Getting old is not something everyone looks forward to with open arms. Aside from the wrinkled skin and weakening of the body due to illnesses, it’s scary to think of losing one’s independence and mobility.
Maintaining independence as they age is a common concern among senior citizens. The ability to live freely is part of a fulfilling life, and taking steps to preserve it is essential. Fortunately, there are many ways older adults can maintain their independence and the lifestyle they’ve always wanted.
Older adults can age in place or stay in aging care facilities, where they can create deep connections and socialize with their peers while receiving regular assistance. If you’re interested in considering this, check out the aged care packages of reputable care facilities near you.
In the meantime, here’s how you can help your loved one maintain their independence as they age.
1. Stay Active
Regular physical activity can help older adults maintain strength, balance, and flexibility, reducing the risk of falls and other accidents. Walking, swimming, and tai chi are great options to develop these capacities in old age.
Physical activity can also improve mental health and well-being. This allows older adults to sleep better at night. It can also help them maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition to structured exercise, older adults can incorporate more physical activity into their daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a walk after dinner. The key is to find enjoyable activities and make them a part of daily life.
To find the ideal exercise routine, make sure to consult their physician.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help older adults maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk of life-threatening diseases. It’s also essential for physical and mental health, which experience a downturn as adults age.
Whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and brown rice, are rich in fiber and other nutrients that can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. Meanwhile, lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, and legumes, can help older adults maintain muscle mass and boost their immune systems.
Work with their healthcare provider to design a diet that supplies these essential nutrients while meeting their tastes.
3. Stay Mentally Active
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities allows older adults to maintain their cognitive function, reducing the risk of dementia. Activities such as reading, writing, and learning a new skill or hobby can help keep the mind sharp. Puzzles and brain games like crosswords, Sudoku, and memory games also do the same.
If they’re willing, try taking your senior loved one to classes or workshops on activities they enjoy. This can include learning a new language, cooking new cuisines, or playing video games.
4. Stay Socially Engaged
Social connections continue to be vital components of a fulfilling. This is especially so for seniors who may find it hard to continue maintaining contact.
Mobility may become an issue as you age. So, many senior adults don’t get a lot of opportunities to go out and socialize. It’s a good thing modern technology can help.
Older adults can stay connected with family and friends through regular phone and video calls if in-person visits are difficult. They can also participate in community activities such as volunteering, joining a club, or taking a class at the local community center.
Staying socially engaged can help prevent feelings of isolation, which can harm mental health. It can also provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which is helpful for older adults who need encouragement.
5. Live In A Supportive Environment
A supportive environment should include access to transportation, home health services, and other resources that make it easier for older adults to maintain independence.
In this light, living in a retirement community can be an excellent option. These facilities offer a variety of amenities and services, such as transportation, meals, housekeeping, and social activities.
Another option for older adults is to modify their homes to make them more accessible. This can include adding grab bars in the bathroom, installing a stair lift, or widening doorways for wheelchair access. These modifications can help older adults continue living in their homes and maintaining independence.
Continue Enjoying Your Golden Years
Older adults should enjoy their lives even in their senior years. By staying active, eating a healthy diet, and staying mentally and socially engaged, older adults can continue to enjoy the things they love.
Just remember that aging is a natural process, and embracing it can make it more delightful. For other concerns, talk to your loved one’s healthcare provider.