One of the worst things about getting older is that people will start trying to look after you
all of the time and do things for you. That doesn’t really sound like something to complain
about and your friends and family only have your best interests at heart, but sometimes,
it can make you feel like you’ve lost your independence a bit. Of course, there will
eventually come a time when you need some extra help but while you’re still active,
it’s important that you live your own life and do things for yourself, but that can be tough
sometimes. If you’re worried about losing your independence as you get older, here are a
few things you can try.
Don’t Live Up To The Stereotype
If people start treating you like you can’t do anything for yourself, it’s easy to fall into bad habits
and start living up to the stereotype of a helpless elderly person. But when you start letting
people do everything for you, you will lose your independence very quickly and eventually,
you’ll find that you actually do rely on others now because you stopped doing things for yourself.
That’s why it’s important that you don’t let things slow you down and you carry on living
the life that you want to live while you’re still able. Speak with the people around you and
explain to them that you will let them know if you need their help but until then, you are just fine
on your own.
Make Changes Around The House
It’s an undeniable fact that some things will get a bit harder as you get older, but if you
make simple changes around the house, you can still get by on your own. Companies like
Spring Chicken have loads of great products for the home that are designed to make
things a little easier for people as they get older. Simple things like phones with large
buttons, adjustable beds or jar and bottle openers make day to day living that little bit easier
for you, so you can continue to do things on your own. If your mobility is suffering, you can
start looking at things like stair lifts and walk in baths as well. A lot of people don’t like making
these changes around the house because they feel like it’s admitting defeat and giving up
their independence but it’s the opposite. They’re simply ways to keep your independence
for longer while also being realistic about what you can and cannot do.
A lot of older people struggle to maintain a good social life but it’s so important. If you don’t
get out and meet people, you start to rely on visits from your family a lot more. Of course,
spending time with family is a positive thing but you don’t want it to be your only social
interaction because that’s when you will start to rely on them too heavily and begin to lose
your independence. If you are retired, you have plenty of time on your hands, so why
not take up some new hobbies? Joining local clubs is a great way to get out of the house
and meet new people, so you can maintain a good social life.
Get Regular Check-Ups
Staying independent isn’t about being in denial. We all have health issues as we get older
and eventually, some of those health issues make it hard to live independently. But if you
brush that under the carpet and act like it’s never going to happen, things will be a lot
worse. When you catch a health problem early, you can get treatment and deal with it before it
starts to take away your independence, which is why it’s so important to get regular check-ups
with the doctor.
Eye tests and hearing tests, in particular, are very important. If you get an eye test and
get glasses when your vision is starting to suffer a bit, you will slow down the progress a
lot and it won’t degrade too quickly. The same goes for hearing problems. But if you need
glasses or hearing aids and you don’t realise, the problem will get a lot worse and that’s
when it will start to affect your ability to live independently.
These are all great ways to maintain your independence but it’s important that you recognise when
you do need help. Don’t be too proud to tell your friends and family that you’re struggling
and there are things that you need a bit of help with.
This is a collaborative post.