Is it getting tougher for you to take care of yourself and run daily errands? Have household chores become a nightmare?
We all face a moment in our lives when we start questioning our independence. Nobody likes to talk about that, and some of us are too proud to admit we need an extra pair of hands.
Nevertheless, the truth is that we become more dependent on others as we age.
However, you can try to increase your independence by applying several changes in your lifestyle.
How to improve your independence:
- Improve your social life
- Start exercising regularly
- Make adjustments to your home
- Get a pet
Lifestyle Changes for Improving Independence
Improve Your Social Life
Interacting with other people has numerous benefits.
First of all, it keeps you away from loneliness and depression. These have negative effects on a person’s health, and declining health will increase your dependence on others.
Seek organizations that gather seniors in your area. Join a choir, volunteer, find a book club, play chess.
Being with others will keep your mind in good shape, as well. Don’t sit all day long in front of a TV. Go and mingle with people.
Read more on how to cope with social isolation here.
Start Exercising Regularly
Perhaps this should’ve been discussed first. Regular activity will keep you mobile and in good shape.
You don’t need to lift weights or run 10 miles every day. Moderate exercise will also help.
Consider taking Tai Chi classes, since it is quite easy for beginners and it improves balance and mental strength. Although many think you need to be extra flexible to perform yoga, it is not necessary. Start with the simple stretches and increase your level over time. Check the video for more details.
Make Adjustments to Your Home
Adding bars here and there can help you a lot when moving through the house.
Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom. Adjust the bathroom to your needs, and make it the least slippery possible.
Consider installing fall alarms in the house. They can help your family reach you as fast as possible in case of an emergency.
Also, consider rearranging the rooms if needed. If you have difficulty going up the stairs, move your sleeping room down to the first floor.
Read more safety tips for older adults who live alone.
Get a Pet
It is proven that having a pet reduces loneliness and the risk of depression. Adopt a cat, a dog, or perhaps a Vietnamese pig like George Clooney.
If you are not able to take care of larger animals, get a small one. Being with a pet will make your day and keep you more active.
What If You Can’t Be Entirely Independent?
So you’ve been struggling to live alone, and none of these tips can help you improve your independence. What can you do? You live separately from your family, and they can’t spend every day with you.
Don’t worry. There are various options ahead of you, such as nursing facilities or caregiver agencies.
Hiring a caregiver is a great option if you don’t like the idea of leaving the house. A skilled person comes to your home and helps you with your daily activities. (Sometimes even simple medical services are included.)
Caregivers offer services, such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, etc. However, they are also trained to assist you with getting up out of bed, bathing, walking, and so on.
Read more about assisted and independent living here.
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