The Caregivers is a unique series focused on the challenges and triumphs of caregiving. These stories have been created through a strategic partnership between AARP and Word In Black.

As you age, your decisions about where you want to live and for how long change.

Thoughtfully planned senior communities in warm places like California and Texas may be enticing. Assisted living facilities with round-the-clock support may be the best option if a long-term medical condition is of concern.

Aging in place is also popular. According to a 2021 survey from AARP, the majority of respondents over 50 preferred this option. Regardless of where we choose to live, it’s always possible to create an environment that is functional and peaceful so that you can relax, and enjoy a good nap in between your flawless efforts to defy age.

Here are a few simple techniques to make your living space comfortable: 

Experiment with lighting. 

Lighting can really influence an environment. What kind of lighting do you prefer? Dim, bright, or both? If your eyes are sensitive, then experiment with soft bulbs. Depending on your comfort level, you can also explore LED lights. They come in different colors like purple, green, orange, and pink. Some lights come with remotes for you to operate from your bed or couch. If you’re feeling retro, then consider getting yourself a lava lamp. Candles are another way to experience light. Just be sure to place them in a safe space.

Welcome a few plants. 

Plants are great at regulating air quality indoors and removing toxins. You don’t need to be a master gardener in order to welcome plants into your space. Start with one or two. Here are some low-maintenance indoor plants to consider. 

Get an indoor fountain.

You know those fountains they have at the spa? You can get one of your own. Place it in your living room, bedroom, or bathroom and sit and enjoy it in your downtime. 

Create an aroma diffuser. 

Certain scents such as lavender, peppermint, rose, and bergamot are proven to encourage calm and lift the spirit. Place an aroma diffuser in your living room, bedroom, or bathroom.

Let go of items that you no longer need. 

Decluttering your space is a powerful act. It helps keep your mind clear. It protects you from common hazards like tripping and falling over items. It also prevents you from assuming the identity of the neighborhood hoarder. Here are some tips for decluttering. It’s common to need help decluttering as you age. Consider seeking support from a trusted loved one or a service. 

If you choose to age in place, then you may want to consider upgrading your space by installing bathroom rails and ramps. This requires time, finances, and support of loved ones.  

Mental well-being is a cornerstone of healthy living. AARP wants to help you get healthier and stay healthy. Visit AARP’s Mental Health Center at for tips, tools and resources that can help you develop healthy habits for mental well-being.