As you get older, it can be difficult to be as independent as you would like. You must rely on people to help you do things you once did on your own. Activities you took for granted have now become a challenge and losing your independence may be one of your top fears as a senior. However, there are things you can do to maintain a level of independence for as long as possible.
Take Care of Yourself
You must do your part to maintain your physical health so you are able to do all the things you need to get done. Some ways you can accomplish this goal include:
- Eat right – get the nutrition your body needs to function
- Get plenty of exercise – keep muscles strong so you can keep your balance and be able to lift and move as needed
- Get enough sleep – your body and your mind can’t function properly if you’re tired
If you haven’t been dedicated to healthy living in the past, start now. It’s never too late to help your body function at its best.
See Your Doctor
Many people wait until a problem is serious before they go to the doctor. They will deal with pain or a symptom because they are too busy or it “just doesn’t seem important.” However, a visit to your doctor at the early signs of an issue can prevent the condition from worsening or causing permanent damage.
You should always schedule wellness visits and attend all appointments or tests as directed by your doctor. Even if you feel fine, a potential health condition can be diagnosed before it becomes a major concern.
Learn New Ways to Do Things
No matter how dedicated you are to maintaining your health, there may come a day when you aren’t able to do everything the same way as before. To keep your independence, you may need to learn new ways to accomplish tasks. It’s important to keep learning and trying new things no matter how old you are.
For example, you might want to rearrange your cabinets so you can reach the most used items. Put more of your stuff at eye level or within reach so you don’t need to climb on a ladder or step stool.
You’ll find numerous gadgets and devices to make tasks easier. Consider purchasing things that help you do your tasks so you don’t have to ask for help.
Don’t Give Up
Even with all the measures you take to be independent, you may find you need some help with certain tasks. Don’t give up just because you can’t do everything on your own. Focus on what you can do, and work towards doing as much as you are able.
A prime example is when you need help with dressing. If putting on socks and shoes is more than you can handle, accept help from a caregiver. However, don’t just give up and let them help with your top and pants if you can still manage those items. Instead, do as much as you can safely and then graciously accept the help for the other tasks.
Begin working now to be as independent as possible for as long as you can. At the same time, know the help you receive goes a long way in ensuring you have a higher quality of life.