By Roz Jones
As the population ages and people live longer, more and more individuals are finding themselves entering their later years without a significant other or family nearby. This can be an especially challenging time for those who are aging alone, or “solo agers” as they are known. If you find yourself in this position, don’t despair! There are plenty of ways to successfully navigate life as a solo ager. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Maintain Your Social Connections
One of the best ways to thrive as a solo ager is to remain socially connected with your friends, family members, and community. Make sure you keep in touch with those close to you on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you need it! Consider joining online discussion groups or local organizations that meet regularly so that you can connect with others who may have similar interests and experiences.
Stay Mentally Active
Staying mentally active is one of the most important things for solo agers to do—it helps boost your mood and keeps your mind sharp. Reading books, doing puzzles, learning new skills, and engaging in activities like painting or gardening can all help keep your brain active and engaged in meaningful pursuits. It’s also important to stay physically active when possible; getting exercise will not only help maintain good health but also provide much-needed energy during the day.
Take Care of Yourself
It’s also important for solo agers to take care of their physical health by eating nutritious meals, getting enough rest, taking medications as prescribed by their doctor, and scheduling regular check-ups with their physician. Taking proactive steps such as these can help ensure that any potential health issues are caught early on before they become more serious problems down the line. Additionally, setting up an advance directive—a document outlining how medical decisions should be made should one become incapacitated—can provide peace of mind knowing that one’s wishes will be respected should something unexpected occur.
Navigating life as a solo ager can be difficult at times but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! By staying connected with friends and family members, engaging your mind through activities like reading or puzzles, and taking care of your physical health through diet and exercise, it is possible to age gracefully while thriving independently! With proper planning and support from those around us, we can all make sure that our later years are filled with joy no matter what our circumstances may be.
Do you need caregiving assistance and services in your state? Check out AARP’s Family Caregiver Resource Guides created to help family caregivers access key programs, services, and agencies within their loved one’s community. Click or tap on a state to find tools and support for everything from health, legal and financial assistance to respite care!
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