Independent Living Tips for Seniors? You’ve just retired and you’re ready to move forward with your next stage of life. Living independently might be a new experience for you, so how do you make the adjustment?
Living on your own can be rewarding, but it does require some adjustments. Here are 5 independent living tips that will help seniors stay active in their daily lives and continue to live an engaged lifestyle.
5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active
My five independent living tips for seniors are important to follow for a better quality of life. These five independent living tips for seniors involve dependence on others outside the home, yet can help those less likely to have to live in a retirement home or other less than ideal situation.
These five independent living tips for seniors are in no particular order. Deciding whether to live alone, with relatives, or in another setting is one where all factors should be considered carefully.
Have A Call and Stop-By List In Place
Living alone doesn’t mean living lonely. For seniors, you must have at least a couple of people outside your home watching your back every week. Have them call you or stop by your house once or twice a week to make sure you are alright, and to provide some human contact. Owning a pet can also provide companionship and protection.
This is the most important thing to do and will help you maintain a higher quality of life.
Hire Out or Find Volunteers For Strenuous and/or Risky Household Chores
Unless you’re fit and agile and have even discussed doing strenuous or risky household chores with your doctor, find a volunteer to do this or hire someone for these tasks.
What kind of chores are we talking about?
Heavy lifting, moving furniture, shoveling snow in the winter, getting on a ladder and cleaning out the storm gutters, and taking out the trash.
There are many people who would be happy to help you with these chores in exchange for food or money, or they might do it because they want to lend a hand and feel like part of your family.
These chores aren’t worth breaking a bone or having a heart attack over. If you do decide to take on these tasks, at the very least, have someone help you.
Create a Home Evacuation Plan
No matter if you live alone or with others, fires and other natural disasters can create a difficult situation when trying to immediately evacuate a home. This is especially true for fires.
Call your local fire department official(s) (a city, county, or state fire agency) and have them visit your home to advise you on making it safer and more ready-made for safe evacuation.
And make sure that you have a list of the medications and other medical supplies you use handy, and give a copy of this list to a trusted person who can advise medical staff in the event of an emergency.
Make Sure Your Legal Affairs Are In Order
Being independent means being smart when it comes to managing your personal affairs of financial, property, and medical aspects of your life. Consult a lawyer about powers of attorney, especially for health care and finances (in the event of incapacitation).
Make sure you have a will and that it’s updated to reflect your wishes. Don’t leave your family and loved ones in the lurch in the event of your passing or incapacitation.
We can go into the legal ramifications of what a will or living trust is later, but it is important to talk to your financial planner or lawyer and get this taken care of. If you don’t currently have either of those people handy, check with your local bank and see if they can help you.
If Possible, Have a “Life Alert” Type of System Set-Up in Your Home
Falling is the number cause of accidental injury for people 65 and older who are at home. What happens if you fall and can’t get up and aren’t near a phone nor are people nearby to hear you?
If you can afford to do so or can find a locally-based program that covers the cost, set up a “Life Alert” type of system that lets you immediately alert emergency personnel in the event of an accident or other emergency via a worn point of contact gadget.
One of the best ways to stay independent is by staying active. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean being physically fit, it means keeping your mind and body busy through activities like reading books, playing board games or cards with friends and family members (or strangers!), going on walks outside amongst nature – there’s so much more than just gardening, taking classes, learning a new skill and keeping your brain busy by learning to play an instrument.
Some of these activities you can do on your own time, but others might require some help from family members or friends.
No matter what activity you choose, make sure that it keeps both the mind and body active! Living independently doesn’t mean just staying at home and going on a walk once in a while.