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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Living an Independent Life Throughout Retirement

Creating an independent life after retirement is a significant concern of people as they begin planning their future. There are several components to ensuring one can live the life they wish well into their retirement years. Physical safety and home security are one of the first items that should be addressed.

Then the focus should move to staying connected to friends and family in distant locations as well as a plan to remain active within the community.

Home Security

Living in a secure environment becomes something that becomes more complex as one ages. In addition to the real need to protect the home from intruders, there is an added requirement of protecting one’s self from the home. Many homes are designed in such a way as to be perilous for those with decreased mobility, agility, and eyesight.

Creating a more secure home environment can be accomplished with a series of small changes. Changing the handles for doors, cabinetry, and plumbing fixtures to levers increases accessibility throughout the home. Floors should be made slip-resistant through the application of no-slip pads under area rugs or the installation of low-pile carpeting. Bathrooms can be made safer by installing hand rails for shower areas and near toilets.

A popular option for ensuring one’s ability to reach help should an emergency occur are medical alert systems. These types of systems connect a wearable device wirelessly to a central hub that can alert a call center that has a protocol in place for each customer. The customization helps ensure the right people are contacted for each situation.

Staying Connected

Technology has evolved significantly over the past several decades. What once required a room of computer servers can now be accomplished more quickly and with a better user experience on a smart phone. It is expected that in the coming decades, technology will further evolve and become more integrated within our daily lives.

A popular gaming console is already being used to help seniors stay connected with friends and be more physically active. Most consoles have the ability to link players in different locations to engage in activity based games. The breakthroughs in virtual technology could make the experience even more interactive and immersive.

Staying connected to friends and family members spread out across the country is also easier with technology. Video phone calls are now possible on phones and computers with perfect clarity. The face-to-face connection allows all those involved in the conversation the ability to read body language and facial expressions which increases the level of enjoyment and understanding experienced.

Social Interaction

Social connections are extremely important for seniors. Staying connected to friend and family members is critical for happiness levels but having a connection to the community is far more important than many people realize.

As one nears retirement, they should begin examining the communities in which they are considering retiring. Public transit, community events, and access to preferred hobbies are all important aspects of cultivating a thriving social life post retirement. If those social activities that one enjoys are located far from home, they will become increasingly difficult to participate in as one gets older.

Technological advancements have made it easier than ever to remain active and independent well into retirement. A little advanced research and preparation can create a smooth transition between working and retirement and ensure individuals are living a life they love.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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