Everybody knows that staying in your own home surrounded by your own things and your precious memories is very important to aging adults. While some people enjoy and embrace the idea of an assisted living home, others just want to remain as independent as long as they can. While there are many factors involved in making the decision to no longer live by yourself as an aging adult, there are also many things that one can do to keep themselves independent longer.
As one gets older, the body starts to let us know. The more active you stay, the better your body will feel. Regular exercise not only keeps the muscles stronger and more supportive, it also reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and even Alzheimer’s. One of the largest causes of injury to people over age 65 is falls. The stronger your body is the less likely you will be to fall and it also decreases the risk of injury if you do fall. Exercise also helps you emotionally. It releases endorphins that make you feel great. They not only make you feel “euphoric,” but they also diminish the perception of pain and act as a sedative. There is no better way to relax than to have an invigorating work out. Many local gyms have classes for senior citizens that are fun and low impact, tailored just for the bodies of the aging adult.
Our friends and family are one of the best ways to keep us happy and healthy. Social isolation is bad for your health. It can bring on depression, low self-esteem, and a general feeling of uselessness. As we age and some of our relationships come to an end or our children move away from us, it is important to remember to make new connections and new friends. You are never too old to make a new friend. There are many social clubs available to aging adults if you just do a little research online in your local area. Volunteering can lead you to new friends and make you feel great while helping others. Taking some fun classes at a local college not only can provide new friends, but it also keeps the mind sharp and active. Think about your likes and your hobbies and search for groups and clubs that center on those areas, i.e. gardening, cooking, photography, and travel. The newest idea out there for senior citizens wanting to stay in their own homes is virtual retirement centers. Members can pay a yearly fee to get access to resources and to make social connections with others who live in your area and enjoy the same things as you. Use the internet and find out what is out there waiting for you.
Accept and Seek Help
At some point in your life you do have to accept that you have aged and some things are harder to do. Sometimes it is hard to accept help from our family and friends. We begin to feel like a burden on them. Learn to accept help from those you love, because they want to help you. But there are some other options to ease the burden on others. Many online services offer people who can run errands for you, do home maintenance chores such as mowing the lawn and changing light bulbs, and even your groceries can be delivered directly to your door. There are also many transportation options available to drive you around town to run your own errands. Don’t forget to protect yourself in your own home by providing yourself with things like chairs in the shower, rails to help with standing and sitting, and with a medical alert in the event of an accident. Studies show that seniors with medical alert systems stay independent for two-years longer, on average. Figuring out how to provide for yourself can be a huge accomplishment making you feel and live more independently.