When we’re young, we worry about finding a job, possibly a partner or having children and other fundamental “early-in-life” situations. When we’re older, the concerns are very different. We’ve had our careers, families and likely set roots down somewhere.
For the first time in known human history, older adults are projected to become the majority (in less than 20 years). It’s valid that society will start to evolve more towards seniors’ needs, thank goodness. But what is it that most seniors’ have as their top concerns?
5 Top Concerns for Seniors
While these are not in a particular order, they are the top 5 concerns for seniors in the United States these days:
Cost of Health Care
Health care doesn’t just include the costs of doctors or medications, which we all need, especially as we grow older. It can include hospitalizations, home care (daily or live in) or assisted living costs, and much more.
The older we get, our bodies start to deteriorate, which can lead to surgeries, or needs for items such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Recovering or managing acute or chronic conditions can burn through retirement money in no time. When retirement planning, plan financially for medical emergencies and be sure that you have signed up for Medicare/Medicaid to help out with medical costs. Find out more at the official Medicare website.
The last year and a half has taken a toll on all of our mental health. Being isolated and unable to be social in the standard ways has left many of us feeling lonely. Growing older means our social circle also gets smaller. Many seniors lose friends or partners due to Alzheimer’s or other illnesses.
The good news is that during this time, many seniors have started to familiarize themselves with technology to stay connected. These skills can be brought forward with them allowing them to stay in touch with friends and family around the world.
There are also Senior Centers and Adult Day Cares that many seniors enjoy. Being able to get out and stay social not only helps mental health generally, in can decrease the risk of depression and grief.
Pets can also be a wonderful addition to a home and will help fight off loneliness at any age! Read more about thwarting loneliness here.
Memory loss as we age is a common occurrence. It can also prompt family members’ anxiety and concerns instantly. Some seniors worry that if they exhibit memory issues, they’ll instantly be told they have Alzheimer’s Disease, but memory loss can stem from many things. It can be caused by sleep deprivation, thyroid issues, medications or even simply odl age.
While there may be a fear around it, it’s always best to get to a doctor if you are experiencing memory loss on a regular basis. We’ve all walked into a room and forgotten why we’re there, but if it’s happening more routinely than that, get it checked out.
The Mayo Clinic recommends many different ways to improve your mental acuity. Getting (and staying organized), playing brain games (online or things like crossword or puzzles), getting enough sleep and staying physically fit and active top the list of things that will improve memory.
Some of us worry about money all our lives, getting by day-to-day. Nearly half of us are considered “middle-class”, but still struggle to plan for our retirements. Seniors, rightfully so, worry if they will have enough money to take them into their golden years. Starting planning early helps, but what if you’re near retirement already? Have a look at this article for more info on retirement.
If you’re already in retirement and realize that you need more money than you thought, there are a number of ways you can save money or even make money during retirement. Have a look at this helpful article.
It goes without saying that as we age, we all have concerns about possible diseases that can affect us in our elder years. The list of frightening diseases goes on and on. But even if we aren’t at risk for what we consider major diseases, we will all get older and experience what happens to our bodies as we age.
We have concerns that vision will become less focused, balance will get shaky, perhaps we’ll need hearing aids. One of the overall best things we can do is to prevent and manage this is to get physically active. No matter what age or what shape our body is in or what abilities we have, we can all be more active than we are today.
Balance exercises, walking, dancing, even strength training is good for us as we age. For those of us who are wheelchair bound, there are programs offered at the YMCA and local gyms, that teach chair aerobics, chair Tai Chi, and adaptive sports such as wheel chair basketball. Most gyms will also have access for wheelchair bound patrons to use the pool.
~ ~ ~
*This post is not sponsored, but may contain external links to websites, articles or product examples. External links are used for example or refence purposes only and these links do not indicate specific product or website endorsement by CareGivers of America.