Keeping hold of our independence as we enter old age is important. After all, we’ve been taking care of ourselves for the best part of our lives and the thought of moving into a care home can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are lifestyle changes you can adopt to prolong your independence, both physically and mentally. These tactics involve keeping family members involved, staying active, and having an open mind.
Throughout this article, we will provide you with a series of lifestyle choices that will nurture your independence.
Making changes to your home is a great way to continue taking care of yourself. For example, if you start having slight mobility issues, you can install grab rails and access ramps. Further, you can swap out your bathroom fixtures to include shower seating.
Unfortunately, not all homes can be adapted, as they may lack the space, or you may even be renting. In this case, there is another option to consider, but you will need to be in a position to uproot your life.
If you move to assisted living in Kirkwood, you won’t need to worry about making the changes yourself – and you’ll have access to any medical care you need.
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Maintaining a Social Life
When people age and moving becomes more difficult, it can be easy to ignore social obligations and retreat into yourself, which will lead to depression and loneliness. Therefore, you should keep up with your social life by arranging to meet up with family and friends.
Granted, there will be days when you don’t feel like going out, but it’s important to stick to any prior arrangements you have. After all, if you stop spending time with your family, there’s a risk that they will stop making an effort in return.
The great outdoors is proven to hold significant benefits to our lives by increasing our mental and physical well-being.
There are plenty of ways to get outside as you age including visiting museums, joining clubs, heading to the shops, and heading to your local gym for a senior-friendly exercise class. When getting outside, it’s important to choose the activities you do because it will make you feel in control.
Whether you enjoy the internet or not, it’s a fantastic tool for getting tasks done. For example, when you can’t get to the shops, you can do all your shopping online.
Further, thanks to fantastic tech innovations, you can place shopping orders through smart assistants like Alexa. As well as shopping, you can keep in touch with your loved ones using video conferencing and social media platforms.
Maintaining a Routine
Having a plan for your day adds order to your mind, which is essential for maintaining strong cognition as you age.
Write down your weekly routine in advance to keep your stress levels down – you can even use a smart assistant to record this. Although you have a routine, don’t be afraid to be spontaneous from time to time.
Old age can creep up on us in unsuspecting ways, which means being flexible is essential. We’re not asking you to turn into a contortionist, but you need to accept that medical conditions can impact your life and you need to be ready to make the change.
Although keeping hold of your independence is important, don’t let your pride get in the way of asking for support where needed.
Keeping Your Brain Engaged
Our brains are responsible for thought, memory, and sending correct signals to the rest of the body, so it’s important to keep them engaged and healthy. According to research, playing mentally stimulating games improves sharpness and brain capacity as we age.
As well as keeping your mind active, you need to treat it to a healthy dose of fresh greens and fruits – you can talk to your GP for support in creating a well-balanced diet.
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Our minds aren’t the only part of the body in need of engagement – we need to keep our joints and muscles active to increase mobility and stay strong.
Although you won’t be capable of the high-intensity workouts you were doing in your 30s, you can easily pack in plenty of low-impact exercises; popular choices include swimming and cycling.
The key to working out as you age is knowing your body’s limits and not putting too much strain on your joints.
Planning for the Future
You may feel as though you’d accept change when you’re at the beginning of the aging process, but you’ll become more stubborn the older you get. Therefore, create a plan for your future before it takes full hold.
The aging process is coming for us all, but that doesn’t mean we need to hand over our independence straight away – being responsible for your decisions and making small lifestyle changes will help you keep hold of it for longer.