Helping Parents Maintain Their Independence

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We all envision our parents as the strong, capable people they were in our youth. Dad would whirl us around until our heads spun. Mom would bake the tastiest holiday desserts. In our eyes, they are always accomplished, always healthy, and always right.

As we begin to get up in years, we experience a little of what our parents have been feeling. It’s more difficult to get up and down the stairs. We need to wear glasses to read the newspaper.

Why not consider killing two birds with one stone by embarking on a campaign to maintain independence for you and your parents?

What is Independence?

There are several components of independence:

  • Financial
  • Physical
  • Emotional

Staying Financially Independent

Financial independence is especially important as you grow older because it determines where you live, what you can do, and even your access to healthcare. A third of seniors aged 50 and older believe they will outlive their savings.

A recent survey indicated that a third of Americans have nothing saved for retirement, and 23% have less than $10,000. More than 40% of workers don’t even have access to a retirement plan at work. Many pension plans are closed or frozen.

To find out how much you will need to save to be financially secure in retirement, try this handy online calculator.

If your parents are already retired, this online calculator can help you determine how long their savings will last. Because they are older, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to make additional income to offset their expenses.

However, if your retirement nest egg is looking a bit small, you have some additional options.

  1. Work a second job or start a second career.
  2. Retire later. Try to avoid drawing your Social Security benefits until you absolutely have to do so. If your parents have been retired for less than 12 months, they can benefit greatly from returning the money they’ve received and staying off of Social Security for a couple of years.
  3. Before you retire, make catch-up contributions to 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plans.
  4. Consolidate multiple past employer 401(k) plans in an IRA.
  5. Downsize to a smaller residence to save big on property taxes, repair costs, mortgage, insurance, and more. If you can sell your current residence, you can use the profit to plump up your nest egg. Any of these apps can make a move easier.
  6. Consider long-term care insurance to help pay for your care when you’re unable to work.
  7. Cut costs and reduce debt.

Staying Physically Independent

As you and your parents age, healthcare costs become a larger portion of your budget. Although that affects your finances, it is your physical health that ultimately determines if you can stay physically independent.

If you’ve become a little lax in your fitness regime, it’s time to get in shape. These tips are helpful at any age:

  • Do not smoke. Smoking is the absolute worst thing you can do for your health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, increase your level of exercise and decrease your food intake. Obesity causes a host of other ailments, ranging from diabetes to osteoarthritis, and even depression.
  • Exercise! The Department of Health & Human Services recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, but that’s the minimum. As bad as obesity is for your health, exercise is very good. It benefits your emotional health, increases strength and flexibility, and helps you live longer.
  • Drink in moderation. Limit your consumption of alcohol to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And, beware of the potential for alcohol to interact with medications.

Staying Emotionally Independent

It’s far too easy for adult children to do things for their aging parents, instead of helping them to do things by themselves. However, when you were a child, if your parents had always tied your shoelaces instead of teaching you how to do it, you’d probably still be wearing velcro on your shoes. Make the effort to encourage your parents to stay in charge of their lives to maintain their emotional independence.

The Arbors Promotes Independence

The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities are designed to encourage independence. Whether they’re playing Wii bowling, shopping in town or listening to live music, residents are encouraged to have an active, engaging lifestyle.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

    Instant Access to Free Guide


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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    NOTE: Your privacy is important to us. We’ll never share your details nor spam your inbox.

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    The Arbors / Ivy has been awarded 2023 Reader Raves Award as Best Assisted Living Community