COLUMBUS, Ohio-According to the National Council on Aging, more than 40% of the 55+ age group were employed, making up 25% of the labor force in 2019.
When thinking of older adults, often people think of them as over the hill or past their prime, but, in light of National Senior Citizens Day, Lisa Cini, aging expert and author of The Future is Here: Senior Living Re-imagined, shares ways for older adults to move from fear to freedom and not only reframe, but redefine what it means to be a “senior citizen.”
“Seniors are working, socializing, and staying active despite loved ones, friends, and society telling them to ‘slow down’”
“Seniors are working, socializing, and staying active despite loved ones, friends, and society telling them to ‘slow down’,” says Lisa. “We’re all aging and unfortunately, with the gift of age can come the loss of independence. However, the true gift of aging is having enough experience to not care what others think and live on our own terms.”
Below, Lisa outlines her top tips to continue living a healthy lifestyle while aging:
- Use it or lose it: Smart strategies help reduce the loss of personal freedoms which seniors have spent years earning. Ways to keep active physically can involve taking a daily walk, doing yoga or Pilates, bicycling, and so many more creative ways. It’s equally as important to stay mentally active. At this time, social isolation can lead to higher risks for a variety of physical and mental conditions. Consider joining a virtual book club, starting a walking group in the neighborhood, or writing letters to friends and family during down time.
- Smart device, smart life: Technology is any tool that makes life easier. Some smart technology driven strategies for health are simple: at home hearing devices like Starkey’s Livio not only help with hearing, but monitor heartbeat and other vitals. Smartphones like the iPhone or Android help seniors keep on track with schedules and send alerts to take medications, and of course increase communication to loved ones.
- Aging in place with grace: 90% of seniors have expressed they would like to live at home instead of living at an assisted living facility or nursing home. To age in place look to the future and consider design elements and items that may not pose a risk now but hinder mobility or accessibility later. For example, instead of hiring an aid later, install a bidet to increase independence. Assistive devices like grab bars don’t have to look out of a hospital, they can be many different hues, actually adding to the ambiance of the space with a sleek, refined look. Even items like the Roomba, a robotic vacuum, can grab crumbs and be programmed to clean at specific times of the day, to minimize home upkeep. Home upgrades to age in place are endless.
“Knowing the tools that are out there will help to create smarter strategies, which gives autonomy and empowerment during aging; making decisions for yourself rather than having someone else make them for you,” says Lisa. “It is imperative to determine what is best for you today, so that you won’t be dealing with crisis management tomorrow.”
Lisa Cini is an award-winning senior living designer, President / CEO of Mosaic Design Studio and author of BOOM: The Baby Boomers Guide to Leveraging Technology, so that you can Preserve Your Independent Lifestyle & Thrive, The Future is Here: Senior Living Re-imagined, and Hive, The Simple Guide to Multigenerational Living: How Our Family Makes it Work. Go to Lisamcini.com to sign up for her blog. If you want to find the best tech products that help seniors Embrace Aging and Live Independently, visit BestLivingTech.com.