The idea of getting older and less independent can be overwhelming. No one wants to think about how life is going to change as we age; that we may have less control over our lives. But, there is a way to take back control. Start making some of the decisions yourself. Here are the top 3 aging decisions you need to make before someone else does.
Top 3 Aging Decisions You Need to Make Before Someone Else Does
1. When to Stop Driving
Being able to drive around and go to places whenever we want is a sign of independence, but what happens when you start to become a danger to yourself and others? Having to take keys away from an elderly loved one is one of the most heartbreaking situations. The keys being taken away means their independence is taken away and the same goes for you.
You won’t get to go to places when you want to, you will have to ask for rides, and you may be stuck at home. While there is no tell tale age to stop driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that drivers in their late 60s and up have higher crash rates.
By 75, it goes way up. You can take this short self-assessment to get an honest look at your skills as a driver. Don’t forget there is public transportation and they often give discounts to seniors, there is also Uber and Lyft.
2. Whether you will stay in your home or not.
Where will your home be? Will you move to be near adult children that will keep an eye on you. Is your home safe? What works for you now, might not work when you’re older. Try looking at this checklist from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for what can make your home safer as you get older. Then you can talk to a remodeler about what changes you will need.
Also will staying at home make you lonely and isolated? Do you have people around to visit, or maybe clubs to go to? Keep in mind that loneliness is a huge problem among seniors.
3. How will you take care of yourself?
As we get older, we will need help. As much as we hate admitting that we are not self-reliant, it’s a fact of life. So, how will you take care of yourself? Will there be loved ones around to aid you with anything you might need?
Will you need to hire a caregiver (like the ones at Seniors Helping Seniors NH!), or will forego both and end up finding an assisted community to stay in. There are pros and cons to both options and you will have to decide what works best for you.
Check out our comparison page of assisted living to nursing homes to get a better idea of your needs.
Read more about these choices here.