Aging is not an option. Aging well is desirable. Aging well does not mean the denial of age, but rather to be able to live each day with the vitality of youthfulness and the wisdom and grace of maturity. The greatest threat to many of us may be that of losing our independence. How can I stay independent while I age well? Resilience is a big part of it. Let’s talk about 13 ways to remain independent while you age. Read more from me on this subject in the article Practical Ways to Age Well as We Live Alone.
There are many circumstances in the aging process over which we have little control. However, a healthy lifestyle, an active mind, and a loving spirit can make the road more rewarding. A strong faith in God can give impetus to a spirit of joy and acceptance.
How Do You Stay Positive as You Get Older?
Facing reality with aplomb is a beginning. No one has a life that is without stress and some difficulty. Accepting life, embracing life, dealing with life, with equilibrium promotes a well-balanced lifestyle. An understanding of acceptance of the things we cannot change and changing the things that we can as the Serenity Prayer verbalizes, can help produce a positive and centered attitude. Let’s talk about 13 ways to remain independent while you age.
What is Resilience?
Possessing the attribute of resilience – the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties or adversities – gives us the ability to adapt well to the changes. Inner strength, rebound fervor, the deep and abiding hope that things will get better, work well for us.
The woman who is aging well will always be the pace setter for living. On goal. Exuding hope, optimism, and faith.
Is it Healthy for the Aged to Live Alone?
Living alone while we are ageing can be daunting. Many of us have buried our long-term spouses or have chosen to be single. We are not ready for Assisted Living or Long- Term Care. We are adjusting to being independent and successful while also being alone.
However, living alone as we age may present some concerns that we need to prepare for ahead of time. I want to share with you some things to consider that may help you be safe, more active, and able to care for yourself safely. Let’s talk about 13 ways to remain independent while you age.
How to Remain Independent as You Age
Maintaining independence allows us to keep our lifestyle active and connected. We can have our own space, our own routine, and not feel we are a burden to our beloved children. Besides, as much as we love each other, too much togetherness can become tedious. How much better are the drop-in visits, the sleepovers, and the wonderful feeling of being in control of your own space and time. These are all items and ideas that are reasonable for every age but should be mandatory as we age.
13 Ways to Remain Independent While You Age
Let’s talk about 13 ways to remain independent while you age:
- Sign up for a free “check-in” App on your phone. I use Snug. Actually, I think anyone of any age who lives alone needs this terrific app. For instance, if I don’t click on that app by 9:00 AM (my choice), after reminding me twice, it sends a text to my designees. If they do not receive any word from Snug, they know I was ok this morning. Takes away the burden of their having to check on me every morning. I would have loved having that on my kids’ phones when they were in college.
- Another for any age, but certainly as you age: Install large convex mirrors in your garage, placed on either side of inside front wall. I have used these for years. Drive into garage with car doors locked, observe the area as the garage door closes. Do not unlock car until garage door is completely closed. If you think someone is following you home, drive a circuitous route in neighborhood to check it out. If they are indeed following you, drive to nearest fire station or police station and honk! Never have had to do that, but I’ve been told to do so.
- Install outside lighting. Lighting deters crime. And the Ring doorbells and outside cameras are a great help. Having a Security System is mandatory. Keep the system armed when you are at home as well as when away, so that no one enters while you are in shower or absorbed on the computer, etc. And, of course, sleep well at night knowing that you are safely “locked up.”
- The “Help, I’ve fallen button” has been subject of many jokes. However, it is rather a genius help! My mom proved the value of hers and would not remove it when she reached the hospital because “if I don’t get the attention I need here, I know I can punch this and they will respond.” She was 100 at the time.
- Check with your security system. Mine includes monitoring such a device at no extra cost.
- Great idea is having an Apple Watch with the Fall Detection. If we fall, and do not respond correctly or not at all, emergency care is notified. I think this is a super friend because we always have our phones with us, so activates not only at home. Check this out.
- Remember, you want to prevent bad things from happening. Install bars in strategic places in bathrooms, rails on steps, lights in dark areas. As we age, we need to increase the lighting in our homes and sidewalks as our vision begins to fade. It is easy to miss a step: check out the increase in falls and ankle injuries from age 50 upwards.
- The City Fire Department in the city where I live will install a locked key box by your front door. If the responding Emergency Care crew cannot open door after receiving an alert from any device or person, they will be given a code to unlock and remove key, rather than knock your door down. Very convenient if you call for a Welfare Check on someone you love. Oh, and did I say that this is a free service but must be requested?
- Falls are the elderly’s greatest enemy. Check loose rugs. Avoid extension cords. Put everything away after use. Wipe up spills immediately. Stand near a wall – just in case – as you wiggle into your new straight legged jeans. Wear shoes that fit your foot and have treads. Great century to age – the younger girls are wearing sneakers and work out shoes with cute sundresses (horrors to imagine in my youth!)
- Of course, do not open your door to strangers. Some of the doorbell devices answer and show you a picture of front porch. Your family will always text or call if they are coming. I have a Peephole in a Door in my front door that enables me to check out who is at my door. Check out any unexpected workers even if wearing a company uniform.
- Don’t be too proud to use a walker, a walking stick, or a wheelchair as needed. Just keep moving, keep informed, keep connected. Don’t wait for friends and family to call you – make it a point to instigate those calls. Read interesting articles and keep up with current events so you remain a good conversationalist. Try to avoid being so dogmatic that others run from you!
- As a young widow, I built the house in which I still live with the future in mind. All my doors are wheelchair accessible; all doorknobs with levers; all rooms on one floor. My Security System includes a mobile device, allowing me the freedom to work in the yard and feel safe because I can get the police with a touch of my button. I would advice having a company monitor it. My fire detectors are also a part of that system.
- This is not a Do As I Say suggestion list – it is Do As I Do. Because of these suggestions being activated, I am able to live a full life, fully in control (laugh with me, all you who know the importance of that!), go and come as I please, make all my decisions, know that I am actively protected and wired in for help.
Personal Care and Healthy Living
Personal care and healthy living are conducive to ultimately enjoying our retirement and senior years.
Good Health is, of course, a gift of paramount importance to all of our lives. It is truly a blessing. When we have a minor illness or injury, we are once again made aware of the importance of maintaining good health and an active life-style to the highest degree possible.
You may tire of being told to “Eat Healthy” and “Get Some Exercise”; however, that advice is still current and even more considered the basics for living a long and healthy life.
It only takes a bit of motivation and some inward strength to carry out a plan. It does mean making a determined decision to see a plan through – for maybe 80 years. Surely, we can muster that determination, considering the wonderful harvest vs the consequences, produced by a healthy lifestyle.
For more help on how to be in control of your appetites, watch for a future article expounding on this subject in detail. Just the easy, moderate way for those of us who do not have the dream of qualifying for the Olympics or modeling for a workout magazine.