April 11th, 2019 11:22 AM by Gregg Mower
Aging in place is becoming a norm rather than an exception. About 76 percent of people over the age of 50 want to remain at home for their senior years, according to AARP. Aging in place tends to give people a higher quality of life, but also comes with its fair share of risks. Did you know that an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall every 11 seconds? Fortunately, many fall injuries are preventable. Here are some critical steps you can take to protect your well-being while aging in place.
Start an Exercise Routine Today
Keeping your body strong, balanced, and flexible is critical for protecting yourself from injury. Get an early start to keep your body resilient. This will help prevent muscle loss and maintain joint mobility as you grow older. In fact, a recent study revealed that long-term exercise significantly reduces the risk that an older adult will experience a fall. Research suggests that about three hours of weekly exercise is your best bet. Exercise at home or head to the gym — it’s your choice! If you're a Medicare subscriber, you may be eligible to access 13,000 nationwide fitness centers through the SilverSneakers fitness program. Certain Humana Medicare Advantage plans include this benefit. So, consider switching your plan during the Medicare enrollment period if you're not already enjoying this valuable perk.
Engage in the Right Types of Exercise
Not all forms of exercise are equal. While aerobic activity has amazing benefits for your heart, digestive system, and mental health, strength training may be the most important when it comes to fall prevention. Core muscle strength will catch you when you start to stumble. If you’re new to weightlifting, talk to your doctor before you begin. Start slow — using your body weight or resistance bands at first — and work your way up to heavier weights as your muscles grow stronger. You can try some of these senior-friendly resistance exercises to get started.
Balance and flexibility exercises will also improve your stability and reduce your risk of falls. Static stretches (held for 20 to 30 seconds) and dynamic stretches (moving stretches) have surprisingly positive effects on overall mobility. This list of stretches from Yurielkaim includes examples of both static and dynamic stretches that are good for seniors. Additionally, try yoga or tai chi for an excellent combination of flexibility and balance practice. These activities are also wonderfully meditative!
Make Some Home Modifications
In addition to key lifestyle changes, you can further prevent falls while aging in place by making some home modifications. Start by clearing clutter from your home and giving each item you own a special storage place. This will prevent things from ending up on the floor and becoming tripping hazards. Remove slippery area rugs and use rubber-backed non-slip rugs in your kitchen and bathroom. Lighting that is too dim or too bright can also be a problem, so set up night lights to illuminate paths you may need to walk at night and install dimmer switches throughout your home. Use curtains to block out disorienting glare from the sun. Also, grab bars by your toilet, bath, and bed can be very helpful.
If Finances are a problem to do the home improvements consider a Reverse Mortgage to utilize the equity in your home to fund these modifications. With a Reverse Mortgage you can use the equity and never make a payment until you move from the residence.
Finally, pay attention to your clothing. Clothes that are too tight may restrict your blood flow and make you lightheaded, while clothing that is too loose can catch on items as you navigate your home. Avoid loose-fitting shoes or those with slippery soles. Try to find shoes that fit comfortably and support your feet properly.
Install Life-Saving Technology
Don’t let your home modifications stop there. Technology can help you get assistance more quickly if you do have an accident in the home. Smart shoes, tracking devices, and fall detection, as well as automated lights and thermostats, will help you maintain your independence and safety while living in your own house.
As with every aspect of health, preventing falls will take some preventive effort. Maintain your muscle strength and flexibility, take special precautions, remain aware of your surroundings, and remove anything from your environment that could become a hazard. By reducing your risk of falls, you’re securing a future for yourself in which you have the independence and confidence you need to live in the home you love.
Take the Financial Worry Out of Staying in Your Home
Don’t let the financial worry of the home effect your health. Money worries can cause health problems. As the price of goods and services continue to rise the income of seniors may not keep up with the rising costs of living and this can cause undo stress and lead to health issues. A Reverse Mortgage from MAE Capital Mortgage Inc. may the answer. These mortgages have come a long way over the last 30 years. The extra income generated from a Reverse Mortgage may be the difference every month in being able to live and enjoy the retirement years instead of worrying about the rising costs of goods and services and medical expenses. There are protections built into these loans to insure the seniors will be able to leave their home to hires when they are gone.
Taking some of these steps will ensure that the “Golden Years” are, in fact, Golden. Here at MAE Capital Real Estate and Loan we know the value of our senior population and hope to make all lives better with our services.