One of the realities of getting older is that you have to be able to know when it is time to depend on others to stay independent. Staying in your current home requires a certain amount of mental stubbornness and organizational skills even as your physical abilities change. I am not referring to the level of Activities of Daily Living or ADL’s (bathing, eating etc) I am referring to the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. These are the functions/ tasks that keep us making individual choices for ourselves.
Go through this list and realize that if you can not even get your head around how other services, or online resources could make life easier now or later, you are limiting your options. I know for those just entering retirement this may seem very premature. Yet these eight functions can all be precipitous if you intend to remain master of your own universe. Saving /budgeting to pay for others to do things for you is in of itself should be a goal.
Shopping: For some of us, window shopping as it were is a relaxing leisure activity, for others it has always been a bother. With online shopping sites and a never ending choice of inventory and door to door delivery your never need to leave home. Just get it in the door.
Cooking: Online shopping includes grocery shopping from reordering the usual items, to picking up bags outside your local store. Or you can have to having healthy measured ingredients or even heat up completed meals delivered. Even those of us who enjoy cooking will come to the point of not wanting to chop all those fresh veggies. Plan ahead with potlucks with neighbors and lots of Blue Zone leftovers?
Managing Medications: Changing medications is a frequent stress point for seniors , sometimes with debilitating side effects. Keeping a schedule with the medications you need can be easily augmented in several ways beyond the little plastic day of the week compartments. You can have your phone tell you, or your AI cone inform you on a schedule.
Using the phone: This used to mean just being able to answer the home phone and call out when the need arose. Having a landline and an android level phone will keep you safe if you have the old style Personal emergency response service (PERS) or the more advanced mobile system (E-PERS).
Doing Housework: I have never had a maid come in and clean. Standards of what is acceptable varies a lot. But there are rumba robot vacuums and ways to keep your space tidier. Downsize even if you are not moving and try to declutter your home before you get much older. It makes a lot of sense.
Doing Laundry : This one is hard to get around. You can put your washer dryer up on platforms ( 18 inches) up to help minimize bending. If you do not have your laundry on the same floor, think of how you move it up or down stairs. Dragging a college style laundry bag behind you beats carrying a basket in front of you. Have someone else promise to do the bed towels linens if they come visit.
Driving and Transportation: Now there is Uber, Lyft and Silver Ride and that good old yellow taxi service. We all love the freedom of our own vehicles. Think about adding new safety features like blind spot mirrors and lane sensors. Social isolation costs too much to your overall health to sit and stare at the walls even as you have things delivered to your door.
Managing finances: You have got to get over the wariness of having your financial information online. Deposits will be made, bills will be paid. You do not have to balance a checkbook, it is right in front of you.
Of course there are many other things external to the home but most of those can be contracted out for grass cutting, leaf removal and yard work. We like to think that we can continue to do gardening, take care of pets but that is a subject for another day. A lot has to add up to stay independent, think how some of these services could keep the IQ in your own aging at home plan.