Learn how a minimalist lifestyle can help you find more joy and meaning as you approach the later days of life.
In this episode I share my thoughts on why the minimalist lifestyle could help us avoid excessive and unnecessary medical treatment at the end of life. In addition there are many other benefits to living simply and with “less is more” as our goal when we get older.
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The minimalist movement is all the rage right now among millennials and it has a lot of positive aspects we can learn from. The emphasis is on living simply, with less material possessions in order to have more joy and freedom in life. This lifestyle could serve us well as we approach our own end of life. Here are some ways to live more simply:
- Clear out possessions that you no longer use or cherish. This idea has been described in a recent blog and book about the Swedish practice of “death-cleaning.”
- Comes to terms with mortality. Recognize that life is finite and death is inevitable, therefore it is important to be intentional about how you live each moment in every day, including what kind of healthcare you choose.
- Take control over your healthcare – be proactive and question recommendations in these areas:
- Medications – Ask if the drugs you are taking are still necessary, if they could be causing side effects or creating negative interactions with one another. Ask if you can try reducing dosages or the number of medications you are being prescribed. Many seniors are taking at least 5 prescription medications according to studies.
- Annual exam – studies show that the annual physical exam wastes money and time and might even be harmful. Ask if you can decrease to one physical every 3 yeats.
- Health screenings – Over age 70 it is no longer recommended that you have the following screening tests: colonoscopy, mammogram, PSA, pap smear. Studies show that excessive screening can lead to false positive results, over-diagnosis and harmful over-treatment.
- Plan ahead and be prepared in order to minimize complications in these areas:
- Aging – How will you manage the physical changes of later life? Who will help you?
- Housing – Where will you live if you can’t stay in your own home?
- Terminal care – What type of treatment do you want to receive at the end of life and for how long?
- After-death care – What type of funeral and burial do you want to have?
- Learn to live in the moment – so you can enjoy all of life.
- Focus on what really matters – to help you eliminate the things you no longer care about.
- Find purpose and meaning by living simply and with intention for the rest of your days.
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Until next week remember …