The baby boomer generation is aging and with it, there is an increased demand for products and services for older adults, including housing. Regardless of whether you’re looking to age in place, live with some peers, or to move into an assisted living facility, the transition period to living as an older adult can come with some challenges, both physically and emotionally.
To ease this transition to life as an older adult, forbes.com shared expert insight on how to move into this stage of your life as seamlessly as possible.
For starters, downsize your possessions over time. Most older adults tend to downsize as they age (grown children are no longer living at home, for one). And besides being logistically difficult (if you hold onto too many of your items, it’ll be impossible to fit into your new downsized space) it can be emotionally challenging both for the older adult and the family. Rather than face the huge, daunting task of downsizing one’s belongings all at once, you’d be well off if you tackled this slowly as a family. Consider what your essentials are, and decide who will hold onto family keepsakes. Consider what are must-haves in your new living space, and what warrants being passed onto other family members or stored in a unit, and what can be donated.
Next, research your options early. Start sooner rather than later so you can fully explore your options and not be under pressure thanks to declining health, for example. Beginning your research sooner will set you up for success (this includes starting on aging-in-place upgrades).
Thirdly, keep your mind engaged. All older adults would benefit from ongoing opportunities to stimulate the mind to assist cognitive function. If you’re looking at assisted living communities, look at what programs are offered – do they offer workshops and outings that appeal to you? If you’re looking to age in place, look for lectures and meetups that will satisfy your creativity and give you the opportunity for continued learning. Making these mental-health opportunities a priority can contribute to your happiness, cognition and sense of purpose in the long run.
For how loved ones can play a role when it comes to keeping one’s mind engaged, and for three more expert pieces of advice for smoothly transitioning to life as an older adult, read the full forbes.com article here.