We’re often asked how seniors can live more independently. Many of those who pose the question are children of older parents — usually, they’ve noticed that their parents are slowing down, and they’re wondering how long their parents can realistically stay in their own home.
Here’s what we can say: if it’s not desirable, practical or safe for you to continue aging in place, then it’s reasonable to consider whether it might be time to move into a senior living community like Deupree House.
Today, let’s take a look at three ways that seniors like you can become more independent.
1. Eat right and exercise, exercise, exercise
We can’t stress these enough. When a senior treats his or her body well, it’s more likely to continue supporting an independent lifestyle.
Many middle-aged people in the United States struggle with their weight. As we leave our 20s and 30s, metabolism slows, joints wear down, hormone levels and energy levels drop, and work and kids are extra stressors, so many of us stop exercising on the regular. That’s just the natural course of aging and a consequence of the workaday lifestyle most of us adhere to.
As a result, many seniors reach retirement with a couple wellness strikes against them. These days, we’re seeing record high rates for obesity, heart and lung diseases, Type II diabetes, and severe arthritis in older Americans.
If we want to stay independent long into their golden years, it’s imperative that we develop good, lifelong wellness habits. We need to eat sparingly, rest plenty and exercise 30 minutes a day.
Here’s the great news: even if you haven’t been too kind to your body over the years, it’s never too late to take positive action. Develop a wellness routine and stick with it.
2. Redesign your home to accommodate aging in place
Often, older homes aren’t ideal to age in. Stairs, tight furniture layouts, bubbles in the carpet, and other obstacles can make it difficult — if not unsafe — for seniors to get around, especially they use walkers, scooters or wheelchairs.
Recognizing this, many aging Baby Boomers consider downsizing out of their multi-story homes, into ranch homes, townhomes, or single-floor condos. But their increasing demand has driven up the price for senior-friendly floorplans; many American seniors simply can’t afford the move, especially after the 2008-09 Great Recession.
So, what to do? Some seniors are finding it more cost-effective to redesign their homes. There are architects and interior designers in the market who specialize in remodeling with an eye toward aging in place.
If you need a safer home, consider whether an age-friendly interior redesign would be feasible.
A move to a senior apartment community like Deupree House could also help you stay independent. Our floorplans fit a private, independent lifestyle, and were designed with mobility needs well in mind.
3. Turn to tech
It’s truly amazing how the market is innovating to help seniors age in place longer.
From rechargeable scooters and voice-activated personal assistants, to video chat, online shopping and grocery delivery, alerting vital monitors and remote security cameras that can be accessed right from your tablet or smartphone, there are plenty of solutions to assist seniors aging in place.
Privacy is often a trade-off, of course. But if you and your family want peace of mind, technology is providing a bevy of methods to help you stay safer, longer, in your own home.
Looking ahead to the future
Naturally, most seniors prefer to age in place for as long as possible. But if and when the time comes to consider moving to a senior living community that offers more support and peace of mind, you have options. If you’re interested in learning more about Independent Senior Living at ERS, come take a tour. We’d be happy to host you and to answer your all your questions.
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