Life provides plenty of stressors for us throughout the years. No matter the life stage, there are stressors present. That is one reason why older adults are often recognized for our wisdom and perseverance—and rightly so. We have been through all the trials and stresses of childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and middle age, and these have made us stronger individuals with each passing year.
But despite the internal strength that we seniors exhibit on a daily basis, many of us have our own things to worry about, and they’re often more challenging than the worries that came earlier in life. From declining health to relocation, from financial hardship to lack of companionship, this article will discuss some of the most common stressors that older adults encounter, as well as some practical tips for those of you who are navigating these stressors.
Safety and Comfort at Home
One thing that all seniors want is to maintain independence. However, unless your home is set up for you to age in place, you might not be able to maintain your independence well into your golden years. Your home is where you should be the safest and most comfortable, and since selling your current home, finding an accessible home, and going through the home buying process can be a drawn-out and overwhelming experience, many seniors opt to make home improvements and modifications that will help them stay in their homes.
Remodeling can go a long way in achieving this, and the bathroom is a great place to start. Ensuring that you have the right kinds of floors, that the countertops are at a height where you can access them, and that you can safely access your tub are a few examples of how you can make your bathroom suit your needs in older age. Keep in mind that an updated bathroom can raise the value of your home, which could prove beneficial if you were to sell it down the road.
Insurance and Assisted Living
Another common stressor for seniors comes in the form of insurance. It’s critical to review your insurance and figure out exactly what it covers. For example, many older adults assume that if they choose to move to an assisted living facility or retirement home, then their insurance or Medicare will pay for the costs. However, most of the time that isn’t true.
Original Medicare will cover short-term services like hospital care, hospice care, home health care, some nursing facility care, and certain preventative care and doctor’s visits. If you want a plan that pays for assisted living care, you would need to get a Medicare Advantage plan or qualify for Medicaid, which will pay for some of the costs. Other options include paying out of pocket for care or purchasing long-term care insurance.
When reviewing your insurance, also make sure your plan has adequate coverage for your health needs. For instance, many Medicare Advantage plans will pay for things like dental care, vision care, and even membership to fitness facilities across the country.
Finally, perhaps one of the toughest things about growing older is that we lose friends and family members. Not only are the deaths of loved ones difficult to cope with, but we can also end up with few—if any—close relationships in our lives. Isolation and depression are prevalent among seniors, so it’s essential to foster meaningful relationships in your life. Reconnect with old friends, stay in touch with family, and make an effort to socialize as often as you can.
If you’re a senior who is experiencing one or all of these stressors, know that you’re not alone. Consider ways that you can make your home more accessible, and make sure you understand what your insurance policy will cover. Stay connected to the people closest to you, prioritize interaction in your life, and seek coaching or counseling if you need help managing stress. Navigating through these issues will help you maintain a high quality of life in your golden years.