9 Ways to Live Independently Longer

You are currently viewing 9 Ways to Live Independently Longer

According to a survey by AARP, ¾ of adults want to remain in their homes as they age, but only 59% believe they’ll be able to do so. If you’re part of both of those groups, these tips will help you live independently, in your own home, longer.

Stay Mentally Active

Brain-stimulating games help preserve mental function. Just like your muscles need a workout, so does your brain. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and similar games are great ways to engage your brain. 

Fall Prevention

The number one cause of non-fatal hospitalizations in older adults is falling in their homes. Taking steps now to prevent falls means you can stay in your home safely for longer. 

An occupational therapist can evaluate your home for potential hazards and offer suggestions for mitigating them. 

You should also talk to your doctor about any dizziness or weakness and do regular strength and balance exercises.

Talk to Experts

A geriatric doctor vs. a general practitioner can make a huge difference. Geriatricians are trained in managing the multiple, often complicated, health concerns that arise as we age. 

A doctor whose focus is on the elderly may also be able to refer you to related care services with similar expertise.

*Consider Reducing Medical Care

This may sound counterintuitive, but certain procedures and medications can do more harm than good in older people. Colonoscopies, for example, are not recommended for people over the age of 75. In addition, statins may have more side effects than benefits, and Benzodiazepines have been known to cause memory issues.

The risks and benefits of procedures and medications change over time, so it’s essential to discuss them with your doctor frequently.

Young woman holding bag full of groceries

Outsource Services

Certain aspects of daily living may become too overwhelming, but with help in those key areas, you can stay at home. Grocery shopping, for example. By getting groceries delivered, you save yourself that time and energy as well as a drive in the car. Same for restaurant meals or Meals on Wheels. 

See more ways to outsource parts of daily living.

Through Amazon, you or a loved one can arrange for needed items to ship on a monthly schedule so you never run out. Some are even paid for by Medicare (but always check with Medicare first).

Check with your state and local agencies to see what other services may be offered.

Start Saving Money Now to Live Independently

Staying in your home can be expensive, and not all of it will be covered by any insurance. In-home caretakers are far more costly than care received in a facility. 

In addition, home modifications may become costly depending on what needs to be done. 

Focus on Your Relationships

Friends, family, neighbors – these are the people who will support you and check up on you. So start developing and maintaining those relationships now so they’ll be there when you need them. 

It’s equally essential to offer support. Feeling needed provides a sense of fulfillment and purpose, which is necessary for good mental health.

Be Flexible

If your goal is to keep living independently, you’ll need to be open to how that can happen. Aging brains are physically less flexible and open to change, so start planting seeds for changes such as home modifications, in-home care, and assistive devices. Each of these will help make your goal of aging at home possible.

Plan Ahead to Live Independently

This includes talking to your family/loved ones about your wishes if you get sick and a plan for any pets.

You’ll also want to consider a medical alert system with a plan already in place should you need emergency services.

Find specific resources in your state.

If you start now with these nine tips, the chances you’ll be able to live independently longer are much greater. 

Do you have any other tips? Please share them in the comments below!

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*True Assisting does not provide medical advice. Our content is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lora Day

    These are all such helpful tips. When my mother-in-law lived out of state but we were her long-distance caregivers we worried about her. Especially if we couldn’t get ahold of her or some of her friends to ensure someone had seen her recently. You just never know if something has happened. Our list of ways we helped her remain living independently as long as possible includes many of your same suggestions. We also used some technology so we could help make sure she was safe even if we couldn’t drive over quickly to check on her ourselves.

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