8 Ways to Keep Independence As We Age

When we age, we need to keep hold of our independence as long as we can. With the prospect of care homes and assisted living ahead of us, it can be a daunting process. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies that will help us remain independent for longer. Working with family and friends, staying active both physically and mentally, and being open-minded are all great assets for old age independence. Whether you’re a family member, friend, or aging individual, you will find plenty of helpful insights below.

Why Independence is Important

Having independence puts us in control of our own lives. Making decisions and choosing what we do is an integral part of human life. Without the ability to make these choices, people start to feel useless. When we’re growing up, we take for granted being able to dress and head to the shops whenever we please. However, when we age, we can lose the ability to carry out tasks independently. Keeping hold of autonomy for as long as we can is important for our mental wellbeing.

What You Can Do

When we see an elderly relative struggling to carry out simple tasks, it’s the first reaction to take over and do it for them. However, we should respect their independence and let them do it until they ask for help. This doesn’t mean you can’t do the little things for your elderly relative, just don’t make it a habit. Although it seems like a meaningless job to you, your elderly relative sees it as independence and exercise. If you take that away from them, you may cause unnecessary friction and stress.

We can help our elderly relatives, but we need to be considerate and include them in the process. You should ask them whether they want you to complete the task, to do it themselves, or complete it together. Doing this will allow elderly relatives to be actively involved in the process.

Home Changes

Making adaptions to the home can help elderly relatives maintain their independence. For example, you can install grab rails, access ramps, and adjust bathroom fixtures. Making simple alterations and removing trip hazards will help to traverse the room safely and independently.

Adapting the home can become fairly expensive. Therefore, as an alternative, you can consider moving into a purpose-built home at Belmont Village Buckhead. At a senior village such as this one, a team of experts will be on hand to give you as much independence as possible. Further, you will be able to keep active and maintain a solid social life.

Get Outside

Being active and going out for fresh air is a great way to maintain independence. You can attend church, visit garden centers and outdoor craft markets, do a spot of shopping, or get involved in a local book club. Getting involved in activities that take you outside will help you to continue choosing how to spend your time. Although you may need assistance getting out and about, you will still be in charge of your day.

Having a Social Life

Socializing with friends, family, or the community at a senior living complex is a fantastic way to keep hold of our sense of wellbeing as we age. People in old age, especially those with mobility issues, are often at risk of isolating themselves and suffering loneliness. Having a social life as a senior citizen helps to increase cognitive functions, boost self-esteem, and keep anxiety levels low.

Using The Web

As we age, we don’t always have the luxury to go grocery shopping or walk around the mall. Luckily, the internet is a fantastic way to have the items we desire delivered to our front doors. Further, having access to the internet allows elderly people to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives, which helps to nurture a positive social life.

Keeping a Routine

Having a plan for the day is a great way of feeling secure and in control. Further, it will help with cognitive function and memory. Having a random routine makes elderly people feel stressed out and uneasy. Disruptions to a routine can cause deterioration of health, especially of those with dementia. You can work together with family or put together a routine by yourself, but it’s important to stick to it.

Being Mentally Active

Keeping our brains active as we age will help us retain our ability to make decisions. A study has shown that playing mentally stimulating games helps to maintain cognition and improve sharpness as we age. The brain is like other muscles, we need to keep it active to improve its condition. Alongside playing stimulating games, you should keep a balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables.

Be Flexible

We’re not asking you to bend over backward, but you do need to keep an open mind and be willing to make changes. Rather than being opposed to changes in life, you should take an active lead in changes made. Doing this will help you to keep hold of your independence while making vital alterations to your life.

Plan For The Future

When we get older, we become more opposed to changes. Therefore, make a plan ahead of time including where you want to age, what you’d like to be involved in, and how you will pay for your lifestyle. Putting some money aside will help you to make decisions for yourself because you won’t need to rely on the state or family funds. Another way to carry on making vital decisions is to make a will. Although slightly depressing, it puts you in charge even after you’ve gone.
Keeping hold of our independence as we age is important because it gives us a great sense of well-being. Although we may need assistance in life, we should have an active role in decision-making for as long as possible. Making alterations at home or moving into a senior living village is a great way to keep active and independent.

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