tape. Forget about wearing high heels. Best to stick with shoes with nonskid soles. And throw out the floppy slippers. Think safety first.

Remove any clutter, boxes, or cords that may hinder you from navigating through the house. Trust me, even before I was old, I tripped over things. So take your time. What's the hurry? And always have a clear path to where you want to go.

Avoid walking around in the dark. You never know what may be lurking in the dark. Make sure all your rooms are well-light. And don't forget the entryways and stairs. Add some night lights in the bathrooms. It's always important to see where you are going.

Staying healthy should probably be at the top of the list. Not much else matters if you don't have your health. Keep in mind that it's never too late to get back on track when it comes to healthy living. As the saying goes, 'better late than never.'

We all know the drill about living a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes, we need to be reminded. So here we go.

Staying physically active is good for your body and your mental health. It's a two-for-one deal. Daily exercise can offset some of the effects of aging. Exercise will improve your mood and balance and help manage high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. So all you need is to spend 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to reap all those health benefits.

Make sure to fuel your body with all the right foods. Our diet is so important. Focus on a well-balanced diet—high in fiber, low in sugar, and saturated fat. Limit your sugary treats. My motto is 'everything in moderation.'

Stay mentally active. Now that sounds scary. But not really. It's much easier than it sounds.

Read a newspaper or magazine. Keep up with the news on TV. Immense yourself in a good book. Do some crossword puzzles. Get a couple of people together and play Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, chess, or checkers. See, staying mentally active can be fun. Enjoy!

Try new things. Learn a new skill, take a class. Just stay engaged and keep learning.

Celebrate all the little things and enjoy every minute of your life. Don't let old age get the best of you. You keep moving and adapting. Just because we are getting old doesn't mean we don't still have a lot of life in us.

"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."

Betty Friedan


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