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Idaho

Preserving Your Independence

Enjoy the fruits of a life’s work, experience new adventures, or simply relish the peace that comes with retirement and preserve your independence. These are the golden years. However, to truly live our best life independently and safely, some pre-planning considerations are helpful.

Living Independently and Safely

Independence in retirement means financial security and living in a safe environment that adapts to your changing physical, social, and health needs. We term this “aging in place”. In fact, we age in place our entire lives, but those places and environments are subject to change over time. As we work with those either in or will soon be in the golden years, here are some ideas and suggestions that we have found worthwhile.

Home Adaptation and Right-Sizing

  • Adapt Your Living Space or Right-size Your Home: Modify your home to suit your mobility and health needs with features like bathroom grab bars, walk-in showers, no-slip flooring, and good lighting. These modifications can significantly improve your safety and comfort.

Resources:

  • Practicality Over Space: Large or multi-story homes can become burdensome. Right-sizing to a smaller or single-level home can reduce maintenance demands, physical strain, and the risk of falling.

Resources:

  • Location, Location, Location: Proximity to essential services such as doctors, pharmacies, grocery stores, hospitals, community centers, and transportation is crucial. Identify essential services and transportation or delivery options if you prefer rural living.
  • Senior Communities or Assisted Living: Consider resources like the Seniors Blue Book for side-by-side comparisons of senior living options.

 

Personal Safety

  • Medical Alert Systems: Discuss the best options with your doctor.
  • Advanced Security Systems: Use video cameras, motion detection, and door/window opening detection to enhance safety.
  • Scam Alerts and Notifications: Stay informed about current scams through resources like the City of Boise Scam Alerts, Boise Police Department, and AARP.
  • Emergency Contacts: Keep them current and visible.
  • Transportation Services: Use private transportation services, Uber, Lyft, or public bus systems for mobility.

Services and Tools to Keep Seniors Connected

  1. Senior Centers and Community Groups: Local centers offer activities, classes, workshops, and social gatherings to keep you engaged.
    • Meridian Senior Center
    • Boise Senior Center
    • Eagle Senior Center
    • Your City Senior Center
  2. Social Media, Apps, and Devices: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram, along with senior-specific devices like GrandPad, help stay connected with family and friends.
  3. Local Libraries and Cultural Institutions: Libraries and museums offer programs, book clubs, art and music classes, and historical lectures.
    • Meridian Library District
    • Boise Library District
    • Eagle Library District
    • Nampa Library District
    • Your City Library District
  4. Fitness and Wellness Programs: Programs like Silver Sneakers or the YMCA provide exercise opportunities and social gatherings.
    • YMCA
    • Silver Sneakers
  5. Senior-Specific Websites and Online Tutorials: Websites like below offer tutorials on new apps, software, and security practices.
    •  LEARN Idaho
    • TechLifeUnity
    •  Senior Planet offer tutorials on new apps, software, and security practices

Conclusion

Over 85% of Americans will celebrate our freedoms on July 4th this year. However, by carefully planning our own physical, social, and emotional independence, we can truly enjoy the fruits of independence in our golden years.