5 Ways to Get Ready…For the Golden Years

September 29, 2023

Having an idea of how and where you want to spend your retirement or the years soon after is beneficial. Here are a few thoughts to put you ahead of the game so you’re ready for whatever life might hand you:

1. Review Your Benefits

Get your insurance or Medicare in order and sign up for Advantage plans that address your additional needs like dental, vision, or hearing coverages. Traditional Medicare may not cover these services.

If you’re a traveler, be sure your insurance will cover any trips you plan to take out of the state or the country. Some Medicare Advantage Plans may cover out-of-state services, but not all cover individuals who leave the United States.

If you have Veteran’s benefits or long-term care insurance, find out what they will cover and what out-of-pocket costs you may face if you move into assisted living down the road. It’s also best to be sure when you can start using those if you need to make a move.

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2. Stay Finely Tuned

In the famous words of Bugs Bunny, “What’s Up, Doc?” No one wants to see a doctor when they’re well, but preventative exams are SO important! Discuss with your primary care provider how often you should have common exams and check-ups based on your health and family history of illnesses.

Ask your doctor about the following:If you’re not feeling as strong as you once did, find out if you could benefit from outpatient physical and occupational therapy. These therapies can help with strength and balance. Being strong and steady can help you reduce your risk of falling, improve chronic pain, or reduce your risk for injuries.

3. Designate a Decision-Maker

While you’re at your clinic appointments, be sure that your health care directives are up to date, or if you haven’t made one, consider completing one. Should adverse health or an accident impact you in the worst possible way, it’s good to have an appointed person you know and trust identified to help you make medical and financial decisions.

If you have filed such a document with your clinic, reviewing it occasionally is a good idea to ensure your wishes are still accurate. Check the addresses and phone numbers of any healthcare agents you have named to ensure their accuracy.

4. Find Ways to Stay Busy & Socialize

Are there any hobbies you stopped doing that you’d like to take up again? Do you have a local volunteer group or social club that interests you? Identify what activities sound like fun, and find a way to keep busy. Some folks even enjoy part-time work in retirement.

Loneliness can be as dangerous as smoking and can sneak up on you. If you find yourself timing the mail carrier’s arrival each day, or your entertainment is mainly on TV or online, find a way to get out there and visit!

5. Consider a Back-Up Plan for the Future

We’ve all heard or said, “I’m never moving to assisted living.” It’s okay to feel that way, but it isn’t a plan. No one wants to require personal care assistance; no one wants to rely on the help of others, but what if you truly need it? What if your health takes a turn, or you can’t make it alone or with just a little help at home?

If you need it, research your local senior living options with the amenities you enjoy. Pay close attention to how far away healthcare resources are. Better yet, explore any senior living communities that offer those right on-site so all of your care needs can be met under the same roof where you live.

Having no plan or support for too long can create health problems, and overall care needs may pile up. Waiting too long to ask for help can also limit your long-term residential options, and they could be reduced to only a skilled nursing facility if health issues are too significant. Skilled nursing facilities are excellent, but they are different than what assisted living can offer, and they also come at a higher cost.

If you’re interested in 55+ living options, independent living, assisted living, day services, memory care, or a short-term stay, contact us at info@edgewoodhealthcare.com. We can explain what’s available to help you prepare for the future.

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