Living well, more than just “existing,” takes planning and consideration of the choices available. You must choose well if you are going to be healthy and happy. Sometimes easy choices are the wrong ones, though they may seem comfortable at the time. Considering the long-range effects helps to make the wiser choice.

Having a simple set of rules to live by makes the process easier. The golden rule is ageless and fits all situations and religions- a good rule to live by: Do unto others as you would be done by. This includes treating yourself well….

Make the right choices to live a healthy happy life. It’s important now to educate ourselves and take responsibility for our health – don’t leave it up to a doctor, who is over-worked and hasn’t the time to give you the care you need. You need to be forewarned and educated and knowledgeable for your medical consultations.

Set up your own programs or join programs already organized, to be sure you cover all of the necessary areas. Educate yourself about food and supplements and adjust your diet accordingly. Work out a fitness program to suit your level of mobility with an eye to improving. Challenge your mind daily with projects that require learning and growth. Go beyond your comfort zone and accomplish new things.

Each to his own – some prefer to be independent as long as they can manage on their own and with the Community Assistance programs that is now possible. Your doctor can request supervision from Nursing Specialists, who will assess your ability to manage safely and determine if this is the best choice for you.

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For some seniors, the idea of moving into the “old folks home” is the end – giving up and it’s all downhill from there. And for these people, remaining in their own home is the best choice. But as health and abilities deteriorate, the time comes to make the decision to move into a residence where the worries of managing a home are lifted from their shoulders.

Wise seniors will face this need before it becomes absolutely necessary and begin to down-size their homes and belongings, so it isn’t so traumatic when the time comes. My mother at 94, still living alone, is currently making throw pillows out of all the old dresses, etc that have been stored in the house for ages. She’s working on number 45 and has been written up in the local paper. The pillows are treasured gifts to the family – often one of their dresses or some special memory.

For other seniors, moving into a retirement residence is a great move, giving them a new social life and daily interesting activities, so that they wish they had done it sooner. As they age, they find that their circle of friends is also aging and no longer mobile, so it becomes convenient to have new friends accessible in the same building. It’s all a matter of choice and budget.