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Seniors Need To Set Goals To Age In Place

Goal setting in your senior years could very well make the difference between independence in caring for yourself, or dependence on others.

Setting goals for yourself gives you that extra push to achieve and enjoy a quality life.  You are never too old to have dreams, and setting goals is how we achieve our dreams.  Achieving your goals at any age, even the senior years, gives you a feeling of accomplishment!

photo-blog-senior-goals-ghwbushThe 41st President George H. W. Bush has a goal that every five years, on his birthday he will parachute out of a helicopter.  On June 12, 2014 on his 90th birthday, he parachuted out of a helicopter and achieved his goal!  The 41st President has Parkinson’s disease, and according to the Houston Chronicle is no longer able to walk.  His parachute jump demonstrates he still has dreams, and by setting goals, he makes those dreams a reality.

How can seniors get started in setting goals?

Here are some areas of your life that you can focus on when setting goals.  Your goals can be family oriented, social, spiritual, personal, mental or physical goals.  When setting goals, be specific, realistic, and positive.

For example, personal goals may be simple and practical, but enable you to remain independent at home.  Instead of sleeping in until late morning, your goal would be to get up by 9AM.  This behavior ensures that you take your AM medication at a reasonable time, eat a nutritious breakfast, and participate in a physical exercise routine.  These goals promote and maintain strong muscles, balance, and walking skills.  A nutritious breakfast provides your body and all cells with the oxygenation and nutrition that it requires to remain healthy.  A healthy body is better equipped to fight off diseases such as the flu and colds.  This goal enables you to feel better physically and mentally, and enables you to age in place.   Personal goals can prevent you from falling apart, and more importantly, achieving your goals gives you confidence! 

Tell me more about the benefits of goals!

When you achieved your goals during your occupational years there were bonuses and accolades from your boss.  After you retire there is no boss.  But achieving your goals, or even just making the effort, and partially achieving them, will give you a deep feeling of personal satisfaction.  There will be an increased level of self-confidence, especially with meeting physical exercise and mentally challenging goals.  As a senior, you want your body to feel strong and not weak. Mentally you want to remain challenged and sharp, and socially you want to remain engaged with family and friends. Achieving your goals brings rewards such as a joyful or positive mood, feelings of accomplishment, personal satisfaction, and often, just making it possible for you to age in place, at home!

A group of women I had the privilege to meet have a social goal to get together once a week with their friends to eat lunch and play “Mexican Train” with dominos.  They were not lifelong friends, but during their senior years they met at church.  These new photo-blog-senior-goals-seniors-playing-mexican-trainfriends had similar interests, so their goal was to meet on a regular basis outside of church.  Some benefits they shared were that “we encourage one another, we help one another, visiting, talking, and playing “Mexican Train” keeps our minds sharp and improves our memory.  We share funny stories; we laugh, and just enjoy socializing with other women.”  All of these women, except one, (the youngster), who was in her seventies, were all in their eighties, and functionally independent.

Seniors, get started today with establishing goals!

photo-blog-senior-goals-senior-doing-situpsWhen you retire, set your goals by forming a mental picture of what you want the rest of your life to look like. Now you are back to re-engaging in life. Then decide on the goals that will help you to achieve that mental picture and take action to meet those goals.   And remember that your goals can change at any time, subject to changes in your life!  Goals are not cast in stone.

This senior gentleman told me that before retiring, he never exercised, but after he retired he made that a goal.  He performs not only aerobic exercises but a weight training routine.  He told me that he exercises, so that he can remain active and keep his body strong.

Home Health Geriatric Care Managers Can Help with Goal Setting

At AA Care Services, we can send an RN Care Manager to your home to help seniors to assess their goals with aging in place.  The Geriatric Care Manager will assist in identifying the goals you need to achieve so that you can remain at home.  These goals may involve educating the senior about resources such as financial planners, elder attorneys, and handymen for housing maintenance, home cleaning services, and escort/transportation services.   In addition, the care manager will assist with meeting the senior’s personal care needs, or the home and pet care needs.  The goal of the RN Care Manager is to advocate for seniors to help them achieve their goals and to age in place!

Want to find out more?

Houston Chronicle
George H.W. Bush parachute jumps for 90th birthday

US News-Health
At 65, This Personal Trainer Knows Aging

Canadian Senior Years
Reach Your Goals

Smart Senior
Never Too Late: Seniors Need To Set Goals

Helen Trowsdale, President of AA Care Services, is a nurse administrator with over 30 years of experience as a BSN, psychiatric nurse, and geriatric care manager with adults as well as pediatrics in hospitals, private duty home health care agencies, and residential home health care. Her team of caregivers are dedicated to serving their clients with home care in San Antonio, New Braunfels, and Austin; providing clients with consistent, quality care while minimizing the number of caregivers in the home. Learn more about AA Care Services.

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