Being able to maintain independence as you age is a major concern for almost every senior.
The natural effects of aging can make independent living harder than it was when you were younger. Increased difficulty with mobility, isolation, and loneliness, and financial strains are some of the contributors to a loss of independence in aging adults.
Fortunately, it’s never been easier to maintain independence with the number of resources, programs, and services available to help you. In other words, you don’t have to let your age define what you can and cannot do.
By focusing on a few key areas, we’re going to discuss how you can help maintain your independence even as you get older.
Why Maintaining Independence Is So Important
Loss of independence as you age can be discouraging. Especially when you’ve spent your entire life living independently. You’re accustomed to working, raising a family, and making your own decisions.
It has also been shown to lead to increased depression and make other health issues worse.
In contrast, physical movement and social interaction can increase blood flow to the brain, which helps fend off dementia.
Some common benefits of senior independence that demonstrate how important it is to empower older adults to live independent lives:
- Feeling like an individual
- Maintaining balance and strength
- Keeping a sense of purpose
- Aiding with memory skills
Ways That Seniors Can Maintain Independence
You can’t avoid all the effects of aging that may put up barriers to independence. However, there are a few key areas to focus on that can increase your ability to live your life as you choose.
Keep On Top of Your Health
Keeping on top of your health can prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. Whether you’re male or female, the basic advice for staying healthy as you age is the same. For instance:
- Eat healthy
- Get enough sleep
- Stay physically and mentally active
- Take any prescription medications as ordered
- Keep up with routine health screenings
- Get regular eye and dental exams
Stay Socially Connected
Staying socially connected is essential for health and well-being at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors. There is a pandemic of loneliness and isolation among senior citizens in the U.S., and the impact is real. It has a big impact on heart health, risk of stroke, dementia and more.
The lack of meaningful social connections is associated with reduced quality of life, unhealthy behaviors, and poor health outcomes.
Maintaining connections with friends, family, and neighbors, even if using tech to connect virtually, contributes to a sense of purpose and belonging. This can lead to increased memory skills, greater activity, and greater feelings of independence.
Have Your Plans In Place Before You Need Them
Legally documenting your wishes for your health and assets well before you need to is a smart way to retain control of your decisions as you age. It also removes stress from your family members and helps them ensure that your wishes are followed.
There are several types of documents you’ll want to have on hand. These include a will, a healthcare power of attorney, a power of attorney for your finances, an advanced directive, or a living trust. Some of these can even be drawn up without an attorney.
Stay Physically Active
Exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Therefore it can allow you to stay healthier longer in your later years.
It may also helps you to retain balance and strength. These are key factors in a person’s ability to stay independent.
Seniors who don’t work on strength are more likely to lose muscle mass and core balance. This then puts them at greater risk for falls and injuries which can reduce independence.
Once you’re cleared by your doctor, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
How Seniors Can Maintain Independence in Assisted Living
Seniors may fear that the only other option to living in their own home is a nursing home. Although that’s not always the case. Other living arrangements can provide seniors with the assistance that they need to maintain independence.
For example, assisted living arrangements can provide seniors with more freedom and independence than they might imagine.
Assisted living is a residential and social setting where seniors can receive as much or as little care as needed. This allows seniors to maintain their personal best by pairing independence and stimulating social activities with support. This can include residential services, medical supervision, and personal care assistance.
If your current living arrangements are no longer safe or desirable, assisted living can offer an extraordinary option for seniors. Professional staff provides nurturing support while appreciating each resident’s individuality.
Aging in Place
Aging is a natural process that extends over a lifetime. It is an environment that adapts to meet the evolving needs of older people. This allows them to remain in familiar surroundings. A residence with an “Aging in Place” philosophy allows comfort and continuity where seniors can choose to stay as long as they desire.
Assisted living can also add to a senior’s financial freedom. Many residences offer “affordable luxury” and inclusive rates. In addition, there are often programs that can offer assistance for services that you may need. An individual can age in place with knowing that they can continue to enjoy the safety and comfort of their residence.
Assisted living communities provide seniors with comprehensive health services. They generally have a professional team specializing in the most common medical areas. This allows for routine visits, on-site nursing, skilled therapies, and medication management in an accessible setting.
Personal Care Assistance
An assisted living community can assess each person’s individuality and needs when they first move-in. This allows them to offer personalized support to seniors to provide them as much, or as little, support as they need.
Consider Amber Court Assisted Living
Amber Court Assisted Living provides a comfortable, safe, and cheerful environment. Above all, each person is treated with kindness, compassion, and respect.
Our mission is to preserve dignity, promote well-being, and provide quality care. We emphasize individuality and enjoyment in a warm, nurturing environment.
Residents of Amber Court Assisted Living Communities are provided a family-like atmosphere. This includes a culture of integrity and trust that honors each precious life.
If you are considering an assisted living community in New York or New Jersey to help you maintain independence as you age, contact Amber Court to learn more about how we can help.