Maintaining one’s independence is very important, but physical and cognitive changes throughout the aging process may make it difficult to keep the same lifestyle. However, with a combination of old and new support techniques, there are many ways to help you keep your independence as you age.
A key element to help maintain independence is to start planning as soon as possible. This may involve meeting with trusted professionals, including lawyers and financial planners, to project what funds are needed to remain independent. This may involve allocating money for homecare, a driving service, or for leisure activities. Planning may also involve moving to a new home without steps to reduce the risk of falling. Looking ahead now will help reduce the stress and anxiety of having to make big changes at a later time.
Accepting change in your life is also key to staying as independent as possible. You may need to adapt your activities and interests due to physical changes or because of the use of medications. This does not mean that you cannot continue your interests, but that modification may be needed. Communicating your desire to maintain a specific lifestyle to family members is essential. Accept offers of help or explore how additional services can help you maintain your independence.
Often, remaining independent involves making slight modifications or enhancements to how you receive care and services. One such service is the use of nurse practitioner house calls which can help you monitor a chronic illness, manage medication, or receive medical care when it may be difficult to get to your physician’s office. This is a helpful service that should be provided in conjunction with your family physician. Look into companies that offer home deliveries, which can be ordered by phone or through the Internet. You may receive medications, food and many other services in the convenience of your home. It is essential to permit yourself to manage your life in a different way in order to best maintain your independence.
Another area to explore is the growing use of technology, which will play an instrumental role in helping individuals remain independent at home. Large and small organizations have designed monitoring services and wearable equipment to help you communicate with your physician and family members. Technology can be used to monitor vital signs, remind you to take your medications and to notify family members when if you fall, forget to take your medication or become dehydrated. These devices are relatively unobtrusive and may be in the form of a wristwatch, or monitors installed in your home, or they may simply use your computer. Technology is also important when it comes to enhancing communication to family and friends. Some may use e-mails, Skype and Facetime.
With the advent of new technologies, additional home delivery services and a society that is endorsing the need and desire to age in place, maintaining and independent lifestyle has become increasingly easy. Take time to plan, accept changes in your life and incorporate helpful services to help you along your journey. For more information or guidance, fill out the form on the Abramson Care Advisors page now, or call us for free, 24 hours a day seven days a week, at 215-371-3400.