My client Edith, an 82-year old woman who lived by herself, told me during our last visit that it was a tradition for her to make resolutions for each New Year.

“I sure hope 2021 is going to be better,” she said. “Time to make a fresh start!”

It would be an understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and especially for seniors and their families. Lockdowns and disruptions of everyday life caused by the pandemic have been rough, and many people had to put their cherished holiday traditions and gatherings on hold. Edith’s family had been cautious about the holidays as well, and had opted to stay home and forego the annual Christmas dinner that Edith always looked forward to.

“The first thing I want to do for the New Year is learn how to use this Zoom thing everyone is using,” Edith said. “I want to talk to my grandkids more often on it and learn how to use my new tablet.” While Edith was no stranger to technology, video calls were something new to her this year. Since she couldn’t see her family as often, I had helped her set up video chats. Now that it was more familiar to her, she was ready to learn how to make the most of her new tablet.

Edith also decided the New Year was a good opportunity to de-clutter and organize her files. While this is a worthy goal for many of us, it was especially important to Edith that her family be aware of how to access important documents such as her advance directives and her will. Years had passed since she had first talked with her adult daughters about her wishes and where the documents were stored. “It’s not an easy topic to bring up, but better they’re prepared,” she said.

Edith also resolved that she would reduce her fall risk by having grab bars installed in her shower. I had recommended this previously, but she had procrastinated. “I don’t want to end up in the hospital with a broken hip or something,” she said. “I guess it’s time to just get it done, right?”

In terms of her health, Edith also decided that it was a good idea to walk more, as she had stopped going to fitness classes at her local senior center. The pandemic had shut the center down and she had stopped exercising. “The doctor says I should get outside and take a walk every day,” she said.

Edith’s resolutions were realistic and would definitely improve her quality of life. Are there resolutions that your senior wants to make this year? As Edith told me, “You’re never too old to make healthy choices.”

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 610-667-2838 or email us at CareManagement@waverlyheights.org. We’ll be happy to assist!