February is Senior Independence Month. To promote positive aging in older adults, we’re talking about ways you can focus on independence at home.
Living independently is important to almost 90% of people age 65 and older, according to a study by the AARP. No matter what changes you face as you age, it’s important to know what you can do to help you and your loved ones maintain independence. Here are some tips to stay healthy and happy at home.
Things to do around your house to promote independence
Are you looking for ways to stay independent at home? Try these tips to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Safety around the house
If your home isn’t safe, it is very hard to maintain independence. You have a greater chance of experiencing an illness or injury, which can strip you of your ability to live at home. To avoid health complications, make some upgrades to your house to make getting around easier.
Have you been putting off repairs in your house? Make sure to fix these quickly before they become a larger issue. Loose railings and uneven floorboards can be hazardous. Take care of these improvements to avoid falls.
Clean up around the house
Decluttering and organizing your home can also promote independence. Make sure no electrical cords or objects are blocking walkways. Get rid of items you don’t use anymore that are just taking up space.
Install new features
After taking care of the items above, work on adding new features that encourage safety. Install grab bars in the shower and around the toilet to help you avoid falls. Nonslip floor mats and emergency medical alert systems can also promote independence.
Wellness for the body and mind
Healthy bodies and minds help us stay independent as we age, so it’s important to take care of both as we get older. Here are some ways to keep your body strong and your mind sharp.
You may have heard this at some point, but it is critical to keep moving as we age. Regular activity helps build muscle and improve balance, which can prevent falls and other injuries. Consider taking an exercise class at your local gym or community center. Your insurance might cover the cost of membership.
You could also go on a walk or hike with friends and family members. There are simple exercises you can do at home. Talk to your doctor about what activities are best for you. Increasing your activity levels not only helps you stay strong, but it also increases your confidence, attitude, and quality of life.
Eat healthy meals
Getting a sufficient amount of nutrition is vital for maintaining independence. Be sure to buy and consume healthy meals and only eat foods that lack nutritional value occasionally.
Educate yourself on what foods promote wellness and tasty ways to prepare them. Talk to your doctor about what foods complement your health condition. And, make nutrition a social event by going out to eat at healthy restaurants or signing up for a cooking class that shows you how to make healthy meals.
If you have a hard time shopping for and preparing nutritious foods, consider getting a home-delivered meal service. Home meal delivery can provide you with delicious, nutrition-packed meals delivered right to your door. If you live in Stark, Summit, or Wayne County, call Meals on Wheels of Northeast Ohio and ask about our meals for specialty diets.
Talk to others frequently
Did you know that socialization is a key part of staying independent? As people, we naturally crave interaction with others. Finding ways to stay social and talk to others promotes wellness as you age.
If you find yourself wanting more socialization, seek ways to meet new friends. Take a walk around your neighborhood, join a club, or reconnect with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Another great way to make new friends while giving back to your community is to volunteer.
If you’re 55 years or older and live in Summit or Medina County, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program can help you find the perfect volunteer activity that fits your interests and availability.
As we age, it may become difficult for some of us to socialize. Mobility and transportation issues can prevent us from going out and being with others. The effects of senior solation can be damaging on a person and their level of independence.
Companionship programs are a great solution for individuals who have a hard time leaving the house. Someone can come to visit you and provide company. Or, you may opt for a program like Telecare, where volunteers provide friendly phone calls to a seniors.
Positive aging and independence
Promoting positive aging means taking steps to create a healthy home environment that fosters independence. With the right tools and resources, we can grow older the way we want to, where we want to, and with dignity.
VANTAGE Aging provides programs and services that promote a positive perspective on aging in Northeast Ohio. Find a holistic approach to wellness as we age through job training, home-delivered meals, housecleaning, volunteerism, and behavioral health solutions. Contact us today to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-253-4597.