3 Tips for Staying Independent as You Get Older*

*This is a collaborative post*

If all goes well, you will find yourself ageing gracefully, able to do just about everything you could in your younger years, and just about as well, too. All too often, however, age brings with it certain health conditions, and holding onto your autonomy can be a real challenge, and something that you’ve got to fight for. I’m a strong believer that your golden years can be some of your best, but you nonetheless need to take as many steps as possible in order to keep yourself in good condition, and safeguard your autonomy to the greatest possible extent. There’s a lot to be said about the psychology of independence. The more things we are able to do for ourselves, the better our sense of optimism and self-esteem, as a general rule, not to mention the more dynamic our lives tend to be.

Here are a few tips for staying independent as you get older;

Look into motability adaptations and other helpful devices

If you reach a point where you have a substantial amount of trouble transporting yourself and moving about unaided, looking into motability adaptations such as car modifications, electric wheelchairs, and scooters, can make all the difference in terms of your ability to meet life head-on and continue your ordinary routine.

Other helpful devices do, of course, exist in order to help you maintain autonomy and independence, and you should be willing to seriously investigate and consider these as needed.

If, for example, you find that you are having real trouble going up and down the stairs, you may well want to book yourself appointments with a physiotherapist to see what can be done. But having a stair lift installed is still a wise idea to consider.

Keep your exercise and diet on point

I’m convinced that a lot of the issues that we consider age-related are directly linked to poor lifestyle and diet choices, not to mention not getting the right amount of the right kinds of exercise.

Stay active, stay well-nourished, and avoid potentially harmful lifestyle decisions such as eating too late in the day, or dramatically overeating or under-eating, and you may be surprised by how mobile and healthy you remain — or even, become.

There are plenty of remarkable stories of people in their senior years who are remarkably active and athletic, from surfers, to bodybuilders, and more.

Look into things like yoga classes in your area, suited to your age group and experience level, and see how they might help you.

Adopt a basic policy of not letting anyone else do things for you that you can reasonably do for yourself

Often, the loss of independence comes incrementally, step by step, and happens because we allow the people around us — who mean well — to do more and more things for us, even when we’re capable of doing them ourselves.

If you become genuinely incapable of doing something for yourself, you shouldn’t shy away from accepting help as needed. But your guiding policy should always be; don’t let anyone do anything for you that you can reasonably do for yourself.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Header image via Pixabay

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