Four Tips to Maintain Your Independence as You Age

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women-window-shoppingThese tips can help you maintain your physical and emotional health and live life to the fullest, whatever your age.

Home Modifications

According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Falls, with or without injury, carry a heavy quality of life impact. With this being said, an important component to maintaining independence as long as possible is to assess your current home or apartment. Modifications may need to be made to ensure your safety, as home hazards such as uneven surfaces or the lack of handrails are among the top conditions that attribute to falls. Some suggestions include bathroom safety grips and walk-in showers, medical alert systems, improved lighting and nightlights, wider doorways and even stair chair lifts. There are state and local programs that provide low-interest loans or grants to help you pay for home modifications or home repairs. If you are age 60 or older, check with your local Area Agency on Aging to see whether you qualify for home modification and repair funds.

Focus on Your Health

Various surveys have suggested that about 90 percent of older adults want to live independently for as long as possible. However, independence requires a level of physical function that, for some, can be difficult to maintain. Many different things happen to the body as it ages. Skin, bones, and even the brain may start to behave differently. Don’t let the changes that come with aging catch you by surprise. For example, Bones can become thinner and more brittle, especially in women, sometimes resulting in the fragile bone condition called osteoporosis. This can put you at risk for falls that can easily result in broken bones. Keeping your physician up to date on your physical wellbeing is important. More health tips can be found at everydayhealth.com.

Stay Active

As we age, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain your independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain. And not only is exercise good for your body, it’s also good for your mind, mood, and memory. Lutheran Sunset Ministries offers in Clifton, Texas offers an exercise program that’s open to the community. Tuesday and Thursday, classes are held at 1604 W. 9th St. at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., free of charge. All levels are welcome at any of the classes. For more information, call 214.289.9623.

Community Resources

When the activities of daily living—such as bathing, dressing, taking medication, or cooking—become too difficult, you can hire private-duty care. This usually comes in two forms: a companion or a health aide. If you are not in need of physical care, companion services may be the best option for you. For example, Sunset Companion Services, a program of Lutheran Sunset Ministries, offers non-medical assistance in the comfort of your home. From housekeeping and cooking meals to transportation and companionship, you can get the assistance you need to continue living at home. For more information, visit www.lutheransunset.org or call 254.253.1726.

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