Being able to maintain independence as you age is a major concern for almost every senior.
The natural effects of aging can make independent living harder than it was when you were younger. Increased difficulty with mobility, isolation, and loneliness, and financial strains are some of the contributors to a loss of independence in aging adults.
You can't avoid all the effects of aging that may put up barriers to independence. However, there are a few key areas to focus on that can increase your ability to live your life as you choose.
- Keep On Top of Your Health: Keeping on top of your health can prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. Whether you're male or female, the basic advice for staying healthy as you age is the same. For instance: eat healthy, get enough sleep, stay physically and mentally active, take any prescription medications as ordered, keep up with routine health screenings, get regular eye and dental exams.
- Stay Socially Connected: Staying socially connected is essential for health and well-being at any age, but it's especially important for seniors. The lack of meaningful social connections is associated with reduced quality of life, unhealthy behaviors, and poor health outcomes. Maintaining connections with friends, family, and neighbors, even if using tech to connect virtually, contributes to a sense of purpose and belonging. This can lead to increased memory skills, greater activity, and greater feelings of independence.
- Have Your Plans In Place Before You Need Them: Legally documenting your wishes for your health and assets well before you need to is a smart way to retain control of your decisions as you age. It also removes stress from your family members and helps them ensure that your wishes are followed.
- Stay Physically Active: Exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. It may also helps you to retain balance and strength. These are key factors in a person's ability to stay independent.