5 Keys to Maintaining Independence when Elderly

Many aging parents find the idea of maintaining independence to be of vital importance. You aren’t ready to give up on living even though you realize that you might need a little help along the way. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to continue living on your own as long as you have these five things covered.

1)   Mobility. You must have some degree of mobility in order to be able to care for yourself. Even if your mobility is limited it is possible to care for yourself without the assistance of others.

2)   Safety. This one thing actually covers a wide range of real estate. Safety is about physical safety but includes the neighborhood you live in, the condition of your home, your physical health, and your mental alertness. If any of these are suffering you might need to rethink your determination to remain independent or, at the very least, the location where you plan to be independent.

3)   Support System. Do you have friends, family, or a church or civic group nearby that will act as a support system? How about medical facilities, transportation, and health care providers? How about house cleaning, cooking, yard work, and general maintenance? It takes a village these days to do so much more than just raise a child. What kind of support is at your disposal?

4)   Help sorting through and understanding your medication. Some people use patient or elderly advocates to help with the confusing medications that are sometimes required to treat various maladies associated with growing old. If you have family nearby chances are your family will help. Whether it’s coming up with a great pill box that helps you take the right medications at the right time or phone call reminders letting you know when to take which medications it’s important that you get your prescriptions right. Did you know that according to the New England Journal of Medicine the number one reason for hospital readmissions is a failure to take medications are they are prescribed?

5)   Access to help when needed. Chances are that when an emergency arises you’ll be nowhere near a phone. A medical alert system can help you get immediate access to help whenever you have a slip or fall and in countless other emergencies so keep it in mind as you plan for your independence.

Proper planning is, above all else, the key to maintaining your independence as you age.

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