Health Watch: Things to consider upon entering your golden years

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 11:02 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - There might be a lot to ponder and consider when you enter post-retirement age. For example, things like planning out a budget to what to do with that favorite rug that could potentially cause a slip are important considerations. Big or small, all are important steps in setting yourself up for success in your golden years.

While this kind of planning could be daunting or overwhelming, breaking it up into short term, mid term, and long term goals could be helpful.

Beth Grey, Program Coordinator and Team Leader with the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) in Fairbanks, says “In the short term, kind of look around and find out what is working and what is not. [Then], mid term goals to really renovate maybe [your] home or make some changes to [your] budget so that [you] have a little bit more on hand cash. Then long term goals, ‘gosh what would things look like if I were no longer able to care for myself as readily as I can.’ Talking about power of attorney, advanced care directive, making a will or a trust. And also saying ‘if I cant take care of myself as readily as I can now, what would I want to have happen?’”

When it comes to aging in Interior Alaska, where we see extreme cold, snow and ice storms, and other unpredictable conditions at times, Grey encourages folks to really think about their plans and implement effective and practical arrangements accordingly. It’s also encouraged to stay open to input from others, ask questions about your peer’s plans, brainstorm together, etc.

Additionally, winter in the interior has the potential to be isolating. Staying socialized and engaged with friends, family, and the community can lead to positive health impacts to combat feelings of depression, anxiety or seasonal affective disorder, among other conditions.

Grey notes that a lot of our community’s seniors are based within downtown locations. Those in areas such as Goldstream, Two Rivers, Salcha, and other places should think about transportation plans, as well, upon entering post-retirement age.

Lastly, Grey says that everyone should have the autonomy to choose how they want to live and how they’d like to spend their golden years. The ADRC helps coordinate care to those who seek it and connect them to resources available in our community.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center is a branch of the Fairbanks Senior Center. Their office hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are temporarily located at 246 Illinois St.