What it Means to Be a Senior Citizen
What does it mean to be a senior citizen?
A senior citizen is someone on the downward curve of their life. Most senior citizens have crossed the significant milestones of life, which include raising a family and completing a career.
The high number of years also comes with experience and traditionally, senior citizens are considered wise.
Because most seniors have retired, they might require some economic assistance. This is either in the form of retirement funds or for those that had made the necessary arrangements, savings. Some seniors also depend on their children for economic support to cover their expenses and welfare.
Seniors also tend to have more medical problems. Most of the health problems are age-related and pertain to reduced mobility, vision and hearing complications, among others. Seniors are also more prone to chronic health conditions which might require aid and support from external sources.
At what age are you considered a senior citizen?
The age you’re considered a senior citizen depends on the benefits you’re looking to enjoy. For instance, in the UK, seniors are considered to be 60 years and above to receive assistance with health costs.
Seniors aged 60 years and above can get eye tests and free prescriptions. Seniors that meet this requirement also get to enjoy free dental treatment if they are also clamming other senior-related benefits. Most private establishments have a senior citizens’ discount and depending on the company or store, the age at which these discounts are available differs.
For most companies, the age at which you can claim senior discounts is 60 years. However, with the rise in retirement age, these discounts might also be adjusted in due time.
What are senior citizen discounts and what are they about?
Seniors enjoy significant discounts in the UK. From food to travel, seniors have a wide range of benefits to choose from.
Seniors can also enjoy discounts from select theatres and tourist attraction sites. Most businesses in the UK have some sort of discount available to seniors.
The discounts are not only designed to boost business, there’s more sentimental value to the discounts targeted at seniors.
Most seniors have limited finances and live on limited assets. They are often strained for finances without much flexibility to their income over an unknown number of years.
The discounts offered by the different businesses make it easier for seniors to juggle their budget better and afford both the essentials and extras. This helps to ensure that seniors can live a long and healthy life with a little assistance from all fronts.
What living and care options does a senior citizen have?
Choosing how and where to live is one of the most critical decisions that face most seniors. Luckily, there are a variety of options available depending on your situation and finances.
- Living alone – Most seniors that are still active and healthy can live alone. However, they need to make some slight adjustments to their homes to make them more suitable and help them cope better. Seniors living alone can also get some support with daily tasks to help them stay independent for longer. As mobility becomes harder, many families get home lifts installed.
- Move-in with family – Moving in with family is not only a great way to get some much-needed support but also helps to keep the seniors surrounded with the love and warmth of family members. This option is also viable for seniors that are having challenges living alone.
- Sheltered housings – For seniors that value independence, sheltered housings are a worth considering. They are smaller and easier to manage and offer more support. Sheltered housings are available for rent or purchase depending on your budget. Assisted living and extra-care housing all share the same features and support for seniors.
- Specialist housing options – for seniors that want to move, there are several options available to them. These include retirement village, park homes and there’s also the option of renting accommodation. The government makes this easier by having a shared ownership scheme for seniors that make it easier to purchase such properties even at an advanced age.
What financial matters to senior citizens have to consider?
Considering the decline in income, seniors have some serious financial consideration and adjustments to make.
Most seniors retire from work at the age of 65 years. However, most still maintain active lifestyles and some also pursue other money-making ventures.
For seniors that planned for retirements throughout their adulthood, their retirement is much easier. They have enough funds available for retirement.
For those that did not plan for retirement, working is a necessity to cater to daily expenses. Seniors should also consider taking up different government aids to assist with expenses as well as insurance covers that will help them have a more productive life with minimal expenses.
What legal matters should senior citizens consider?
There are also a few legal responsibilities that senior citizens must complete. The first is writing a will. The will dictates how you would like your properties and items to be shared among your beneficiaries.
The elderly should also determine who the executor of their estate will be. The executor becomes responsible for all the medical, legal and financial decisions regarding the senior citizens at the point where they become incapacitated or don't have sound judgment.
Senior citizens should also acquaint themselves with their legal rights. Seniors are often discriminated against. All seniors should be aware of the legal actions to take against age discrimination and elderly abuse.
Are there any health insurance options for senior citizens?
As you grow old, health problems are likely to increase. Visits to the healthcare centre will also increase. Health insurance and help to make the costs manageable. There are also different government programs that you should look into tailored for senior citizens like free exams, eye tests and prescription.
Find out at what age you are eligible for these and other programs and schemes and take full advantage of them.