10 Ways to Get Support and Stay Independent as You Age

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10 Ways to Get Support and Stay Independent as You Age

Post by Andrewmills » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:03 pm

Aged care might not be on your mind until the time when you or a family member really needs it. However, there's no need to wait until full-time care is required to access support and to consider the ways you can maintain your independence as you get older. Anyone who wants to live comfortably and live their life to the fullest, or even just take it easy, can benefit from accessing the right support and taking the right steps to manage their day-to-day life. If you want to stay independent as you get older, you can choose a variety of ways to do it.

1. Get Home Help

Help around the house can be a huge help as you start to get older. Keeping up with housework, grocery shopping and other household tasks becomes a little more difficult when you start to feel the aches and pains of ageing. Anything from cleaning the floor to cooking every night can take more energy and effort. Help at home, whether it's a cleaner, some maintenance help, or someone to do some shopping for you, can free up some of your time.

No matter your age, these types of services can be helpful. Of course, they are especially useful for anything that you're not capable of doing yourself. If you need someone to repair your oven or redecorate a room, having a professional on hand who knows what they're doing is going to make everything a lot easier. There are many jobs around your home that need completely regularly, but also plenty of one-off tasks too. These can all be completed with some help, and it's easy to seek out the assistance you need. You can use a variety of resources, including online services that help you find the right person.

2. Organise Your Life

Keeping everything in order isn't always easy. From ensuring you have a tidy home to organising your finances, there are many things you may have to stay on top of. If you forget about something or neglect important tasks, it could lead to problems that might be tricky to fix. Paperwork can pile up, you could forget to renew an insurance policy, or you might lose track of your diary and find it hard to remember appointments, meetings and outings.

If you need a bit of help getting your life and home together and keeping it on track, you can get support from personal assistants or ask family members or friends to help you. Organising your household, your finances and your time can take a lot of work and mental energy, but you might not realise exactly how much until you find it difficult to continue doing it.

Sometimes professional help can be useful too, such as a financial advisor or a lawyer to help you organise your will and other paperwork. They can assist when you want to get things in order and perhaps create a plan for the future.

3. Connect with Your Community

Social isolation is one of the worst problems to affect older people. Loneliness can lead to depression and anxiety, as well as other issues of both mental and physical health. Staying connected with a community is a fantastic way to ensure you have a network of friends and acquaintances. It can also help to give you a purpose in life, so you have something to drive your actions. There are various types of community to get involved with, including religious communities, volunteering organisations, or even just your local community and its businesses and amenities.

Being connected with a community can help you to get out and about, and ensure you have people to communicate with regularly. Even visiting a local cafe and ordering a coffee or visiting your local library can be a great way to get out in the community and connect with others. Consider exploring activities that you enjoy, thinking about how you might contribute to a community and who you might like to join you. Some people find that a personal assistant can help them to stay connected to the community of their choice.

4. Be Connected Online

You don't need to get out and about to be connected with people. It's also possible to connect to a community online. The internet has made it a lot easier to be social and even allows you to connect with people around the world. Even if you find it difficult to get out of the house and rely on home care, connecting to people online gives you a social outlet. You can talk to people in different ways, whether by typing or using your voice. There are many different types of online community, and you can keep up with your family and friends too.

Being online also offers you a range of other benefits. You can access resources to teach you new skills, as well as plenty of things to entertain you. Becoming technologically savvy is a skill in itself, and one that you can learn in a number of ways. You can have friends, family or a support worker help you out with the things you need to know. Your local library or community centre may also be a good place to find short courses designed to teach you tech skills.

5. Have Someone Help with Pets

Pets can be fantastic companions as you get older. They help you to stay social and keep fit, and they give you a reason to get up every day. Pets can offer you unconditional love, or will at least rely on you to feed them. Owning pets can be a great way to stay independent as you age because they push you to do more, and they provide excellent company. However, if you start to struggle with the care that you need to provide your pets, there are plenty of ways you can make it easier for yourself.

To begin with, you might find some tools that make it easier to care for your pets. For example, automatic pet feeders can make feeding times much easier to manage. It's also useful to have help from people who can provide assistance. Even if you don't yet need in-home care, there are people who can help by walking your dog, feeding your cats or caring for pets while you're away. Some help with your pets can help you to keep them in your life.

6. Stay Physically Active

Engaging in plenty of physical activity as you get older helps you to stay physically healthy, but it is also good for your mental health. Elderly care providers and experts emphasise the importance of being physically fit and completing daily activity. Keeping fit can help to prevent many health problems, and strengthens your heart, bones, muscles, and more. Being more mobile can lower your risk of falls as you get older, and taking care of yourself may help to prevent problems such as broken bones.

There are many ways to be physically active, including walking, swimming, cycling, and more. Many options for physical activity are low-impact and gentle or allow you to modify the intensity to your preferences. You can exercise alone if you prefer, but there are also excellent ways to make it a group activity. Whether you attend a class or join a group, there are plenty of other people of all ages who can exercise with you, share their knowledge, and provide companionship. A physically active lifestyle improves your health and happiness and could be the key to staying independent for longer.

7. Enjoy Fun Activities

Keeping your mind active is just as important as keeping your body active as you get older. There are many ways to do this by finding activities that you enjoy doing. You might find things that you like to do alone, as well as activities that are fun to do with others. Some things can even offer both a solitary activity and a community of people to share it with. For example, many creative pursuits can be enjoyable on your own, but you can also share the things that you create with a wider community.

If you want to stay independent before you require the assistance of elderly care, you can explore plenty of new hobbies or perhaps take up an old hobby again. Some people even entertain themselves and keep their minds active by studying, whether independently or with the goal of completing a qualification of some kind. You can find people to enjoy these pursuits with or to support you while you do them. Whether you need someone to teach you how to knit or go on a day trip with you, it's often more fun with others.

8. Pay Attention to Your Health

Your health is always important, but it becomes more so as you get older. It's smart to keep on top of your health, monitoring any potential issues that arise. Being proactive about your health can help you to have control over it, and could give you what you need to stay independent. One thing to remember is that not everything is simply a normal sign of ageing. Some symptoms can be signs of a developing health problem but could be minimised by addressing them earlier. Rather than ignoring or dismissing a health issue, you should try to take it seriously.

Even when you don't experience any symptoms, you could have hidden health issues. Having regular checkups and health screenings can help you to pick up on any health problems that you may be unaware of, and keep them in check. When you take control of your health, you can be in charge of how you respond to any issues and what treatments or lifestyle changes you choose. Being well-informed about your health and wellness in general will give you the ability to be in charge.

9. Make Your Wishes Known

By planning what you want to happen when or if you need domiciliary care, you can maintain your independence for longer. When you want to ensure you receive the support and care that you want and need, it's a good idea to be proactive and to think about the future. You can create a plan to lay out your preferences and have them fulfilled. If you have a particular vision for what senior care might look like for you, it's important that people close to you know about it.

One option is to create an Advance Directive or living will. This legal document allows you to set out your wishes for treatment and care in the future. It can ensure your wishes are carried out even when you might not be able to express them for yourself. Of course, it's also a good idea to discuss your wishes with your loved ones. They can help you to maintain your independence and provide the right support while listening to your preferences.

10. Personalise Support to Your Needs

When you do need support or care, you can choose to customise the services that you require to your needs. Home care packages can be created so that they meet your needs and provide the type of support that you think suits you best. Whether you are starting to need a little bit of help around the house or you think that you or a loved one might need some more support, you can access various types of care services.

In-home care and live-in care can make it easier to personalise the services that you require. They allow you to stay in your own home, which is excellent for helping you to maintain a feeling of independence, control and comfort. You can choose to have someone provide housekeeping services for you, or you might need help with personal care. Whatever your needs are, you are able to decide what works best for you.

As you get older, you can find various ways to stay independent while receiving any support that you might need. A little bit of help can make it easier to stay independent for longer.

If home care sounds like something that could benefit you or someone you know, please check https://www.homecaring.com.au

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