There is one thing we all have in common, and that is the fact that we will begin to age. If you are fortunate enough to have longevity, you may find yourself in your 80s and 90s with no spouse, no kids and without a caregiver. Aging experiences are as different as every person has lived a different life. Some will grow old and have to deal with a lot of major health problems, while others will still be thriving even in their 90s. So making a plan for that time in your life has a lot to do with how the rest of your early life played out. Were you active and social during middle age and older, or did you live life as a recluse because you found it hard to create friendships as an older adult? Our physical and mental health depends on more than just what we eat and how many prescription meds one has to take every day. Social activity, learning new things, and making new friends, plays a huge role in how well we live as we go through the aging process.
Below we offer you a simple but versatile guideline to aging alone:
1. Writing a Will
This may not be the most fun suggestion on this list, but it’s necessary, particularly if you are alone and have no one you trust enough to speak up for you and your desires when you are deceased. A will doesn’t need to be 20 pages long, if you don’t have 20 pages worth of requests. It is simply a legal statement that speaks for you once you are gone. A lawyer can assist you or nowadays the internet does a good job at helping you to write a clear and simple will. A living will, is not necessary but it’s good for any friends and family or doctors if they are all you have, to know if you want to live on life support or be allowed to pass away naturally without intervention.
2. Get Out and Be Social
It may be difficult at first but a social life can ease the loneliness that may arise once you get to a certain age. There usually comes a time when your friends have all passed away and you are looking for someone to go dancing with or simply enjoy a movie. There are many social clubs for the aging that will assist you in getting out there. They can introduce you to others your age who are still thriving as well and give you the opportunity to make some new friends.
3. Research Assisted Living Facilities
Some assisted living facilities are expensive and many have a bad reputation, but there are also many senior apartments, condos and communities, that are within most people’s budgets that offer a variety of entertainment, sports, and nighttime social activities like dance lessons and wine tastings. Assisted living facilities can offer two well-needed experiences; one, is a social environment, the other is access to a doctor or nurse if one is needed.
The best advice about aging alone is to not get into the habit of closing yourself off from others. It is best to stay in touch with the world as much as possible. Create your own family dynamics by meeting new people and find your solace in the fact that you have taken care of all the business that you need to organize, just in case you need to live where there is immediate help surrounding you.
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