Independence plays a major role in the quality of life we all live. Everyone desires freedom—the ability to do things without depending on anyone. Most times, we become dependent as a result of aging, recovery from chronic illnesses or surgery, and whatnot. Most older adults experience emotional breakdowns when they have to move from their home to a facility they’re not familiar with. No one likes to be dependent on others, but seniors sometimes lose the ability to do things on their own.
Many seniors prefer to stay connected to their home. so that instead of moving into another facility, they hire professional caregivers to become responsible for their well-being. Quite a number of individuals, regardless of age, feel comfortable at home, and so they will choose to age there.
Most often than not, seniors would prefer to spend their later years at home. The saying “no place like home” holds a strong sway in the lives of many older adults. A survey conducted in 2018 by AARP revealed that 76% of individuals above the age of fifty prefer to live in their home or community as they age. For this to become achievable, seniors may want to start making plans about how to make their home conducive and livable for their age.
There are many tips seniors can follow to make living independently in their home last as long as possible. In order to avert accidents, reduce injuries, and reduce the risk of falling at home, it is extremely important for seniors to consider the tips that will be shared below.
Make your home safe for easy mobility
Moving easily around the house is a challenge most seniors encounter. It is, therefore, important to solve all mobility-related problems in your house. You can begin by removing all slippery objects, such as rugs and carpet. In a case where these cannot be removed, you must always wear sturdy shoes to prevent unnecessary falls.
Make sure your home is well-lit
It is unsafe for seniors to grope for light in the dark. This only increases your chances of falling or hitting your head on hard objects. These accidents can be prevented by simply installing lights that can brighten the darkened areas of your home. This is because seniors who can’t see their environment properly are liable to become victims of accidents at home. In order not to start groping for light, especially at night, you might consider installing motion sensor lights.
Make sure you associate with people
No one wants to be confined to a particular position for a long period of time. Sometimes, one might experience certain illnesses that keep one in a position, but after recovery, it is important not to be cut off totally from social life. Many lose their independence by failing to interact with those around them. As a senior, try to continue your regular activities like attending community meetings, attending church, and visiting relatives and loved ones. Doing this will give you a sense of independence.
Make sure your mind is active
It is a fact that the bodies of older adults function far less than the bodies of other people. It is the same with the mind. As you age, your mind tends to become more and more inactive. By all means, you should ensure that your mind is kept active. Activities like board games and video games can help keep your mind active. Technology has made life easier for everyone, so you can seek assistance in having these games downloaded to your devices. Studies have revealed that keeping the brain active can help enhance your processing prowess, memory, reasoning, and communication skills.
Practice regular exercise
If you’re helping to take care of a senior, you should encourage them to keep their bodies strong through regular exercise. You will be able to do a lot by yourself when you have healthy bodies. Since the aim is to be as independent as possible, you must be resolute to stay active and healthy. Practice walking around your community; jog also if possible. Exercises like yoga and tai chi are also encouraged to keep fit. To have solid footing and to avoid falls, do more balance training to keep your gait steady and balanced.
Give seniors the freedom to make choices
The ability to make choices for yourself is at the center of independence. Independence becomes a farce when you cannot make decisions on your own. This is not to suggest that seniors make the right choices every time. However, allowing them to make simple choices like what color shoe to wear to an event is a good way to promote independence. In order to encourage a healthy life, never assume that people can’t make decisions on their own, as this can even result in depression. Don’t make all the choices for your older adults; ask for their opinion and why they think differently. Don’t shut them up with the excuse that they’re too old.
You can explore any of the suggested tips to begin to enjoy maximum independence.