Is it possible to live a longer, healthier life? It’s a question that people have pondered over the years. The good news is that people today are living longer. In the U.S., the average life span is 79 years. About 100 years ago, Americans lived to an average of only 54 years.
If you make it to 65, the odds are good you’ll live to 85. As you or a loved one grows older, you might think more about how you can improve your health and the quality of life. Here are some tips to living a longer and healthier life and what steps you can take.
A Helping Hand When You Need It
As you age, you may develop a health issue and need some support and guidance. You might have questions about your treatment options for a condition and how you can best deal with its challenges.
Having someone with a medical background like a nurse healthcare advocate can provide you with the help and advice you need at the right time. They can help you:
- Understand what’s happening to your health and body.
- Keep your medical records and test results organized so you always have the most current information for your providers.
- Get a second opinion if your doctor recommends you have surgery and how to prepare if you decide to go ahead with a procedure.
- Recover after surgery and prepare to go home or, if it’s needed, to a facility to help you get back on your feet.
An advocate can also help you deal with health insurance and Medicare benefits, so you don’t overpay for your care and services, and spend less time on the phone with customer service.
Once you’ve recovered from surgery, an advocate can help you stay healthy and well, so you don’t end up back in the hospital or other facility. It’s like having a coach for your health who can assist you make changes — both big and small so you can be your healthiest.
There’s No Place Like Home
One key to a long life is living in an environment where you feel comfortable and relaxed. For most of us, this is our home, a place where we feel a sense of security in familiar surroundings. According to the National Council for Aging Care, scientific studies have shown that seniors can stay healthier by living at their home.
But if you have a health issue or limited mobility, you might be wondering if it’s possible to stay in your home. You have a couple of options if you’re in this situation: having home care and modifying your home so it’s easier and more manageable to live in.
Senior Home Care
A licensed home care agency can have home care aides help you with cooking, getting bathed and dressed, taking medication and other activities – at your home. The home care agency makes sure an aide is qualified and experienced and takes care of taxes and other issues.
Making Your Home Easier to Live In
If you have limited mobility, such as difficulty climbing stairs, it’s possible to modify your home so it’s safer and easier to get around. This includes installing a wheelchair ramp, home stair lift or elevator. Other changes are simpler and include putting a pull handle on a door or grab bars in the bathroom.
To get started on updating your home, contact a home modification specialist to help you evaluate your home to see what changes can help improve your quality of life.