As we age, it’s important to embrace our independence and find ways to make the most out of our lives. For solo agers, who may not have children or a spouse to rely on, there are still plenty of fulfilling and enjoyable things to do as we age alone. Here are some suggestions to help you navigate this unique journey:
1. Cultivate a strong support network: While you may not have immediate family members, it’s crucial to build a network of friends, neighbors, or community members who can provide companionship, assistance, and emotional support. Engage in local clubs, organizations, or volunteer work to meet like-minded individuals who share your interests. NARP50PLUS is a great organization to join. They offer services and programmes dedicated to senior living.
2. Focus on self-care: Prioritize your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Take care of your health by maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and scheduling routine check-ups. Engage in activities that bring you joy, such as practicing hobbies, reading, listening to music, watching movies and documentaries, or pursuing creative outlets.
3. Stay socially active: Loneliness can be a challenge for solo agers, so it’s essential to stay socially connected. Join local community centers, senior groups, or participate in online forums to interact with others and foster meaningful connections. Consider hosting small gatherings or dinner parties to build a sense of community.
4. Plan for the future: If aging in the diaspora, it’s important to plan ahead by consulting with a financial planner or lawyer to discuss estate planning, healthcare directives, and long-term care options. Having a solid plan in place can provide peace of mind and help you maintain control over your future. In Nigeria, having a strong network of professionals made up of your lawyer, banker, doctor, pastor, pharmacist e.tc and consulting with them will help develop a solid plan for the future. There are trustees that also provide services for estate planning and preservation.
5. Embrace technology: Technology can be a valuable tool for solo agers to stay connected and enhance their quality of life. Explore social media platforms, video chat applications, or online communities to connect with friends, family, or new acquaintances. Additionally, consider using smart home devices or apps that can assist with daily tasks or provide added security.
6. Seek out community resources: Many communities offer a variety of resources and services specifically designed for older adults. Research local agencies, senior centers, and non-profit organizations that help with transportation, home maintenance, meal delivery, or social activities. These resources can help support and enrich your daily life. NARP50plus caters to the needs of older adults and a great repertoire of resources.
7. Create In-Person Relationships: Opening up your space or living area to a roommate that may be younger or adopting someone that one can care for by providing for their needs while going through the stages of life that one has already experienced may develop into a lifelong relationship that will become beneficial during the latter stages of life. So many young ones require guidance and assistance, by impacting through formal or informal adoption, this can help to reduce the downside of solo aging.
Remember, being a solo ager does not mean you have to face aging alone. By proactively engaging with your community, prioritizing self-care, and making plans for the future, you can create a fulfilling and enjoyable life as you age.