Change is the only constant. And as we enter our later years, it seems the changes are more frequent. Do you sense a transition occurring in your life? Whether the change was of your own making or seems thrust upon you, there are strategies to help you weather the process. And at the least, not feel so alone.
Should you move (closer to your kids)?
The most common reason to move in later years is to be closer to children and grandchildren. Regardless of your reason for relocating, unless you plan to live with family, there will be many hours of the day when you are just plain newbies in town. How will you spend your time? If proximity to younger kin is compelling your thoughts, clarify the role you want to play and see if it’s a shared vision.
“My kids treat me like a bank”
When an adult child asks for money, it’s hard to say no. You want to respond to a need. But perhaps your child perceives that you don’t need all you have, or that they’re simply requesting some of their inheritance, just a bit early. Before you answer, ask for time to think it over.
Adding smart home safety features
“Smarts” are in the eye of the beholder. What’s a smart home “gotta have” for one is simply “cute but unnecessary” to another. Check out the top recommendations for older adult smart home safety features.
Is cohousing for you?
Cohousing is like a retirement community in that it is a group of residents in individual, private domiciles. Plus, there are shared facilities for group activities. What’s different is that retirement communities are created and run by a developer. Cohousing communities are created by the people who will live in the buildings. All members hold an equal investment—personal and financial—in the process of creating and running the community. Decision making is shared and is usually by consensus.
Should you change to Medicare Advantage?
Open enrollment presents you with an insurance crossroad once a year and, often, heavy pressure to join a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s best to look twice before you jump, however.
Long-distance grandparenting: Toddlers and kids
If you are like 68% of grandparents, you live too far away for regular interactions with your grandchildren. No reading bedtime stories or soothing little tears. No ticklefests or hands-on projects. These casual yet meaningful activities just aren’t an option.
Aging in place: Pros and cons
A vast majority of older adults (77%) say they want to remain in their own homes as they age. Of course! Home is comfortable: We know where everything is—in the house, and also in the neighborhood and town. Friends, doctors, grocery store. We know how to get around quickly and easily. Plus, the emotional benefits of memories, identity, and history are baked into the walls of a home. But for many, the concept of staying put is based on how things are now and doesn’t factor in the changes that are bound to come.
Smartwatches as medical alerts
Especially for older adults living alone, the ability to summon help in the event of an emergency—such as a fall—is a very real concern. With a cell phone in your purse or pocket, it’s easy to feel well set. Think again. The bathroom is where most falls occur. Do you take your cell phone in when you are using the toilet? Or taking a shower? And what if you hit your head and are unconscious? With a brain bleed, minutes count! But who wants to wear one of those telltale pendants? Fortunately, with the advent of smartwatches, there are stylish options that do not carry such stigma.
Decluttering: Why is it so hard?
Three out of five (61%) of adults over 60 feel they have more stuff than they need. And yet many of us find it emotionally painful to cull our belongings.
While the physical labor of “right-sizing” is daunting, perhaps more powerful—and surprising—is the emotional challenge.
Increasing concentration and focus
Do you find yourself more easily distracted these days? There is good reason: Concentration is about keeping what’s useful top of mind while at the same time suppressing thoughts that distract from your primary objective. As we age, the “executive” center of the brain becomes less able to sort out distractions. It’s a filtering process that requires heavy brainpower. Many people worry that lapses in concentration are an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Not necessarily. While memory and focus are related, they are not the same thing.
Are enhanced “hearables” for you?
If you have trouble participating in conversation in a noisy room or tend to want the TV volume turned up, you might want to investigate a new category of device called an enhanced “hearable.” Up until now, there have been few options short of a hearing aid for people with only mild hearing loss. The best have been “personal sound amplification devices” that fit in the ear like a hearing aid. While reasonably affordable and easily purchased online, they have the disadvantage of amplifying all sounds, even the ones you don’t want to hear.
“I’m engaged! Why aren’t my kids happy for me?”
Are you enjoying a love you never thought you’d feel again? It’s hard to be happy, though, if your children rain on your romance. Are they being selfish? Not necessarily. An in-depth study of “adult stepfamilies” revealed how disruptive it is when a parent gets involved with a new partner later in life.
What’s in an Alzheimer’s test?
There is no single test that can determine if a person has Alzheimer’s disease. But a combination of several different tests can identify if memory and thinking problems are due to one of the many conditions that result in symptoms of dementia. By process of elimination, doctors can determine what may be the root cause of thinking problems. Some conditions are treatable. Others are not.