People are living longer and this has moved the focus of researchers, policymakers and health care providers from how to improve lifespan to how to preserve health in the later years.
The goal of many older adults is to stay healthy, productive and active. They want to remain independent for as long as possible and often prefer to ‘age in place.’ Here are some challenges that older adults face and the type of products, services or programs that could help to address them.
The health care journey can be complex for older adults, many of whom suffer from chronic conditions. Some aspects of health care are easier to manage than others.
For example, taking the right medicine at the right time is possible with special pill boxes and devices that remind a person when it is time to take the next dose. When it comes to health insurance, families look for options that consider care for older adults in the most cost-effective and least restrictive settings.
Russell Noga believes it should be easy for older adults to understand their healthcare options and formed Medisupps to help them. He recommends Accendo Medicare supplement plans. They offer a 14% household discount, which is higher than the average household discounts most companies offer.
Traditional models of work and retirement have not really changed to reflect the fact that people are living longer. Many people are choosing to work beyond the time when they are eligible for retirement to keep earning. Others choose to work part-time or do contract work to supplement their pensions.
It is time for some new models and new tools to finance a longer lifespan. This means thinking about new opportunities for employment in later life as well as better ways to prevent older adults from being taken in by financial scams.
Outdated social norms result in marginalized and isolated older adults. Helping them stay meaningfully engaged is critical for their mental health. It is important to come up with ways to provide opportunities for people to keep learning throughout life and to enable them to engage meaningfully and share their experience and wisdom.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the leading causes of death and has no cure. Better tools and services are being designed to increase awareness, allow for early prediction and diagnose as well as slow down cognitive decline and offer support to caregivers.
Aging in place
Many older adults would rather stay in their own homes and yet a third of those over 65 need help with at least one of the tasks of daily living, such as dressing, bathing or making meals. If they can make use of various products and services to help them with their basic daily activities, they can maintain their independence for much longer.
Hiring a trained aide for a short period each day could help with personal care issues, like washing hair or getting dressed. Many grocery stores take orders and deliver food. It is easy to hire cleaning or yard services. Some dry cleaners will even pick up and deliver clothes. Free and low-cost meal delivery services are also available.
Safety and mobility
Remaining safe and mobile are top priorities in latter life. Older adults are subject to falling and other incidents that affect their safety. Many products are designed to help protect them; from non-slip mats and grab bars to devices they wear that help them notify emergency services when they fall.
Various products, programs and services are available that can encourage balance, strength, safety and independence in older adults.