Proactive Health in Retirement: Episode 144
September 17, 2018
Living Healthy in Retirement
I talked with Cassandra Hill, who is a gerontologist and a certified wellness coach. She started out working with seniors in long-term care and assisted living and enjoyed her time. The health of the seniors she worked with declined to a point that their quality of life was limited. This gave her the passion to work with seniors and give them a better quality of life.
In this episode, Cassandra enlightens us on how to age properly and the things that we should do to live out our senior years in peace and confidence.
Cassandra tells us that the baby boomers are in their retirement age and they need to be proactive about aging. She has served seniors living at home, in a skilled nursing, assisted living, and also in hospice. She ensures that their emotional health is also taken care of so that they are in a good mental state. Their wellbeing is not only important to them, but also for their loved ones and family members.
Our body and mind are interwoven and often mental stress can lead to physical symptoms and even cause illness. It is necessary to take care of both in order to live a comfortable life.
Concerns about aging
I ask Cassandra to tell us more about the concerns of aging and growing old. She states that the primary concern of seniors she works with is finances. Having the means necessary to live and fear of outliving their money. Many people have not bought long-term insurance or didn't save enough to go through retirement. With the advance in medical science, people are living longer but with chronic illness.
Such people need to apply for government insurance like Medicaid immediately, which can cover long-term care depending on your circumstances. The insurance also pays for meals or any medical expenses including that of a nurse. Some states also offer the PACE program for seniors which are all-inclusive programs that come helpful in the golden years.
Cassandra is now focusing on people who are yet to retire so that she can work with them and help them save enough for retirement. She also feels that the retirement system in the country should change otherwise future generations won't be able to support them.
I presented Cassandra a hypothetical situation of a 62-year-old woman who has to take care of her kids and also has to check in on her parents. Doing things for her parents such as occasionally buying groceries and other things for them. I ask Cassandra what suggestion she would give to such a woman.
Cassandra says that this woman should first take care of herself otherwise she won't be able to care for others. She should go for a routine check-up at least once every 6 months. She also advises her to take self-care measurements and get the finances sorted. She suggests getting some form of pension and gets a retirement plan while making some cutbacks in her lifestyle. Her kids can also apply for education loans to take some burden off her shoulders.
For a 62-year-old woman living independently, Cassandra advises her to develop healthy habits or should practice living healthy. She should also exercise regularly for about 30 minutes a day to increase her heart rate. To avoid feelings of isolation, she should join some community such as YMCA and interact with people who share the same interests.
Advice from Cassandra
Cassandra also gives out words of wisdom who want to be proactive about their aging. She tells us to invite an Aging in Home designer who can come and assess your house. They can suggest a number of changes which might help you in living healthy and happy for a long time. Such considerations include putting slides in the shower, taking up rugs and so on. Talking on the subject it turns out that falls are really common with senior people. Most of the falls happen in the bathroom facilitated by factors such as water and slippery floors.