If you’re one of the 22 million Americans over 55 years and living alone, you want to do so safely and well. We compiled expert advice to help you grow older on your own.
Plan to Age in Place
Simple changes (like adding night lights and motion-sensor fixtures) and bigger home improvement projects (such as installing curbless showers or grab bars in the bathroom) make your home a safer and easier environment to age in.
Your goals: Research the most popular aging-in-place home modifications. Meet with a certified aging-in-place specialist for ideas and estimates.
Exercise for Cognitive and Physical Fitness
Remaining active has proven benefits for your physical, emotional and cognitive health, as long as you do it with your healthcare provider’s OK.
Your goals: Talk to your doctor about your current and future exercise plans. Consider working with a personal trainer or cognitive specialist to improve your health. Investigate seated exercises if you have mobility issues or nature-based therapy for cognitive challenges.
Enhance Home and Personal Safety
Feeling safe and secure is an important component of aging well, especially when you’re going solo.
Your goals: Meet your neighbors, mail carrier, delivery drivers and local business owners. Consider a medical ID to provide crucial information when you can’t. Install or upgrade home security systems like video doorbells and motion-sensor outdoor lighting.
Remain Socially Active
Occasional feelings of loneliness and isolation are normal, especially when we experience life changes like aging, losing a loved one or living with chronic illness. Staying socially active helps keep those emotions from lingering and becoming something serious like anxiety or depression.
Your goals: Join an interest group or club that meets in person or virtually. Visit your local senior center. Use social media and apps to stay in touch with friends and family.
Learn Fall Prevention Strategies
Older adults are more likely to fall. That’s why learning fall prevention strategies and tactics is vital for single seniors.
Your goals: Ask your doctor for a home fall risk assessment. Contact your local council on aging or senior center about group fall prevention programs. Enquire with your local health department or a senior services agency about a home safety evaluation.
Employ these success strategies to age independently.