When we reach our golden years, we’re ready to relax and enjoy life. We’re done with work, we’re done with saving, and we’re ready to reap the benefits of all that we’ve done throughout our lives!
But, unfortunately, senior living isn’t all rest and relaxation. The truth is that seniors face a unique variety of challenges and dangers. Life is more dangerous for seniors, because we’re not as healthy as we used to be!
There are a lot of reasons for this. But the good news is that there are also a lot of ways that you can prepare for the dangers of senior living – and get back to focusing on all of that rest and relaxation.
Why life is more dangerous for seniors
As we grow older, our bodies stop growing stronger and, in some ways, begin to grow weaker. Our bones break more easily, we get sick more easily, we get cold more easily, and we get tired more easily. None of this is the end of the world if you’re relaxing on a beach, of course, but none of it is much fun if you’re trying to shovel the walk!
Seniors face all kinds of dangers related to their health. Slip-and-falls – whether caused by ice, wet floors, or a poorly placed lamp cord – can cause broken bones in seniors. Simple illnesses like the flu can prove deadly to older folks. And we’re more likely to die of heat exhaustion or hypothermia, too.
Our limited mobility can make our homes more dangerous. It can also make it tougher for us to leave home to avoid natural disasters – which is a problem, because many of us choose to retire in areas threatened by hurricanes.
On top of all of this, we’re disproportionately like to be targeted by scammers, who see our life’s savings as easy money to be taken by guile or even by force.
What to do to protect yourself as a senior
That’s a lot of danger! Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do to fight back.
Avoiding slip-and-falls and household dangers is a matter of retrofitting your space to be senior-friendly. That means ramps and stairlifts, walk-in tubs and other senior-friendly bathroom fixtures, and clear paths from room to room.
Fighting illness and injury will be easier if you’re in shape, so strive to be health all of your life and continue to eat well and exercise in retirement. Sorry, but this is one part of your life where the work isn’t done yet! If you can’t handle high-impact exercises like running anymore, consider low-impact alternatives like swimming.
Make plans for natural disasters with your loved ones, and make sure that they’re ready to help you evacuate if need be.
Finally, avoid scammers by being extremely careful on the phone and over email. Don’t give out your personal or financial information to anyone over email, and double-check the URL (web address) before entering any financial information online. If it looks shady, it probably is! Make sure that anyone you’re speaking to over the phone can verify who they are – the best way to be sure is to call them yourself (using the number on your bill, credit card, insurance policy, or other relevant document or item), rather than letting them call you.
And, of course, you can’t plan for everything in life – so make sure that your loved ones are covered. Speak to a broker in person or visit one online at a site like OurLifeCovered.com. Ask them about life insurance and make sure that the people you care about are protected from financial burdens in the event of your death.
Life can be dangerous for seniors, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. So take care of yourself, and enjoy a relaxing retirement!