Five ways to avoid the care home

From staying frisky to embracing older age, read our top five tips for avoiding the care home and staying in the home you know and love.

As we approach our more senior years, we’re conditioned to a certain formula. We work all our lives, we retire and then we enjoy ourselves until our bodies dictate we move to a care home. Makes sense, well apart from one thing… It doesn’t have to be the case anymore. There are a number of ways in which you can avoid ending up among the sloppy meals, the organised fun and the general upheaval moving to a care home brings.

Embrace older age

We’re all living longer, it’s a marvel of modern medicine. With longer lives comes changing attitudes. The age our parents and grandparents considered to be old, is the new middle age. It keeps us young at heart. And, while that seems like somewhat of a redundant platitude, there is growing proof that embracing our more elderly years, may actually help extend our lives. A recent Yale study found those who retain a positive mental attitude to ageing on average live 7.5 years longer.

Don’t be a stranger

Being around friends and family is fundamental to enjoying your life but studies have also shown it can help you live longer and stay happier. Research in 2013 indicated that those isolated from the ones they love have a 26% higher risk of death over seven years. If you’re happy, around the friends you love, you’ll have a support network to help you cope in your own home.

Have care come to you

There does come a time in all our lives when, even with a strong support network, it becomes difficult to deal with the day-to-day tasks alone. Unsurprisingly, evidence has shown that as many as 97% of us don’t want to go to a care home, yet that’s where many of us end up. However, this no longer needs to be the case. Companies such as Elder provide 24-hour live-in carers, meaning you get all the support of a care facility, combined with all the advantages of staying in your own home. 

Keep active

We’re all well aware of the need to keep in shape thanks to the constant television reminders. Regular exercise can help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease and it also helps keep our minds positive. A healthy body and a healthy mind mean we’re able to stay active for longer and therefore able to stay independent and avoid the need of going to a care home. Life’s about balance so ensure you get a regular mix of exercise, meaning practising your endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.  

Feel the love

People think we don’t want to talk about it as we get older, but it’s perfectly normal to have a healthy sex life. In fact, around 30% of over 65s have sex at least twice a month. It might not be as frisky as it used to be, but even loving touches have the benefit of releasing hormones that can help reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem. The two hormones released, dopamine and oxytocin, both improve cognitive function and can reduce the risk of dementia. Ultimately, staying sexy and active could help keep you out of a care home. 

Last modified: November 26, 2020

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