5 Tips to Keep Your Independence (or get it back)!

As we get older, our bodies and minds go through so many changes, and some of those changes can be pretty undesirable, but we can still live satisfying and independent lives for many years to come. These five tips will remind you how you can do things that help maintain your independence (or get it back) so you can live a healthy and comfortable life.

1. Home Modifications

Many adults wish to remain in their home as they grow older. Most existing homes, however, have structural barriers that can make it difficult for older adults and people with physical limitations to address their daily needs without assistance.

How Do Home Modifications Enable Independence?

Problem to Overcome: Cannot get in/out of home without help

Home Modification: Install ramp

Problem to Overcome: Doorways are too narrow for wheelchair

Home Modification: Widen doorways or install swing-clear hinges

Problem to Overcome: Legs are too weak to climb stairs

Home Modification: Install handrails on both sides of stairs

Problem to Overcome: Difficulty getting in and out of the shower

Home Modification: Install grab bars, tub-cut, and/or shower seat

Problem to Overcome: Difficulty turning doorknobs and faucet handles

Home Modification: Replace with lever handles

2. Stay Active

Older people who are physically more active and those who exercise regularly are more likely to walk independently and do other things on their own compared to sedentary elders. Is it possible for inactive folks to change this scenario? It can actually be very simple if you have the right tool.

Some people may have the impression that they’re too old to be starting an exercise program. However, taking up exercise at any age offers huge benefits down the road. It’s best to start slow and with classes that are appropriate for your ability level.

3. Delivery Services

No more urgent trips across town to pick up food or prescription refills. Now you can schedule deliveries of everything from groceries to medicines less than an hour after ordering. Without using some of these services, many wouldn’t be able to live alone.

4. Telemedicine

With the increase in fitness trackers and the expansion of home-use devices to monitor vital signs, glucose levels and overall wellness, it’s possible to have an appointment with a doctor or nurse without leaving the house. That means less time sitting in waiting rooms for routine visits.

5. Staying Engaged

Successful aging is not only impacted by your environment, but also how you interacts with your environment. Fear and social isolation are substantial factors that increase fall risk and jeopardize independence. To ensure active and successful aging, continue to engage with friends, family, and the community. Social experiences with friends and family help diminish fear and improve physical and mental capabilities.

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