There are many challenges associated with aging, but perhaps the most challenging of all is slowly losing your independence. After spending decades taking care of others and maintaining your own home, the thought of leaving everything you know behind to enter a nursing home can be a very scary step in what feels like the wrong direction.
Fortunately, there’s no particular age that means living independently is no longer possible. You are only as young as you feel! The key is doing the right things as you age to ensure that you can continue living independently safely. Here are some tips that will ensure you remain independent well into your golden years.
There are tons of reasons why inactivity can be dangerous to your health and wellbeing. According to John Hopkins Medicine, people who are inactive are more likely to develop high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, not to mention gain weight, which can cause even more health problems. There are few things more likely to rob you of your independence than inactivity.
Staying active is a great way to make sure your body is healthy, but it’s also a great way to maintain brain and memory function. Go for as long of a walk as your body will allow. If walking is too hard on your joints, consider water aerobics classes. Even fitness videos can be a great way to get a little exercise!
Staying active means much more than making sure that you get plenty of exercise. If you want to continue living independently for many years to come, make sure you spend plenty of time with family and friends. You should also push yourself to meet new people. Schedule lunch dates with neighbors, take the grandkids out for ice cream, and give bingo night a try.
Exercise your brain
Staying physically active is only one small piece of the puzzle. In addition to working out your muscles, you should also strive to exercise your brain. It will help you maintain important cognitive functions, including memory, which is a huge factor in determining whether it’s safe to live alone or not.
Unfortunately, all those popular brain training games may not give you the boost in brain power that they claim, but that doesn’t mean exercising your brain has to be hard! There are tons of mentally stimulating activities to choose from.
Something as simple as a word find or crossword puzzle can be immensely helpful when it comes to maintaining brain power into your 80s and beyond. Sitting down and reading a good book is a great way to keep those cognitive juices flowing, especially if you’re learning something new. Even watching television can be a great way to exercise your brain, as long as you choose educational programs and documentaries!
Looking for some more ideas? Check out these unlikely ways to exercise your brain.
You’ve spent years walking through your home without shoes on, climbing stepstools to reach high shelves, and getting in and out of the bathtub, but there will come a time when these activities simply aren’t safe anymore. If you want to continue living independently, you have to be willing to embrace change, which means making some home modifications and behavior adjustments.
If you have hard flooring, walking around in socks is an accident waiting to happen. Make sure you wear slippers. Move items on high shelves down lower so there’s no need to climb on a stepstool. Consider having a walk-in bathtub installed. Sticky grip pads and hand rails are easy, affordable changes as well.
Age ain’t nothing but a number! Follow these tips and you’ll enjoy gazing out your own windows into your own front yard for many years to come.