Life is full of questions. When you are just a child, discovering the world around you, you probably asked your parents a hundred questions a day, many of which began with the word “why.” As a teenager, you start to ask questions about your own identity and sense of belonging. What will the transition into adulthood look like and what will I do for a living? Then, you face new questions in your twenties and thirties. Are you going to get married? Will you have kids? What will your career look like? Do you want to travel a lot?
Each unique life stage comes with new challenges that you must face, and the same is true once you start to get older. Approaching that age where you might be thinking about retirement comes with plenty of its own questions. However, if you start to consider these scenarios just a little earlier in life, then you may be better prepared for old age.
Here are a few of the questions that you may end up asking yourself as you age.
How Do I Maintain My Health?
This is one of the biggest challenges facing senior citizens. As you get older, one of the most noticeable changes occurs in your body. Your muscles may grow weaker, bones become more brittle, and your body can no longer keep up with the activity levels that you enjoyed in adulthood. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle as an elderly individual. Eating a blanched diet that provides the right nutrients is one idea. Another is to find hobbies that you enjoy to keep your mental health strong and continue to engage your brain. You may also need to schedule regular checkups with your doctor to stay on top of any health concerns. Though how you pursue physical wellness may change, it is completely within the realm of possibility to maintain your health far into old age.
How Do I Protect Myself?
A lessening ability to feel secure and safe might be another side effect of growing old. Your reaction times might be slowing, and you may be more susceptible to physical damage from falls, bumps, or other accidents. Knowing how to protect yourself at this life stage is extremely important. This could mean making some minor home renovations designed for seniors to make the house a safer place. You could install a walk-in shower, less slippery floors, and improved lighting in areas that are harder to see. It might also be wise to update the security system in your home, as some burglars find older individuals to be easier targets. By investing in your safety and security, you can lower the risk of bad injuries and dangerous situations that provide a bigger threat to your aging body.
How Do I Take Care of Myself?
The older you get, the more activities you may start to struggle with. Whether it is your physical condition that is declining or your mental capacity, the level of care that you need will likely increase with age. Though your desire may be to age in place and live in your home for as long as possible, you might have to consider alternatives for your care. Modern technology certainly makes it easier for seniors to maintain their independence, but for those who need more consistent care, long-term care facilities may be the solution. These institutions are built to care for aging individuals through medical treatment, personal service, social events, and helpful staff. Though instances of abuse have happened, forcing you to get a New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyer involved, the benefits of being a resident at this type of facility can far outweigh the risks.
What is My Purpose?
Elderly individuals can also struggle with identity and purpose issues. You may have spent their whole lives pursuing a career or raising a family and when life slows down all of a sudden, it can cause mental health struggles. The activities that used to define most of your days are no longer happening, and it could cause you to question your purpose in life. If you experience this feeling, you may want to speak with a therapist who specializes in helping seniors navigate this unique life stage. Maybe you can find purpose in a new hobby, or being a grandparent, or getting involved in your community. Finding a sense of purpose and identity as an older individual is the key to enjoyment of this stage of life.
Do Not Be Afraid of the Questions
Not knowing the answer to some of these questions right away is okay. Even if you spend years thinking about them as you approach old age, you still may have a lot of questions that are keeping you up at night. Do not let the unknown prevent you from enjoying this life stage.
Growing old is a privilege. After all, not everyone gets to do it. Take the time now to consider these four questions and how you might answer them for yourself. Just remember that you do not have to know every answer the moment you retire.