Staying happy and safe in your golden years

Filipinos have always rooted themselves in the concept of family. It’s the first community they grew in and one that they build for years and years. The connections are so strong that even second generation and third generation members are invited at the next family gathering.

However, not everyone is lucky enough to have a family to look after them, especially once they’ve crossed the 60-year mark. Due to lack of income, or maybe for health reasons, some Filipino elderlies are left to fend for themselves.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) does what it can to support these abandoned elderlies through Golden Acres and a number of homes for the aged. Retirement coach Sara Zeff Geber shared steps on how seniors can maintain a level of happiness and safety, whether by themselves or in retirement homes.

Community-building

The ideal way to start is socializing. This can start with strengthening relationships with family members and current friends, then moving on to making new acquaintances.

Careful home selection

Admittedly, your current residence may not be convenient for you, but sometimes retirement homes can be too expensive. What some communities have done are to organize “villages” which are staffed by local residents to help access service providers.

Another is seeking “naturally occurring retirement communities,” one way or another, seniors find communities to live, gather, and socialize in condos, mobile parks, etc. One could even live a la Golden Girls and stay with fellow seniors, or rent a portion of your room out.

Plan guardianship ahead of time

It’s always best to be prepared, even if one isn’t sure if they will be incapacitated or not in the future. Look for people you can trust – preferably a responsible younger relative or friend – to assist in handling medical, financial, and residential issues.

Geber thinks that the elderly, or those in the brink of senior citizenship, should attend to these immediately: “The biggest problem I see for solo agers (seniors without children to care for them) and all baby boomers is the denial” of what aging can bring. Open your eyes, do some planning.”

Story from AP.

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