The older we get, the more important it is to plan out important events and other lifestyle changes in the year to come.
Planning factors like budgets, home changes and transportation can help us to not forget anything and help relieve us of any potential stresses.
Budgeting: Majority of older adults are living with a limited income, therefore budgeting for the year is particularly important. We’ve developed a few tips to guide you in beginning your yearly budget:
- Creating a monthly expense worksheet can help you get a good idea on what costs are fixed for each month and what costs can be adjusted if they create a deficit in your income.
- Searching senior savings programs or government benefits can help limit the costs coming from your fixed income. These could include nutritional assistance, housing assistance, or other provincial discount programs.
- Decide what hobbies you have been interested in getting into, doing so will allow you to allocate money for these new hobbies without breaking the bank. Sometimes we get excited about new hobbies and spend too much of our budgets on them so pre-budgeting is helpful.
Home Safety: Many injuries for older adults happen in their homes and can result in adjusting one's life including higher medical expenses. These can all be prevented if you plan to make your home safer.
Creating a safer home includes:
- Removing clutter
- being mindful of area rugs and other trip/fall hazards
- adding railings or support systems,
- installing fire safety devices
- installing life alert devices
- eliminating the need to go up and down stairs often
- installing floor grips on slippery surfaces, and many more.
By making the necessary changes you can lower the chances of getting injured in your own home this year.
Transportation: Being an older adult typically comes with having to get frequent checkups. This can be a challenging task for many older adults who may not drive or are starting to feel uncomfortable driving in inclement weather or at night.
Planning out how you or your loved one will get to and from places on time can relieve you of a huge stressor. This could include Uber service, public transportation, fellow loved ones, or even senior services.
Caregiving: The most important thing to plan out for the new year is senior care. Each year is a good time to sit down and decide if you or your loved one can still maintain their safest and best life on their own or if it's time to consider caregiver support.
This requires asking the hard questions such as,
“Can they get to places on their own?”
“Do they have trouble remembering what they’re doing?”
“Are they able to take care of themselves to their best ability?”
When certain questions are met with uncertainty, it may be time to get the help that readily available.