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Helpful Apps For Baby Boomers: Making Life Easier With Tech

Our thanks to Bash Sarmiento for this contribution to our blog.

[Source: Pexels]

With technology becoming more and more user-friendly, it is almost impossible to say that older adults and seniors cannot use a mobile phone or have access to the internet. Both groups have willingly kept themselves up to date with the latest gadgets and already have the technical knowledge to be able to keep up with modern times.

A study by the Pew Research Center (2019) revealed that 60-year-old Americans and older spend more than half of their leisure time in front of their TVs, computers or laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices daily. There is also a significant increase in terms of seniors’ adoption of digital technology. In comparison, only 14% of those ages 65 and older were internet users back in 2000. This number increased to an impressive 73% in 2019. Also worth noting, about 53% of seniors are already smartphone owners. 

This is not a surprise especially when technology has made an effort to penetrate the baby boomer and senior markets with gadgets that are useful and foolproof as they can be for their age. Technology for older adults includes high-tech wearables like a smartwatch which can monitor their blood pressure and act as a pedometer to track their steps. Smartphones have become more convenient with screen magnification, talk-to-text, and assistive touch features. Plenty of mobile phone applications are also accessible through various smartphone app markets. Apps that can genuinely make the lives of people from all walks of life, more so, age groups easier and more convenient. 

Here is a list of some awesome apps that can facilitate their social interactions, track their health and wellness, sharpen their memory, and others:

  1. Facebook for socials.

According to Statista (2021), a percentage of 11.3 represents Facebook users ages 55 and over worldwide. No matter small, it still provides a digital presence to the baby boomer and senior age. Facebook has been a useful app for keeping in touch with busy friends and family members. With its improved algorithms, it has also become a platform where former classmates, schoolmates, and colleagues reunite. Through Facebook Messenger where they can call, send a message, or video chat regardless of the distance, communication is a sure success. They can enjoy sending messages or just lurk and check the newsfeed to get a glimpse of what everyone has been up to. 

  1. Magnifying Glass with Light for Productivity

This app is a great way to enjoy comfortable reading. While most smartphones have the feature to magnify the texts on screen and make screen-reading an easy task, the magnifying glass app uses the phone’s camera to magnify texts of hardbound books, magazines, and other external reading materials. The users just need to position their device’s camera over the text and it will automatically enlarge and brighten the text shown on the screen to facilitate easy reading.

  1. Shopwell and WebMD for wellness.

A healthy diet is crucial in keeping the mind and body in the best shape. The Shopwell app can help in identifying food that can fit one’s health goals and needs. Whether you are following a plant-based diet, carnivore diet, or anything the doctors recommend, this app can help you make a nutritious grocery list that you can take to your local store or market. It will also recommend alternatives to ensure that you are on track with the right options. WebMD, on the other hand, offers an array of researched medical studies and conditions so it is the perfect reference if you want to check symptoms or simply locate the nearest physician or hospital. This app can also identify whether or not meds can be bought over-the-counter or requiring medical prescriptions, their side effects, and uses. You can also put up a reminder for your maintenance medicines. You can also find home remedies and research at-home health services from the same app. 

  1. Senior Discounts & Coupons App and Mint for thrift finds and budgeting.

The Senior Discounts & Coupons app may not track your savings but it can help you find discounts and sales. It can help you find out which stores, hotels, and restaurants offer discounts for seniors. Mint, however, lets you monitor your spending as this is a personal finance app where you can sync your bank accounts on one page and check each expenditure. You can also control your spending habits by designating a limit and it organizes your spending into charts and categorizes it into groceries, gas, food, entertainment, etc. It is also a platform where you can pay your rent and other bills so you do not have to go elsewhere.

  1. Words with Friends 2 for leisure.

This is an interactive Scrabble-themed game that older adults can enjoy while maintaining their cognitive health. In this game, a board will be displayed on the screen along with a list of letters that can be used to form words. The game keeps scores and will provide new letters as frequently needed. It can be played alone but it will be more fun and engaging when played with friends or family members in competitive teams.

Smartphone technology has changed over the years and these apps are only the tip of the iceberg. The more older adults are committed to transitioning to the digital world, the more mobile app developers rapidly take action and make these helpful apps readily available. Share this with anyone who might just need this list today.

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About the Author:

Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.

Links:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/bashsarmiento

LinkedIn: https://ph.linkedin.com/in/ringwald-rommel-p-sarmiento-ii-69270413aFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarmientobash/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarmientobash/

20 Awesome At-Home Hobbies with Health Benefits for Retirees and Older Adults

Our thanks to Tamara Segal for this contribution to our blog.

Older adults playing games

Today, more than 45,000 people in the U.S. are receiving their Social Security benefits. While some retirees prefer to maintain part-time jobs that don’t conflict with their benefits or retirement plans, many others are uncertain about what to do with all the time suddenly thrust in their lap. 

While many older adults dream about the day they can hang up their 9-to-5 workdays and long commutes, they may not know precisely how to spend each day once work no longer encompasses their time. On average, seniors spend under 10 hours each day sleeping, and that leaves quite a bit of time for leisure activities once their daily chores are completed. 

The average senior has roughly seven hours of leisure time each day, according to the Wall Street Journal, and half of that is spent watching television. Unfortunately, TV watching is associated with a sedentary lifestyle, and that’s not great for anyone’s health. In order to maintain their physical and mental health—even give it a boost—retirees can embrace new hobbies that are good for both their physical and mental well-being. Here, we’ve outlined some fun retirement hobby ideas with great benefits for seniors.

Why Is It Important to Have a Hobby, Particularly after Retirement?

Older adults playing chess

No matter where they live or their financial status, seniors of all walks of life can benefit from having a hobby that they enjoy. A hobby that involves movement or supports mental agility can support seniors’ cognitive function or physical health. The amount of time that a person should devote to their hobby is, of course, entirely subjective. After all, it’s not always possible—or preferable—to fish all day in the hot sun or fish during the winter months. On the other hand, it is important to allocate plenty of time to a hobby—or even several hobbies— that can enhance the body and mind. The health benefits associated with many hobbies are undeniable. Gardening, for example, offers health benefits like sunshine, which provides the body with vitamin D and boosts serotonin production for a better, more stable mood). It also requires movement, such as bending, walking, and light lifting, which helps you maintain physical fitness. Other health benefits associated with hobbies include:

  • Stress reduction and stress management
  • Challenges the brain (which can improve functions mental functions like memory)
  • Supports the immune system
  • May support mobility
  • May support weight management
  • May improve social connections (which can enhance mood)

Physical hobbies, such as ballroom dancing or yoga, offer a wide range of health benefits, including reduced blood pressure, improved heart health, and reduced risk for mood disorders like depression. Seniors should consider their health needs and choose a hobby — or a few hobbies — that will support their health where they need it most. 

20 Hobbies That Offer Health Benefits for Seniors

Older adult on a laptop

These are some popular hobbies that seniors and retirees love and rely on to support their physical and mental health. Many involve little or very little expense but offer a tremendous amount of enjoyment, social engagement, or other benefits that are important to retirees. 

1. Learn a new language

Learning a new language offers therapeutic cognitive benefits like delaying or reducing the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This type of learning can support memory, information comprehension, and self-confidence. 

2. Knit, crochet, or sew

Although these hobbies aren’t associated with physical activity, they can help retirees maintain their mental dexterity and provide great stress reduction. Some seniors even monetize their knitting hobby by creating products for local craft fairs or their Etsy shops.

Older adult sewing

3. Gardening

Gardening offers both physical and mental health benefits — and a bounty of produce and flowers. Not only does it support heart health and mood; it may even help reduce the risk for dementia, according to AARP

4. Embrace technology

Seniors certainly can keep up with their tech-savvy grandkids if they want to. Retirees can download apps that support their other hobbies. For instance, download apps to listen to audiobooks while gardening, or post pictures of artwork on Instagram.

5. Join a virtual or in-person book club

Older adult using a tablet

Speaking of books, many seniors enjoy reading. There are library book clubs as well as virtual book clubs that are designed especially for seniors or readers of specific genres, like mysteries or literature. Book clubs offer social interaction, reducing stress and promoting a feeling of connectivity.

6. Learn a new instrument

Playing an instrument such as the piano, organ, or violin supports an individual’s dexterity. Of course, these pastimes are also enjoyable and can enhance a person’s mood or lead to better stress management. 

7. Paint

Painting is a great way to pass the time. It offers seniors improved stress reduction, enhanced dexterity, and promotes self-confidence. Seniors have many different styles to explore, including watercolor, oil, and acrylic painting. Taking an art class is another way to support this hobby and establish new social outlets.

8. Mentor a child or college student 

Maintaining connections with the outer world is important for seniors because it can reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation. While seniors can mentor online, they can also attend area community centers that welcome retired volunteers and mentors.

9. Write a memoir

Retirees are a fount of knowledge and experience. That knowledge and those experiences can be invaluable to family members but they might also be worth sharing with others. Many retirees spend time writing memoirs for different purposes—to record their life story or share their professional knowledge with people in their former work field. Writing promotes mental agility and stress reduction.

 10. Create and maintain a blog

We’ve already mentioned how writing can help seniors maintain their active minds, but blogging about topics like cooking, gardening, or traveling encourages seniors to maintain their active lifestyles. Blogging is also a great way to connect with people of all ages.

11. Animal care

Older adult with a cat

Many retirees combine their love for pets with volunteering at area animal shelters. Others opt to pet sit for some supplemental income. Animals can keep seniors from feeling lonely and show them how needed they truly are when it comes to the care of animals and pets.

12. Restore or build furniture

Carpentry and furniture restoration isn’t as active as dancing, but they can keep seniors moving and active. Many retirees look forward to the day they can spend all day at their woodworking bench or getting to projects like reupholstering old chairs. Hobbies like these help seniors stay creative and physically and mentally active. 

13. Meditate or Do Tai Chi

Activities like Tai Chi and yoga feature a strong meditative focus. This means that these pastimes support both physical and mental health. They enhance agility and flexibility while decreasing stress and improving mood. Attending classes for these hobbies is a great way for seniors to get out of their homes and meet with other people.

14. Photography

Seniors who love to be outdoors might want to improve their photography skills. Photography pairs well with many hobbies, like bird watching, artmaking, and blogging. Some retirees become quite serious about their photography and even rely on it for extra income. Like other forms of art, photography can improve mood and help reduce stress.

15. Chess

Chess has long been associated with seniors and retirees, but you don’t have to visit the park or the local coffee shop these days to enjoy a game. There are online chess clubs where seniors can improve their game. Chess is an effective way to promote mental dexterity — it may even help reduce the risk for dementia. 

16. Crossword puzzles and other games

Like chess, crossword puzzles can help retirees keep their minds active. Games that involve thinking are helpful for warding off dementia and supporting memory and overall cognitive health.

17. Cooking or baking

Older adult at the kitchen sink

Both men and women retirees look forward to the days they can spend all day in the kitchen perfecting heirloom recipes or cooking for family and friends. Cooking can reduce stress, but the simple acts of standing, bending, and stirring can also help seniors burn calories and stay mobile.

18. Walking club

Many neighborhoods are home to senior walking clubs. Walking offers both mental and physical health benefits such as weight management, cardiovascular health, mood improvement, and immune system function. Many communities feature trails specially designed for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. 

19. Start a collection

Many retirees have a passion for collecting. Whether it’s baseball cards, art, or vintage jewelry, these collections encourage seniors to get out to flea markets and estate sales. It may help them to stay active online as they scour auction sites to find their treasures. 

20. Dancing lessons

Dancing classes for adults have made a huge comeback due to the popularity of shows like Dancing with the Stars. Many community centers, as well as dance studios, feature dance classes for seniors that include ballroom dancing or even modern dance.

Each individual has to assess their own physical limitations and needs when choosing these or other hobbies. The main thing is that retirees be deliberate about allocating time to their hobbies and sticking with them to enjoy their benefits. It’s a priority for all seniors to maintain or improve their health, and participating in enjoyable pastimes such as these can certainly help. Other hobbies to keep in mind include fishing, scrapbooking, volunteering, genealogy research, tennis, bicycling, golf, geocaching, swimming, building models, origami, jewelry making, and taking online courses on a topic of their choice. 

FAQs on Practicing Yoga Amid the Pandemic: How Seniors Can Stay Safe

Our thanks to Jim Vogel for this contribution to our blog. 

Yoga is a great form of exercise for older adults, but the pandemic has disrupted many seniors’ yoga routines. Not only are studios closed in many areas of the country, seniors also tend to be at a greater risk of developing severe symptoms from COVID-19. But it doesn’t mean you have to put yoga on hold. Find a few solutions to help you continue doing yoga throughout the pandemic.

Q1: In what ways is yoga beneficial for seniors?

A1: You might be surprised at how much seniors can gain!

3 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

How You Can Improve Your Balance with Yoga

4 Ways Yoga and Meditation Can Mellow the Mind and Soothe the Soul

 

Q2: How can I practice yoga at home if I’m hesitant about going to a studio?

A2: Even though some yoga studios are reopening, you might still feel uncomfortable in a group, and that’s okay. You can practice yoga at home in a variety of ways.

The 8 Best Online Yoga Classes of 2020

Chair Yoga for Seniors: Reduce Pain and Improve Health

Yoga At Home: Stay Motivated With This Insider Trick

How to Check Your Form When You’re Doing Yoga at Home

 

Q3: How can I practice yoga safely at home while avoiding pain and injuries?

A3: Finding motivation to do yoga at home is great, but you will also want some gear that makes it safe for you to practice without an instructor.

Why Are Seniors Turning to CBD?

Get Pain Relief with the 25 Best 1000mg CBD Creams of 2020

3 Yoga Props You Need in Your Routine

4 Yoga Mistakes that Can Cause Knee Pain

 

Q4: How can I stay safe if I decide to go to a yoga studio for in-person classes?

A4: If you want to enhance your home practice by trying in-person sessions, sign up for classes with a studio that has reopened. However, take precautions to stay safe.

How to Exercise with a Face Mask — And What Not to Do

When and How to Wash Your Hands

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Do I Do If I Feel Sick?

How to Clean Your Yoga Mat the Right Way

 

Doing yoga amid the pandemic sometimes requires a different approach, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying. It’s worth setting up a practice area at home or even venturing out into the world to attend an in-person class — precautions in place.

4 Ways to Refresh and Feel Your Best Despite the Coronavirus

Our thanks to Gabriel Patel for this contribution to our blog. 

Feeling good about yourself – both inside and out – is essential for keeping a positive outlook on life. But since heading to the salon or beauty parlor hasn’t been an option for some time, you need to get creative when it comes to looking and feeling your best. Here are four ways to refresh, whether you’re staying home or heading out as pandemic restrictions lift.

1. Expand Your Perspective

As an older adult experiencing the pandemic, you might feel more “other” than ever before. Though quality of life is a concern for many people, empty nesters or those without family around often feel overlooked. But the truth is, the older generation has more of an influence on society and the economy than you might think.

Expanding your perspective by exploring resources from The Business of Aging could help reframe your thoughts on your coronavirus experiences. At the very least, you’ll learn that you have more to offer than the younger set might think.

2. Indulge in Self-Care

Self-care is one way to pamper yourself without leaving home. Whether you’re avoiding outings in public or want to stress less and continue to stay home, dedicating time to caring for your body is beneficial.

Schedule a spa day at home to refresh your body and mind. Consider adding CBD soap to your routine, especially if you’re managing dry or otherwise sensitive skin. Before buying, check out sizes, scents, and whether your favorite CBD soap is full- or broad-spectrum.

Other rejuvenating skin treatments can help combat the effects of staying indoors for so long. Remaining in self-isolation with the AC on has likely caused your skin to become drier than normal.

Prevention recommends choosing a moisturizer based on your skin type, whether you have sensitive skin or are prone to adult acne outbreaks. Especially for delicate facial skin, which becomes thinner as you age, consider a gentle moisturizing product.

If you plan to venture out as pandemic restrictions lift, pack sunblock along, too; studies suggest that only 15 percent of older adults regularly use sun protection.

3. Get Moving in New Ways

Moving your body is always trendy, but these days, it’s more about innovative routines that you can do anywhere.

Trying a virtual fitness class is a low-stakes way to try a new exercise regimen at home. Programs like SilverSneakers are typically covered by your health insurance and offer health provider-endorsed activities for enhancing balance, increasing muscle strength, and more.

If you opt for in-person courses, check out classes near you that take place outdoors. You can also seek fitness opportunities that employ other methods of reducing germ transmission, such as reducing class sizes and implementing social distancing.

4. Declutter Your Home

Like most Americans, you may have decided to start a new hobby or begin projects around the house during the pandemic. But the combination of doing more at home and not being able to entertain could mean your home has become cluttered.

You might not think it matters much, but Mayo Clinic confirms that clutter around the house can impact your mental health and distract you from important tasks. Extra stuff everywhere can even impact your sleep – so it’s vital to start creating more open space in your home.

Taking it step by step, and day by day is the best way to begin cleansing your living space. Break down tasks into manageable chunks, and you’ll accomplish more and feel better while doing it.

Staying home for such a long period has impacted many older adults in ways they didn’t expect. But now that society is reopening, the transition to the new normal requires an effort. By expanding your perspective, caring for yourself, and freeing up your living area, you can start to feel like yourself again – even as things continue to change.

Photo via Unsplash

What to Do With Your Home After Transitioning to Assisted Living

Our thanks to Jim Vogel for this contribution to our blog. 

When seniors transition into an assisted living facility, there are many questions raised about the home they’re leaving behind. After spending years of their life in their house, it can be difficult to determine the best option. Generally speaking, there are three choices seniors are faced with: selling their home, renting it out, or giving it to a family member. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It would behoove seniors and their loved ones to consider their financial and overall life circumstances before deciding on one of these options.

Sell the house to pad your savings.

The traditional step to take when moving out of a home is to list it on the market and put the proceeds toward a new property. Even though you’re not going to purchase a new home, you can still use the money to help cover the cost of the assisted living facility (assisted living in California averages $3,750 a month) or to pay off prior debts.

Before listing your home on the market, it’s important to take note of the average price of similar properties in your area to help determine what to do with your own (Alameda homes have been selling for an average of $979,000 over the last month). You want to avoid missing out on potential earnings from underpricing and prolonging a sale due to asking for too much. If you have the resources, hiring a real estate agent can also be a great way to sell your house smoothly.

Entrust it to a family member.

If you don’t like the idea of losing your home or renting it out to tenants, you can always entrust it to a family member for safekeeping. You’ll be able to maintain ownership of the property without having to worry about maintenance or upkeep. You might even find a relative willing to live in the home while paying a small fee. You’ll have the benefit of monthly income without the hassle and responsibility of dealing with renters.

Some seniors may want to go a step further and legally transfer ownership of their old home to a family member. This can be done immediately following your transition into an assisted living home or set up for a posthumous transfer of ownership. Either way, you can be sure that the home is taken care of and stays in the family.

Find tenants for a monthly income.

It’s a sad fact that millions of seniors in the United States are struggling financially, but if you’re willing to put in a little effort, your old home can be an excellent source of passive income.

The first step to turning your home into a rental property is making any necessary updates and renovations to make it livable and appealing. Next, you’ll need to find reliable tenants with good credit scores, little to no debt, and no criminal history. You may also have to hire a property manager to care for the property while you’re away. It can be a small yet necessary cost for seniors who don’t have the physical ability and time to keep a rental property up and running.

Moving into assisted living raises many questions about what to do with the home you’re leaving behind. When you have such an emotional connection to your home, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Before making the final call, make sure to consider your current circumstances and think about which option is most suitable.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Media Release: Entrepreneurs In $7 Trillion Longevity Market Learn Insights On Investors, Distribution And Marketing At What’s Next Longevity Business Summit

 

 

Entrepreneurs in $7 Trillion Longevity Market Learn Insights On

Investors, Distribution and Marketing at What’s Next Longevity Business Summit

Conference Keynoted by Expert in Aging, Ken Dychtwald;

Powerhouse Speakers from AARP, NIA, Ziegler Link·Age, Home Instead

 

ATLANTA, January 30, 2020 – The What’s Next Boomer Longevity Summit kicks off its 17th year as the premier curator of 300 thought leaders in aging – this year here in the ATL – to network and learn about the trends, innovations and opportunities addressing the consumerism and needs of adults age 50+.  The one-day conference will feature power-packed panels on the conference theme of “Mobility, Memory, Money and Marketing,” all focused on capitalizing on the $7.6 trillion longevity economy.

Executive produced by Mary Furlong & Associates (MFA), the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit is known for delivering an expert forecast for success in entrepreneurship. Attendees will learn from panelists such as investors Ziegler Link·Age, Nationwide Ventures and Portfolia on how to obtain funding; opportunities in deal-making with distribution partners such as Home Instead; customer insights and market research trends from top research agencies, innovative programs driving dementia care and brain health and more. This year’s keynote address, “The Next Wave: How Boomer Retirees Will Redefine Money, Consumerism, Family, Work, Housing, Mobility, Health and Success” will be delivered by one of the visionaries in aging, Ken Dychtwald, author and co-founder of AgeWave.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my latest ideas on which industries, products, and services will dominate the emerging longevity marketplace—many of which are hiding in plain sight,” said Dychtwald. “I’ll be covering everything from medical technologies on the horizon that have the potential to dramatically transform health and aging – to how aging Boomers’ time affluence will re-define the travel and leisure, housing, education, media, and financial services industries.”

In addition, author Maddy Dychtwald who is co-founder of AgeWave, will moderate an inspirational panel of business women discussing female economic influence and fiscal makeovers for 2020 and beyond.

Attendees learn trends and insights, but also valuable business coaching such as how to scale a business, leveraging senior housing and transportation deals, delivering for home as the new health hub, using emerging technology including VR, Voice First and AI to change consumer habits and enhance workforce development, understanding fintech and privacy issues, changes in  MedicareAdvantage reimbursement models, how to incorporate aging vitality and caregiver wellness into a business model, marketing success using content development and social media, designing with aging in mind and more.

What’s Next Longevity Business Summit Comes to the A to Focus on Longevity Economy Trends

“For 17 years we have been diving into markets in longevity and we see 2020 as an important milestone where women are at the epicenter of purchasing power globally as well as building innovative businesses to address an aging society,” said Mary Furlong, a successful entrepreneur and author in aging who has made the What’s Next conferences the must-attend events in the longevity economy. “Knowing what priorities investors have for funding, how to build distribution partner pipelines, building a business based on strong research and how to create and leverage innovations in marketing are the cornerstones of what our event delivers for attendees.”

What’s Next Longevity Business Summit is co-produced by Lori Bitter, founder of The Business of Aging, and Sherri Snelling, CEO of Caregiving Club and has been held concurrent with the American Society of Aging’s annual Aging in America conference for the last 17 years. This important partnership offers attendees both conferences: one a comprehensive look at aging, the other is the Summit’s select smaller learning and networking event of thought leaders in longevity. The Summit lead sponsors include: AARP Innovation Labs, Great Call, Ageless Innovation, CareLinx, VitalTech, Medterra CBD, Business of Aging, Susan Davis International, Caregiving Club, iN2L, Hamilton CapTel, Home Instead, myFamilyChannel, SilverRide, Outpatient, Noboscu Technology, Nationwide, Portfolia, Embodied Labs, Caremerge, Stay Smart Care and Thrive. See the event agenda and full list of speakers and sponsors at: boomersummit.com

Media Contact:

Phyllis Weiss – Weiss Communications, Inc.

weiss@weiss-communications.com

# # #

About Mary Furlong/Mary Furlong & Associates

Founded in 2003, Mary Furlong & Associates (MFA) is a strategy, business development and marketing company. A serial  entrepreneur, Mary founded SeniorNet.org, and ThirdAge Media (acquired by Ancestry.com), prior to MFA. For 17 years, Mary has produced the industry leading What’s Next Longevity Business Summit and Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit, adding the Washington Innovation Summit and What’s Next Canada in recent years. Author of Turning Silver into Gold, How to Profit in the Boomer Market and The MFA Longevity Market Report, Mary has been recognized by ASA, Fortune, Time and as one of the top 100 Women in Silicon Valley. She is an adviser to the Ziegler LinkAge Fund, CABHI and numerous start-up companies in addition to her private client practice.

About Lori Bitter/The Business of Aging

Lori K. Bitter provides strategic consulting, research and development for companies seeking to engage with mature consumers at her consultancy The Business of Aging. Her current research, Hacking Life Shifts, in collaboration with RTI research and Collaborate, was championed by AARP, and funded by Proctor & Gamble, Bank of America, Unilever and others. She is a 2017 Influencer in Aging, named by Next Avenue and author of The Grandparent Economy. She was president of J. Walter Thompson’s Boomer division, JWT BOOM, the nation’s leading mature market advertising and marketing company and led that firm’s annual Boomer marketing event for five years.

About Sherri Snelling/Caregiving Club

Sherri Snelling is a corporate gerontologist and founder/CEO of Caregiving Club, a strategic consulting and content creation firm focused on biopsychosocial aging, Alzheimer’s and caregiver wellness. Her innovative wellness programs include the Me Time MondayTM and 7 Ways to Caregiver Wellness workshops. She is the author of A Cast of Caregivers – Celebrity Stories to Help You Prepare to Care, a contributing columnist and national speaker on caregiving and has done work for AARP, Keck Medicine of USC, UnitedHealthcare, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, LifeCare, QVC. She was chairman of the National Alliance for Caregiving and is on an Alzheimer’s Association board.

The Best City to Retire in Every State

Best Cities to Retire in the USA

Our thanks to Jennifer Karami of Redfin, for this contribution to our blog.

Everyone has a unique dream of retirement and choosing the right place for you is imperative. The best cities to retire in the USA are almost as diverse as each individual’s vision for their golden years. To help narrow it down, we named the best city to retire in every state Redfin operates. Rankings were determined by common factors that make a good retirement destination regardless of geographic location.

  • Walk Score: Cities with good walkability scored higher on our list because a high Walk Score® ranking is correlated with good health, sustainability, and civic engagement.
  • State and local (non-federal) income tax rate: Many people retire on a fixed income, so cities with low taxes were considered ideal in our ranking
  • Average daily temperature: Since many retirees prefer moderate-warm weather, we considered cities with a warm average daily temperature close to 75° to be desirable.
  • Percentage of 65+ households: It’s nice to have a community of people who are roughly the same age, and a higher 65+ population indicates the city is popular among retirees who already live there. The data is based on the percentage of households headed by someone age 65+.
  • Percentage of “accessible” homes for sale on Redfin: “Accessible listings” include features like ramps, parking spaces, and ADA-compliant bathrooms. We interpret accessibility as a measure of retiree-friendliness.

We didn’t consider home prices as they vary widely within and across states and “affordability” is subjective. Each category was weighted equally, and the city with the highest combined score across the above categories was chosen as the best place to retire in that state.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide which factors are most important for your retirement. Take a look at the results to see which city ranked highest in your state, explore the best cities to retire nationwide, and learn about what makes these cities particularly great places to retire.

The Best City to Retire in Each State

State City Walk Score Average Daily Max Temperature (°F) Percentage of 65+ Households AccessibleListings Average State & Local Tax Income Rate
Alabama Gadsden 14 72° 30% 0% 4%
Arizona Tucson 25 80° 30% 83% 3%
Arkansas Hot Springs 14 73° 38% 0% 4.9%
California San Luis Obispo 31 71° 30% 15% 6.2%
Colorado Greeley 21 64° 20% 21% 3.9%
Connecticut New Haven 29 58° 26% 5% 5.4%
Delaware Dover 16 63° 25% 13% 4.4%
Florida Deltona 24 81° 36% 16% 0.7%
Georgia Rome 14 72° 27% 11% 4.4%
Idaho Coeur d’Alene 19 55° 27% 4% 5%
Illinois Kankakee 28 60° 25% 5% 3.4%
Indiana Indianapolis 15 62° 24% 3% 4.9%
Kentucky Louisville 13 65° 25% 0% 6.1%
Louisiana New Orleans 28 78° 24% 5% 3.4%
Maryland Salisbury 20 64° 33% 36% 6%
Massachusetts Boston 44 57° 24% 3% 5.4%
Michigan Detroit 43 58° 26% 1% 4.4%
Minnesota Duluth 18 50° 27% 0% 5.6%
Missouri St Louis 21 65° 25% 2% 4.3%
Nebraska Lincoln 36 62° 21% 0% 5%
Nevada Carson City 31 59° 30% 4% 0.6%
New Hampshire Manchester 22 55° 23% 21% 1.7%
New Jersey Atlantic City 33 63° 27% 16% 4.3%
New Mexico Santa Fe 24 62° 32% 0% 4.2%
New York New York 63 60° 25% 5% 7.6%
North Carolina Asheville 11 62° 31% 3% 4.8%
Ohio Youngstown 23 58° 30% 0% 4.3%
Oklahoma Tulsa 19 73° 24% 0% 3.9%
Oregon Eugene 31 57° 27% 42% 7.1%
Pennsylvania Lebanon 25 61° 29% 20% 3.9%
Rhode Island Providence 30 58° 25% 1% 5.2%
South Carolina Myrtle Beach 21 73° 27% 8% 4.7%
Tennessee Chattanooga 9 69° 32% 88% 2.4%
Texas Sherman 17 78° 28% 4% 0.3%
Utah Salt Lake City 27 58° 19% 21% 5%
Virginia Winchester 14 63° 27% 18% 5%
Washington Longview 21 56° 29% 12% 1%
Wisconsin Janesville 27 56° 24% 0% 5%

Gadsden, Alabama

Gadsden was founded in 1846 along the Coosa River as a steamboat station. Since then it has developed into a thriving town full of outdoor activities. Noccalula Falls is the main attraction in Gadsden. The waterfall spans more than ninety feet and the park contains an admirable botanical garden.

Activities: Imagination Place Children’s Museum, Gadsden Museum of Art, James D. Martin Wildlife Park

Tucson, Arizona

We ranked Tucson as the best city to retire in Arizona. Eighty-three percent of listings in Tucson are marked “accessible,” making it a great place to find a home or condo for retirement. Tucson is surrounded by five major mountain ranges, so you’ll see gorgeous views of these mountains in every direction. This area is known for its warm weather, jaw-dropping sunsets, and star-gazing. With plenty of golf courses in nearby Scottsdale, golf lovers will have no problem swinging those clubs all year long. 

Activities: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Air and Space Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, Reid Park Zoo, Tucson Botanical Gardens

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas

As the name suggests, this town in the Ouachita Mountains is known for its natural hot springs. You can soak away your aches and pains in thermal bathhouses from the 19th century. Hot Springs has a variety of other amenities such as nature walks, nearby casinos, or horse races at Oaklawn. With a large 65+ population, you will be in the company of many other retirees.

Activities: Arlington Hotel, Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Lake Catherine State Park, Garvan Woodland Botanical Gardens, Magic Springs Theme & Water Park

Hot Springs, Arkansas

San Luis Obispo, California

Data suggests the best city to retire in California is San Luis Obispo. SLO is located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, where luscious greenery meets beautiful beaches. The area boasts over 280 wineries, giving you the opportunity to sip local wine while you relish the warm, sunny weather.

Activities: Palm Theater, Art Deco Fremont Theater, Bishop Peak, Sunset Drive-In

San Louis Obispo, California

Greeley, Colorado

Greely has it all – parks, culture, and family-friendly activities, making it arguably the best city to retire in Colorado. Greely is near the Poudre River which has well-maintained walking trails and great spots to watch birds and wildlife among the cottonwood trees. Greely has won many awards and accolades, making it a certified great place to retire.

Activities: Family FunPlex, Poudre River Trail, Railroad Museum, Island Grove Fairground 

Greely, CO

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven lies on the coast of the Long Island Sound and is home to the esteemed Yale University. This town has centuries-old architecture combined with a thriving arts and culture scene, making it a fun and unique place for academics of all ages. New Haven also has a high Walk Score ranking, so getting around to all of these places is a breeze.

Activities: Yale University Art Gallery, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, East Rock Park, Lighthouse Point Park

Dover, Delaware

Dover is the second-largest city in Delaware and is located on the St. Jones River in the Delaware River Coastal Plain. Dover is rich with historical sites and surrounded by parks and green landscapes. Dover is also a quick drive to some breathtaking beaches along the Atlantic Ocean.

Activities: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, International Speedway, Air Mobility Command Museum, Biggs Museum of American Art, John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware Agricultural Museum

Deltona, Florida

We named Deltona the best city to retire in Florida based on an extremely low (0.7 percent) income tax rate, plus year-round warm weather. Deltona is on the north side of the beautiful Lake Monroe, making it a superb destination for boating, fishing, or birdwatching. In addition to NASCAR, Deltona is home to lots of local creative talent – you can catch musicians, authors, and performers in the intimate Deltona Arts Center.

Activities: NASCAR, Blue Spring State Park, Deltona Veterans Memorial Museum, Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Black Bear Wilderness Area, Museum of Arts & Sciences, Daytona Boardwalk, Flea & Farmers Market

Deltona Beach, Florida

Rome, Georgia

If you’re looking to get away from the big city but still be close enough to essentials, Rome is the place for you! Rome is a small town with an abundant sense of community. Rome has great parks and a variety of shopping boutiques, as well as tasty restaurants and bars. Rome also has an average daily temperature of 72 degrees, making every day spent outside enjoyable.

Activities: Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum, Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area, Ridge Ferry Park

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Coeur d’Alene is known for its large and lively lake – a great place for boat activities, water sports, or relaxation on the beach. Coeur d’Alene has plenty of delicious restaurants and boutiques. Take the grandkids to nearby Silverwood, the Pacific Northwest’s largest theme park, for a day of family fun.

Activities: Tubbs Hill, Coeur d’Alene Casino, North Idaho Centennial Trail, Museum of North Idaho

Coeur d'Alene Idaho

Kankakee, Illinois

The Kankakee River is 133 miles long and runs right through the town of Kankakee, Illinois. Fishing in this area is plentiful – with 13 riverfront parks and a five-acre stocked quarry, it’s the perfect place to catch a record number of fish! With a relatively high Walk Score ranking, exploring the area is a fun and easy task.

Activities: Harley Bradley House, Kankakee Valley Park District, Kankakee County Museum, French Heritage Museum

Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis is known as the racing capital of the world due to its motor speedway. In addition to fast cars, Indianapolis also has miles of recreational trails to explore and a lively downtown with a flourishing culinary scene.

Activities: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, White River State Park, Indiana State Museum, Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville sits on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. If you like horse races, you’re in luck – Louisville hosts the world-famous Kentucky Derby every May at Churchill Downs. Louisville is Kentucky’s largest city and has many activities for all ages.

Activities: Churchhill Downs, Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Lousiville Zoo, Louisville Mega Cavern, Muhammad Ali Center, Kentucky Derby Museum

Louisville, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is known for its music, festivities, and amazing food. You’ll never get bored of the diverse and delicious restaurant selection (beignets, anyone?). If you’re a jazz fan, NOLA is the place for you – music fills the streets each night, creating a festive atmosphere. A low tax rate helped New Orleans land a top spot in our best cities to retire.

Activities: New Orleans Museum of Art, National World War II Museum, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter, Ghost Tours

New Orleans, Louisiana

Salisbury, Maryland

If you love birdwatching, Salisbury is the place for you! Located on the Delmarva Peninsula, this area has miles of wetlands where you can see loons, herons, swans, and more. Salisbury is less than an hour drive from Assateague Island, a beach where you can watch Maryland’s wild ponies frolic in the sand.

Activities: Salisbury Zoological Park, The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Pemberton Historical Park, Poplar Hill Mansion, Schumaker Pond

Maryland

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and rich with history! Boston played a big role in the American Revolution and has plenty of monuments and museums to visit. In addition to history, this city has a beautiful harbor and a great nightlife. With a Walk Score ranking of 44, the Boston area is effortless to navigate.

Activities: Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston Common, Museum of Fine Arts, Fenway Park, Boston Public Garden, Boston Harbor, New England Aquarium.

Boston, MA

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is located on the border of Canada and was once settled by French Explorers. As the birthplace of the automobile, this city is chock full of history and innovation. Once an industrial hub, Detroit is now a thriving art, culture, and sports city with many beautiful homes for sale.

Activities: Henry Ford Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Belle Isle Park, Comerica BallPark, GM Renaissance Center, Motown Museum, Fox Theatre, Campus Martius Park, Greektown Casino, The Guardian Building, Detroit Historical Society

Detroit, MI

Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth is a port city located on Lake Superior in the awe-inspiring Great Lakes region (the largest body of freshwater on earth!) With beautiful lakefront trails, parks, mountains, and more, Duluth is an excellent place for outdoor activities like kayaking, skiing, and horseback riding.

Activities: Canal Park, Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, Glensheen, Great Lakes Aquarium, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Aerial Lift Bridge, Jay Cooke State Park

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is nestled along the Mississippi River and is home to the iconic Gateway Arch built in the 1960s in honor of Lewis and Clark. This city has so much to offer, from family-friendly activities to blues clubs to historical landmarks.

Activities: Missouri Botanical Garden, Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, Busch Stadium, National Blues Museum, River City Casino and Hotel, World Chess Hall of Fame.

St Louis, Missouri

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln is home to the University of Nebraska and has a vibrant shopping and nightlife scene. They also have the most parkland in the United States, which allows for plenty of lively festivals and attractions in the summer.

Activities: Nebraska State Capitol, Pioneers Park Nature Center, Sunken Gardens, International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska State Museum, Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Carson City, Nevada

We ranked Carson City as the best city to retire in Nevada because of their thriving retiree community (30 percent of residents are age 65+) and extremely low tax rates (0.6 percent), which make it easy to budget well into retirement. The Sierra Nevada mountains provide the community with a plethora of outdoor activities. Lake Tahoe is only 20 minutes away, and with an average of 300 sunny days a year, this region is a perfect destination for snowbirds.

Activities: Lake Tahoe, Nevada State Museum, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester is a metropolitan city surrounded by rolling mountain ranges and luscious forests. If you like to ski, this is the right place for you – Manchester gets over 60 inches of snowfall on average per year!

Activities: Currier Museum of Art, McIntyre Ski Area, Zimmerman House, Manchester Historic Association Millyard Museum, SEE Science Center

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City is home to 1,000 feet of over-the-ocean fun. Their boardwalk provides activities for all ages. From people-watching to visiting delicious restaurants with ocean views, the opportunities for leisure are endless. Atlantic City also has dozens of casinos along the boardwalk accompanied by large hotels that showcase great nightlife.

Activities: Absecon Lighthouse, Atlantic City Boardwalk, Borgata, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Steel Peer

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Santa Fe, New Mexico

American painter Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by Santa Fe’s breathtaking landscape, and it’s easy to see why. Adorable stucco houses enhance the backdrop of the colorful Cristo mountains. Santa Fe has so much to offer when it comes to arts and culture. This area also has a ton of southwestern history just waiting to be explored!

Activities: Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Palace of the Governors, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Santa Fe Farmers Market

Santa Fe, New Mexico

New York, New York

New York City sits where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The Big Apple is home to the world’s major commercial, financial, and cultural centers. With an abundance of things to do and places to eat, the “city that never sleeps” will keep you on your toes well into retirement – literally. With one of the highest Walk Score rankings in the country, the New York area is perfect for those looking for an active, metropolitan lifestyle.

Activities: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park, The Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, 9/11 Memorial

Brooklyn , NY

Asheville, North Carolina

According to our calculations, Asheville is the best city to retire in North Carolina. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its historic architecture and thriving arts scene. Asheville has a vibrant food landscape, festivals year-round, and tons of outdoor activities to participate in. Asheville has a very pleasant retirement community, with 31 percent of the population in Salisbury being greater than age 65.

Activities: Biltmore, The North Carolina Arboretum, Pisgah National Forest, Folk Art Center, Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown is located halfway between Cleveland and Pittsburgh and has a growing downtown shopping and restaurant scene. In addition to revitalizing their downtown, the residents of Youngstown are extremely friendly and regularly gather to celebrate their community.

Activities: Mill Creek Park, Fellows Riverside Gardens, The Butler Institute of American Art, Lanterman’s Mill, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, a city that was once considered the oil capital of the world, has transformed into a lively metro area with youthful, quirky energy. Tulsa has many attractions, including over 100 parks, and is known for its art deco-style architecture.

Activities: Philbrook Museum of Art, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Zoo, Oklahoma Aquarium, River Spirit Casino Resort, Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Tulsa Botanic Garden

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, but it’s far more than a college town – in fact, we ranked it the best city to retire in Oregon. Eugene has vast outdoor areas with a host of walking, jogging, and hiking trails to explore. You can hunt at Fern Ridge, fish at Junction City, or visit the Rhododendron and Botanical gardens. Forty-two percent of listings in Eugene are accessible, making it a great place for retirees to find an independent living situation.

Activities: Skinner Butte Park, Alton Baker Park, Spencer Butte, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Fern Ridge Reservoir, Owen Rose Garden, Silvan Ridge Winery

Eugene Oregon

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Lebanon is a small pastoral town in Pennsylvania, surrounded by fields and characterized by a relaxed way of life. Lebanon has a rich heritage and a very welcoming community. This area has a variety of pleasant parks perfect for boating, fishing, hunting, and picnicking.

Activities: Bomberger’s Distillery, Memorial Lake State Park, Mount Hope Estate & Winery, Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Providence, Rhode Island

Providence is the capital city of Rhode Island and home to prestigious Brown University. Providence has an exciting downtown urban landscape with trendy coffee shops and flourishing community gardens. People of all ages will enjoy the parks and museums Providence has to offer.

Activities: RISD Museum, Water Fire, Providence Children’s Museum, India Point Park, Rhode Island State Park

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is located on South Carolina’s Atlantic coast. The vibrant city has more than 60 miles of beachfront and is known as the golf capital of the world. With over 100 golf courses, what more could you ask for?

Activities: Broadway at the Beach, Sky Wheel, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, Myrtle Beach State Park, World Tour Golf Links

Myrtle Beach, SC

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. With a prime location on the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has access to tons of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Visit the Tennessee Riverpark downtown where you can explore the walking trails or fish from the piers. Chattanooga has an extremely high number of accessible home listings (88 percent), so there will be no worry when trying to find the perfect place.

Activities: Tennessee Riverpark, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Hunter Museum of American Art, Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls

Sherman, Texas

We named Sherman the best city to retire in Texas. With a record-low tax rate (0.3 percent), retirees can stretch their dollar further while enjoying the year-round warm weather. Named after Sidney Sherman – a hero of the Texas revolution – this quaint town offers a relaxed way of life. Although Sherman is a small town, it is packed with plenty of enjoyable activities and a very inviting, friendly community of Texans.

Activities: Eisenhower Birthplace, Herman Baker Park, The Sherman Museum, Pecan Grove West Park

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is situated among Utah’s gorgeous Wasatch Mountains. Residents enjoy proximity to five National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, and Yellowstone. Salt Lake City is also an hour’s drive to nine amazing ski resorts – a skiers dream! Salt Lake has a strong religious community, but people of all religions are made to feel welcome.

Activities: Temple Square, Utah State Capitol Building, Red Butte Garden, Hogle Zoo, Millcreek Canyon

Salt Lake City, UT

Winchester, Virginia

Located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Winchester is a town chock full of historic gems. The area has a long and storied past, dating back to the 1700s when Shawnee Indians lived on the land. Kids will enjoy exploring the many museums and learning about the civil war and American history.

Activities: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, Patsy Cline Historic House, Old Town Winchester, George Washington’s Office, Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, The Kernstown Battlefield, Fort Loudoun Historic Site, Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters, James Charles Winery & Vineyard

Longview, Washington

We found Longview to be the best city to retire in Washington state. Longview is a verdant area located near the Columbia River. Longview has a variety of recreational facilities, including Lake Sacajawea Park, which is known for its vibrant gardens and wonderful walking trails. The region has dozens of other parks with lots of dog-friendly areas and sports fields. Local and state taxes are low at just 1 percent, so your dollar will stretch much further than other areas in Washington.

Activities: Lake Sacajawea Park, Columbia Theater, Nutty Narrows Bridge, The Lewis and Clark Bridge, Cowlitz County Historical Museum.

Janesville, Wisconsin

Janesville is known as Wisconsin’s city of parks. They have thousands of acres of parkland as well as 53 new and improved parks. These parks have boat launches, golf courses, and nature trails, making Janesville the perfect place for outdoor recreation.

Activities: Rotary botanical gardens, Lincoln-Tallman House, Palmer Park, Riverside Park, Fermenting Cellars Winery

Whether you enjoy living in the hustle and bustle of the city or prefer to retire in a more laid-back town where you know everyone’s name, the States have plenty of options for retirees. We ran the numbers to determine our (subjective) list of the best cities to retire, but you don’t have to take our word for it. In fact, we’d love to hear what you think! Did your city make the list? Is there a city we missed? What makes your city a great place to retire? Let us know in the comments.

Assisted Living or Aging in Place? How to Choose

Our thanks to Caroline James of elderaction.org, for this contribution to our blog.

Where to live when you’re elderly is the type of decision you want to make before life forces you to do so. If you don’t, you may discover you have fewer options than you’d hoped. Seniors who have a disability are sometimes unable to return home, and without time to spare, they have no choice but to move into whichever care facility has space.

Unfortunately, it’s also exactly the type of decision you want to avoid. No one likes thinking about losing their independence or developing an age-related disability. However, you can’t ignore the fact that two in three seniors will need long-term care as they age.

So, how do you choose where to live and receive care when you’re older? These are the three most important factors to consider.

Location

Some communities are more suited to aging in place than others. For instance, seniors who live near medical facilities, caregiving agencies, public transit, and other important amenities have an easier time aging at home than rural seniors.

Care Needs

Seniors who need a lot of daily support benefits from assisted living, where they don’t have to worry about coordinating and budgeting for in-home care. On the other hand, seniors in good health can retain full independence by aging in place. So, consider your health today and how it may change in the future; if you have chronic health conditions or mobility problems now, you’re more likely to need full-time care later on.

Cost

Assisted living averages $48,000 a year — and that cost is steadily rising. While expensive, assisted living may cost less than you’d spend aging at home. At $22 an hour, the average cost of part-time care is lower than assisted living, but seniors who need round-the-clock care can save money by moving to assisted living.

How to Choose an Assisted Living Facility

Assisted living communities offer a supportive living environment where seniors can get help with day-to-day activities, such as taking medications, preparing meals, and managing personal care. Many assisted living facilities offer perks like fitness centers, gardens, and spas.

Since every assisted living community has its own personality, you’ll want to tour several in the San Francisco area before making a decision. Keep in mind that different communities offer different levels of independence. While some have communal facilities and cater specifically to seniors needing in-home care, others offer apartments and studios for seniors who are still self-sufficient but want some basic assistance with housekeeping and healthcare. Prices also range widely in San Francisco, with assisted living costs ranging from $1,695 to $11,270 a month. Factor your budget and your needs to narrow your search for the right assisted living facility.

How to Age in Place

If you’re in good health, you may be thinking of aging in place. However, are you sure your home is the right one to age in? While most seniors prefer to age in place, many don’t live in a home suited to senior living. They might not pose an obstacle now, but staircases, narrow doorways, and dimly lit spaces become a safety hazard in your 80s.

Some seniors opt to remodel their current home while others choose to buy a new house better suited to aging in place. When making your decision, consider not only the cost but also convenience. The cost savings offered by downsizing may be modest, but moving to a newer home means fewer repairs to worry about during retirement. You’ll also be able to settle in within weeks instead of waiting months for a remodel to finish.

Whatever you choose, don’t wait to think about where you’ll live when you’re older. If you decide to move to assisted living, you’ll need time to prepare your budget and find the perfect facility for your golden years. And if you decide that you want to age in place, starting now means you have many years to enjoy your ideal home.

Making Your Mental Health a Priority After the Loss of Your Spouse

Our thanks to Elmer George, Elderville.org,  for this contribution to our blog: 

A few months ago, my husband’s mom passed away. She had cancer and spent her final days in hospice. I must admit watching my father-in-law deal with the loss has been truly eye-opening. My mother-in-law not only did most of their cooking and cleaning, but managed their finances as well. We’ve been helping my father-in-law work through his grief, while also helping him learn to live on his own. I’ve shown him how to cook some easy recipes, my husband has taken over his finances, and we’ve tried to get additional help here and there to fill in the gaps. I’ve learned a lot about what I need to be doing to help my own parents as they age, and I’d love to share my experiences with others.

The loss of a spouse is a devastating life event. For seniors, many who have been with their partners for decades and decades, it can be an enormous blow to their mental health. Not only do you face crippling sadness, loneliness, and depression, but you have to cope while also handling final arrangements, dealing with life insurance policies and the will, and doing what you can to avoid clashing with family. That’s why it’s vital that you make your mental well-being your #1 priority during this trying time.

Don’t try to speed up your grief

“Numerous research studies have demonstrated spousal bereavement is a major source of life stress that often leaves people vulnerable to later problems, including depression, chronic stress, and reduced life expectancy,” notes Psychology Today.

It is counterproductive to try to convince yourself to get over your grief, or to listen to people who tell you that there should be a time limit on your mourning. While prolonged depression stemming from the loss of a spouse can lead to health problems, attempting to suppress grief can also be incredibly detrimental. Know that you are allowed to feel sad, and never try to speed up your grieving process.

One of the best ways to begin the grieving process is to have a service for your spouse. Whether the service is a funeral or for cremation, this is an important first step. A service honors your spouse, brings family together, begins the healing process, and may bring loved ones the closure they need.

Avoid short-term fixes that can become bad habits

You might think that it’s okay to develop a few bad habits because you’re just getting through the hard times and these new habits aren’t part of your normal lifestyle, just part of the grieving process. But relying on alcohol, smoking, drugs, or overeating to help you cope with your emotional pain is even more dangerous for seniors than for younger people. Alcohol, for example, exacerbates mental health problems like anxiety and depression and is a leading cause of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Not only that, but seniors tend to already be on more medications, which can have negative interactions with other substances.

Focus on eating right and exercising

The best thing you can do for your brain is to eat right and exercise. Getting enough physical activity helps our brain produce chemicals that improve our mood. What we put in our bodies is our fuel, and if you feed yourself subpar fuel, you’re going to have poor performance. If you want to help your brain battle depression and anxiety, stick to a healthy diet and be sure to get at least 30-45 minutes of moderate activity per day.

“Research in humans shows that exercise can stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones vital to healthy cognition,” says the National Institutes of Health.

Force yourself to be social

When dealing with the loss of a spouse, many seniors tend to self-isolate. But this is one of the worst things you can do for your mental health. Talking with family and friends is one of the best ways to overcome excessive grief. “The most compassionate self-action you can take is to find a support system of caring friends and relatives who will provide the understanding you need,” says Oprah.com. Another way to talk to people about your grief is to join a grief group or seek counseling. These options may be available either locally or online.

There is no magic bullet for dealing with the devastating grief that comes with losing a spouse. But if you make a point to focus on your own mental health, you’ll be much more likely to succeed.

About Elderville.org:

Elderville.org is a resource guide for everything related to seniors. We connect our readers to reliable sources on the internet so they don’t have to spend time searching. We have safety tips for daily activities, and resources that range from healthcare to volunteering.

Article & quick links provided by ElderVille: https://elderville.org/

Find your helpful quick links here for Seniors:

Can I Get a Mortgage if I’m Retired?
https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/mortgage/can-i-get-a-mortgage-if-i-m-retired/

A Guide to Downsizing for Seniors and Their Loved Ones
https://www.redfin.com/blog/seniors-guide-to-downsizing

Should You Own or Rent a Home in Retirement?
https://www.fool.com/mortgages/2017/05/04/should-you-own-or-rent-a-home-in-retirement.aspx

Home Modifications Increase Senior Safety
https://www.angieslist.com/articles/home-modifications-increase-senior-safety.htm

How to Save for a Down Payment on a House
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to-save-for-a-down-payment-on-a-house-1289847

7 Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas That Increase Home Value (And What To Avoid)
https://www.moneycrashers.com/7-home-improvements-to-increase-its-value/

Home Construction & Design Techniques for Child Safety
https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/child-safety-home-design-and-projects/

How to Deter Burglars: Keeping Potential Robbers Away From Your Home
https://www.asecurelife.com/how-to-deter-burglars/

The Business of Aging reports on how older adults are “Hacking Longevity”

Hacking Longevity is the first study to examine how three generations of adults over the age of 50 – Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Silent Generation – are thinking about and planning for longer lives. Until now, the idea of increased longevity has been mostly conceptual and aspirational. Through a rigorous research process, Hacking Longevity examination, provides insights on how brands and organizations can better serve consumers of the longevity economy. The study was conducted in the Fall of 2017 and Winter of 2018 and led by Lori Bitter at The Business of Aging.

The study debuted at AARP’s Living 100 event in Washington DC in April. This timeline illustrates key inflection points in people’s lives as they age, as revealed in the data. To learn more about Hacking Longevity, join us in June at The Silicon Valley Boomer Venture Summit where we will provide a briefing for attendees.

Hacking Longevity was conducted in partnership with Collaborata, and underwritten by AARP, Wells Fargo Advisors, GreatCall, and Proctor and Gamble Ventures.