Although most people look forward to retirement problems associated with aging and other life circumstances can sometimes make the “golden years” far from glamorous. Unfortunately, millions of seniors every year deal with physical, mental and emotional challenges that keep them from enjoying fulfilling lives. On the other hand, finding ways to overcome those obstacles is the key to living a happier, healthier life. If you have a senior loved one who’s not living life to the fullest here’s how to help them get back on the right track.

Common Challenges for the Elderly

These are some of the more common challenges that older Americans face:

  • Changes to their physical and mental health
  • Rising healthcare costs
  • Elder abuse
  • Financial insecurity
  • Loss of a spouse or other close loved one
  • Social isolation and loneliness

Based on a recent Pew Research Center study, over 25% of all seniors (age 60+) in the US live alone. For many not having anyone else in the household keeps them from staying active and socially engaged.

Tips for Living a More Fulfilling Life

At any age there seems to be a correlation between happiness, wellness and quality of life. If you’re a senior, here’s how to get your zest for life back:

Volunteer

Volunteer work and charitable giving have a positive effect on self-esteem and mental health so start volunteering at a food kitchen, cancer center or hospital. Donating your time while giving back to the community will make you feel more alive and in control of your legacy.

Start a fitness routine

Regular exercise not only benefits your body physically, it’s a proven stress-reliever, sleep inducer and self-confidence booster. Joining a senior fitness center is also a great way to meet others and cultivate new friendships. Eating a healthier diet and avoiding bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol to excess will also make your life feel more rewarding.

Adopt a pet

Owning a dog or cat provides you with many mental health benefits that boost your sense of self-worth. Getting out and taking a walk with your dog is also good way to exercise and meet new people.

A new furry friend will not only give you a reason to wake up every morning at the same time- they will also stimulate some healthy laughter in the process.

Modify your home

If mobility issues or a disability are holding you back, modifying your home can help you enjoy a more fulfilling life. For example, if you use a wheelchair, installing ramps, lowering the kitchen countertops and replacing your tub with a walk-in