Blessed with a good health system and a better understanding of human ageing, we are living longer than previous generations and entering our later years healthier than our parents did.
In a presentation at Toombul Bowls Club on 19 March, Centacare Brisbane North Operations Manager Kathleen Davies shared the top five things people need to consider in order to live active, fulfilled and independent lives in their later years.
Have a plan
Like anything worthwhile, ageing well can take a bit of work. Having a plan for your later years is crucial and it’s never too early to start thinking about it. Some of the key things to think about include where you will live, what your financial situation will look like, how you will support your own physical and mental health and what services are available to help you live well longer.
Have a purpose
It’s important we continue to find meaning in life as we age. Activities keep our minds working well and it’s never too late to learn something new. What makes you get up in the morning? Is it a love of photography? Playing cards with your neighbours? Pottering around in the garden? Perhaps there are opportunities for you to share your skills and experience in a community volunteering role? The possibilities are endless!
Stay active – physically and socially
Finding ways to stay active and socially connected is important for your physical and mental wellbeing. Try engaging in regular, moderate-intensity physical activities such as walking, swimming or golf. Get out and about in your community, participate in recreational activities and join social groups with people who share your interests.
Stay living at home
Research shows that 83% of people over 60 want to stay living in their own homes in their later years. This isn’t surprising. For most of us, our home is our sanctuary. It’s where we feel safe and comfortable. It might be where our kids grew up and where our memories lie. The good news is that studies also show Australians are more likely to live well longer if they stay at home. Some of the reported benefits include an increased sense of purpose, control, confidence and capability, stronger social connections and increased life expectancy.
Access services sooner!
Many people are unaware of the services that can help them live well longer. Research has found that in-home care and social support extends peoples’ ability to live happy, fulfilled lives (in their own home) for longer. Government funding is available for people who would benefit from help in the home and getting out into their community.
Maybe you would like help to mow the lawn? Clean your house? Change a light bulb? Or maybe you’d like the opportunity to connect with people in your community, enjoy day trips or even a dance class?
Centacare can help you understand what funding might be available to you and guide you through the application process. As a registered provider of services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program and Home Care Packages, we provide all kinds of great services and can work in partnership with you to help design your best life and live well longer.
Please phone us on 1300 236 822 to find out how we can help you.