Five Things Seniors Need to Do to Reduce Stress Over Aging

We are please to share this guest article by Kent Elliott

Getting older is rewarding in many ways , but aging can cause stresses for seniors, especially when it comes to their health. Here are five proactive steps you can take toward a more relaxing retirement adventure.

1. Start Getting More Active to Stay Safe
Many older adults fear becoming frail and losing their independence. While it’s plausible that many seniors experience balance issues and are at a higher risk of falling than younger populations, that doesn’t mean they are doomed to injury. Exercising help them strengthen both bones and muscles preventing falls. Mayo Clinic points out that even seniors with osteoporosis can begin exercising to protect their bone health and also reduce the risk of fractures.

2. Adjust Your Diet for Longevity & Better Health
Seniors often fear that their health declines only because of the aging process. In fact, as you age it becomes more challenging to prepare healthy meals. The problem is that many seniors rely on supplements that aren’t effective at delivering nutrients to their vital systems, says Healthline. Physicians caution that while vitamins with iron can be beneficial for seniors—who are often deficient—most supplements are not proven to improve health.
A smart alternative is to incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your diet instead of taking vitamins. Adding more fresh, frozen, or canned fruit and vegetables can help add vital nutrients like dietary fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C. If you really want to take supplements or vitamins, consult your physician for informed advice.

3. Make Community Connections to Stay Social
Though friendship is crucial at all stages in life, seniors are at a disadvantage due to friends passing away. Experiencing the loss of a close friend is emotionally difficult, but it also means you have a smaller social network to rely on. It’s healthy—and necessary—to work through the stages of grief when a friend or family member does pass way . However, you also need to continue to care for yourself throughout the process.
One way to remedy the isolation is by reaching out to your community. Many cities have senior or community centers where like-minded folks can pursue hobbies or interests together. Senior fitness classes—like the health care-plan endorsed Silver Sneakers programs—are also becoming more popular, providing socialization plus healthy activity for all ages.
Another idea is to volunteering. By getting involved with a charity you care about, you reap the reward of giving to others while you also boost your connection to your community. It is a win-win situation.

4. Research Programs to Ease Financial Stress
While it’s smart to plan for retirement as early as possible, many older adults stress over the costs of living and maintaining a home. Financial stresses impact your health and your wallet. Whether you are still working, part-time  or otherwise, it may be worth investigating programs that help you with household expenses and other needs.
For example, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, waiver programs may help you afford adult daily living services, home health services, and home-delivered meals. The county provides health and wellness services, legal services, and even senior employment opportunities.

5. Put End-of-Life Provisions in Place
Contemplating your demise may not feel uplifting, and whatever type of end of life decisions you have made—whether you chosen burial or cremation—the costs can add up. In some states it can be as much as $20,000, which is money families will not have lying around.
The good news is that making a plan for those expenses can provide a sense of comfort. Knowing that your family will not have to worry about money is reason enough to invest in planning your funeral ahead of time. By pre-planning, you can also make your desires clear, which takes the pressure off your loved ones as they mourn their loss.

Stress is common at any stage of life, but it’s prevalent among seniors population. By taking these proactive steps, you can reduce the burden. Enjoying your golden years is the goal—and it is possible with a bit of planning and support.

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