Ageing on your terms: how to promote independence in seniors

Written by Stannah

elderly-couple-sitting-in-the-garden

From a young age, we dream about being independent: having our own car, our own house, and making our own rules. So, why should that change in our senior years?

Nobody wants to imagine a future where they rely entirely on others. But ageing is a reality, and planning ahead for continued independence can make a world of difference.

So, are you ready to get proactive? Let’s explore seven key strategies that can empower you to maintain your independence as you age.

7 practical strategies to prepare your future independence

Considering alternatives to promote your independence in later years shows foresight and empowers you to stay in the driver’s seat (figuratively, at least) as you age. Here are a few practical strategies you may want to consider.

1. The freedom to choose

Forget the ‘don’ts’ and focus on the ‘do’s’. Instead of limitations, think about all the possibilities you can explore. After all, independence goes beyond just physical tasks. It’s about having the control to make your own decisions, big or small.

Do you want to keep living in your current home, downsize or do you want to consider other housing options, like nursing homes or communities with built-in support? Think about these preferences now, discuss them with your loved ones, and research options that align with what you want.

2. Staying active

Staying active is a golden rule for everyone, no matter your age. The good news is there are plenty of options to choose from. Fancy a workout from your comfy chair? Chair exercises are perfect for people looking for low-impact exercises.

Are you feeling zen? Yoga or Pilates might just be the thing for you. Do you love the water? Swimming, hydro gymnastics, or aqua fitness are all fantastic choices. Or maybe you prefer a brisk walk around the block—that works, too!

The key is finding activities you enjoy that suit your physical condition. If you have any health limitations, it’s important to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise programme. So, do your research and find what works best for you.

3. Adapting your space

stairlift-on-the-second-floor-the-house

Your home is where you should feel the most comfortable, and that shouldn’t change as you age. What does change over time is your needs, so it’s essential to adapt your home to meet those needs.

Can you navigate your home safely? Are there areas that could be improved with better lighting, grab bars or mobility solutions? Depending on your needs, a mobility solution like a stairlift can help you move freely between the different floors of your home.

At Stannah, we have a wide range of mobility equipment designed to ensure total comfort, security, and independence. And don’t worry—we can adapt our stairlifts to the design of your home. In fact, our stairlifts can be installed on all types of stairs, whether straight or curved, indoor or outdoor.

4. Taking charge of your health

The better you care for your health now, the easier it will be to maintain independence later. This means adopting healthy habits like a balanced diet, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep.

It also means being proactive about your health by scheduling regular check-ups with your doctor, dentist, and other healthcare providers. Early detection and treatment of health issues can prevent them from worsening and potentially limiting your independence later on.

5. Finding new passions

One of the oldest myths about ageing is that people can’t learn new things after a certain age. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. After all, it’s not only the physical well-being we need to care for. Keeping our minds sharp as we age is just as important, and learning new things is one of the best ways to exercise the brain.

There are also puzzles, reading, Sudoku, word games, you name it, basically anything that gets your brain buzzing is a win. Remember, there is always time to pick up a new hobby, learn new skills and keep those cognitive gears turning.

6. Building a support network

Don’t wait until you need help to build a support system. Nurturing relationships with friends, family, and neighbours is absolutely crucial to lead a happy, independent life. A strong support network will be there to catch you if you need it, while still allowing you to maintain your independence.

You can also look into senior centres or community groups that offer social activities and volunteer opportunities to stay socially connected to those around you.

7. Planning for the unexpected

elderly-couple-holding-hands-in-garden

Life throws curveballs, and it’s important to be prepared for situations where you may not be able to make decisions for yourself. Having important legal documents in place, such as a will, power of attorney, and healthcare directives, ensures your wishes are known and respected.

It’s also important to discuss your wishes with your loved ones and make sure they understand your preferences. There’s nothing quite like having an honest, open-hearted conversation with your loved ones about these matters to help ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Independence made easier

By taking these steps now, you’re not just preparing for the future, you’re actively shaping it. You’re ensuring that even as you age, you can continue to live an active, fulfilling, and, most importantly, independent life.

As always, at Stannah, we’re here to help you remain independent at home. Contact us, and we’ll gladly help you find a mobility solution that can help you navigate your home safely and comfortably.