This topic is becoming increasingly relevant as the population ages and more individuals are entering retirement without a spouse or family nearby to provide support. While retirement can be seen as a time to enjoy life, relax, slow down, and live life more at ease, it can also be challenging to live alone. It is, therefore, important to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by those who live alone in their later years.
The good news, however, is that there are ways to stay healthy and comfortable as you live alone in your home during retirement. Although you may need to make some adjustments in your home, all of these will ensure that you live comfortably in retirement.
If you’re preparing for retirement or assisting your elderly people prepare for retirement, this checklist for elderly living alone can help you stay healthy, safe, and comfortable when you’re on your own:
1. Stay Hydrated
Stay hydrated with water. It’s easy to forget that we need to drink more water than we think, and the elderly are even more prone to this mistake. While you should aim for six glasses of water per day, it’s also important not to overdo it.
If you’re feeling thirsty and want another glass of water, wait until your next meal before having another one as this can dilute your stomach acids and make you feel nauseous (and no one wants that).
Water is best at cold or room temperature. However, if you prefer warm beverages, try adding ice cubes or hot tea bags in lieu of regular cups/mugs filled with plain old tap water.
Even while ensuring you stay hydrated, it is important that you also install a home water filtration system, especially as an elderly person preparing for retirement. This is an important checklist for elderly living alone because as we age, our bodies tend to get weaker, at fighting off germs or contaminants. Elderly individuals, particularly those with weakened immune systems, are more susceptible to water-borne illnesses caused by bacteria and other harmful substances present in tap water. A home water filtration system removes impurities, such as chlorine, lead, and bacteria, providing a safe and healthy source of drinking water.
In addition, as the body ages, it may be exhausting to carry heavy bottles of water or go to the store frequently to buy bottled water. Having a home water filtration system eliminates the need to buy bottled water, which can be both expensive and difficult to carry.
2. Add Some Color to Your Walls
Adding colors to the walls of your home can create a more pleasant and comfortable living space, which can have a positive effect on your mental and emotional well-being. While it may not directly help prepare for retirement, creating a peaceful and enjoyable living environment can certainly make the transition into retirement more pleasant. This is particularly because color can help you feel happy.
Research has shown that color affects the body’s hormones, which causes a significant impact on mood and behavior. This will in turn influence how you feel. For example, warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can promote feelings of happiness and energy, while cooler colors like blue and green can create a more calming and relaxing atmosphere.
The effect is more pronounced when the walls are blank or white, but even if you’re surrounded by color all day long, it’ll still work wonders for your mood and energy levels.
By choosing colors that create a peaceful and relaxing environment, you may be better able to manage stress and anxiety, which can be particularly important during the transition into retirement. Additionally, by adding colors that reflect your personal tastes and preferences, you can create a living space that feels like a sanctuary, where you can rest and recharge after a long day.
Overall, while adding colors to the walls of your home may not be a direct preparation for retirement, it can certainly contribute to creating a more enjoyable and comfortable living space, which can help you prepare mentally and emotionally for this next phase of life. If this is something you cannot do on your own, you can contact painting services to get this done for you.
3. Make Your Home Navigable
Making your home easily navigable is another important checklist for elderly living alone in retirement, as it can help reduce the risk of falls and make it easier to navigate the space as you age.
Here are some tips on how to make your home more easily navigable:
- Clear Clutter
Remove any unnecessary items that may be cluttering your living space, especially in high traffic areas, to create a clear path for walking.
- Install Grab Bars and Handrails
Consider installing grab bars and handrails in key areas such as the bathroom, staircases, and hallways to provide additional support when needed.
- Improve Lighting
Ensure that your home is well-lit and that light switches are easily accessible. You may also want to consider installing motion sensor lights to automatically light your path as you move through your home.
- Create a Single-level Living Space
If possible, consider rearranging your furniture or even renovating your home to create a single-level living space. This can help reduce the need for stairs and make it easier to navigate the home as you age.
- Label Items
Consider labeling items such as cabinets and drawers to make it easier to find what you need without having to search through everything.
- Remove Hazards
Identify and remove any potential hazards, such as loose rugs, slippery floors, or low-hanging objects.
By taking these steps to make your home more easily navigable, you can help ensure that your living space is safe and comfortable as you age, which can be an important part of preparing for retirement.
In addition, making it easier for yourself and others to navigate your home can further help you live comfortably after you retire. You can consider putting up a map of your home on the refrigerator or hanging hooks in the kitchen so you can find what you need quickly when preparing meals or getting dressed on the fly. You could also consider adding some lights and mirrors around the house so that anyone coming over can see where they are going without having to ask directions every time they get lost.
4. Invest in Outdoor Living and comfort
Investing in outdoor living is an excellent way to prepare for retirement. Outdoor living features such as a deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen not only add value to your home but also provide a space where you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. An outdoor living space can also promote healthy living, provide a peaceful retreat, and reduce living expenses. Furthermore, depending on the design of your outdoor living space, it can help save on energy costs.
Some of the significant benefits of investing in outdoor living and comfort include:
- Increase in Home Value
One of the most significant benefits of investing in outdoor living is the increase in the value of your home. If you plan to downsize during retirement, having outdoor living features in your home can make it more attractive to potential buyers. Adding a deck or patio to your home can also provide a space for you to entertain friends and family, creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.
- Reduction in Living Expenses
In addition to adding value to your home, an outdoor living space can help reduce living expenses. By having a beautiful outdoor living space, you may find that you spend less money on entertainment expenses. Instead of going out to expensive restaurants or activities, you can relax and enjoy the comforts of your own backyard.
- Outdoor Living Promotes Healthy Living
Spending time outdoors can provide an opportunity for physical activity, gardening, or other outdoor hobbies. This can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, which is crucial for enjoying retirement to the fullest.
Moreover, an outdoor living space can provide a peaceful retreat where you can relax and unwind. This can help improve your mental health and reduce stress, which can have a positive impact on your overall well-being.
- Saves Energy Costs
Depending on the design of your outdoor living space, it can help save on energy costs too. For example, adding a pergola or awning to your patio can provide shade, reducing the amount of sunlight that enters your home and lowering your energy costs for heating and cooling.
Generally, outdoor living is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors and a great way to enjoy a peaceful retreat. It is an excellent investment that can help you enjoy your retirement to the fullest. To further enjoy the benefits of outdoor living, consider screen room installation, Amish home furnishings.
5. Make Your Dream Kitchen
Making your dream kitchen is one significant checklist for elderly living alone in retirement, as it can provide numerous benefits that can improve your quality of life in your golden years.
A dream kitchen is essentially a space that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences, and it can be designed to meet your unique lifestyle requirements.
The kitchen is your heart and soul. If you have a dream kitchen, it will be the center of your living space. You want to make sure that your dream kitchen reflects what makes you feel comfortable in retirement and is both functional and beautiful.
The following are some ways that a dream kitchen can help you prepare for retirement:
- Increases the Value of your Home
A beautiful and functional kitchen can add significant value to your home. If you plan to downsize or move during retirement, having a modern and updated kitchen can make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
- Encourages Healthy Eating
A well-designed kitchen can encourage healthy eating habits by making it easier to prepare meals at home. This can help you save money on food expenses while also promoting better health and wellness during retirement.
- Provides a Space for Entertaining
A dream kitchen can be an excellent space for entertaining friends and family. Having a comfortable and functional space for gatherings can help create lasting memories with loved ones during retirement.
- Increases Energy Efficiency
Updating your kitchen with energy-efficient appliances and lighting can help you save money on energy costs. This can be particularly beneficial during retirement when managing expenses is essential.
- Enhances Daily Living
A dream kitchen can make daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, more comfortable and enjoyable. Having a well-designed and functional space can improve your quality of life and make daily activities less of a chore.
A dream kitchen can be an investment in your home, including ones with granite countertops and your well-being that can pay off in many ways, making your retirement more enjoyable and stress-free.
With the right design and features, a dream kitchen can improve your quality of life, help you save money, and add value to your home. It is an investment that can help you prepare for a comfortable and enjoyable retirement.
6. Get a New Roof Before Downsizing
Getting a new roof before downsizing is a good idea while preparing for retirement for several reasons.
Downsizing is an essential step for many people as they approach retirement to reduce their housing expenses, maintain their independence, and simplify their lives. However, before downsizing, it is crucial to ensure that your current home is in good condition to maximize its value and minimize any potential issues that could arise during the selling process.
The following are some reasons why getting a new roof before downsizing is a good idea:
- Reduces Repair Costs
A new roof could help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Roof damage can lead to other problems such as water damage, mold growth, and structural issues. By getting a new roof before downsizing, you can prevent these problems and reduce the risk of unexpected repair costs during the selling process.
- Increases Energy Efficiency
A new roof can improve the energy efficiency of your home, which can be particularly beneficial during retirement when managing expenses is essential. A well-insulated roof can help you save money on heating and cooling costs, making your home more attractive to buyers and easier to manage during retirement.
- Makes your Home More Attractive
A new roof can give your home a fresh and updated look, which can make it more appealing to potential buyers. A new roof can improve your home’s curb appeal, making it stand out in the neighborhood and increasing the likelihood of a quick sale.
By taking care of necessary repairs and upgrades before downsizing, you can maximize your home’s value and ensure a stress-free selling process. Local roofers can get this done for you with ease.
7. Be Energy Efficient
Retirement is a time when people typically have to manage their expenses more closely, as they may no longer have a steady income. By being energy-efficient, you can reduce your energy bills and save money, which can help you manage your expenses better during retirement.
The following are some reasons why being energy-efficient is a good idea while preparing for retirement:
- Reduces Energy Bills
Being energy-efficient can help you save money on your energy bills. This can be particularly beneficial during retirement when managing expenses is essential. By reducing your energy bills, you can have more money available to cover other essential expenses, such as healthcare and daily living expenses.
- Increases Home Value
Energy-efficient homes are becoming increasingly popular among homebuyers, and they often have a higher resale value. By making your home more energy-efficient, you can increase its value and make it more appealing to potential buyers, which can be particularly beneficial if you plan to downsize or move during retirement.
- Improves Comfort
Energy-efficient upgrades, such as insulation and weather-stripping, can improve the comfort of your home. By reducing drafts and improving temperature regulations, you can make your home more comfortable to live in during retirement, which can be particularly beneficial if you plan to spend more time at home.
- Reduces Environmental Impact
Being energy-efficient can also help reduce your environmental impact. By using less energy, you can reduce your carbon footprint and help protect the environment for future generations.
We believe that this checklist for elderly living alone in retirement will prove immensely helpful. Retirement can be very restful and be a season of ease when properly planned for.