There a few things that February is known for such as Valentine’s Day, Black History Month and President’s Day. But did you know that February is also National Senior Independence Month? National Senior Independence Month is a time for seniors to celebrate life and their continued independence.
Whether you or a loved one is living at home or as a member of a retirement community, National Senior Independence month offers a great opportunity to reflect on current lifestyles. Use this month to evaluate living situations highlighting any strengths and weaknesses that could use some adjustments to improve in order to maintain independence.
Below are a few tips to help seniors live safely and independently.
1. It’s Time to Declutter
If it is no longer necessary, then it might be time to move it on out in order to declutter and keep walkways clear of unnecessary items. If you have balance or vision problems, then it might be beneficial to shift furniture around and remove unneeded furniture so that maneuvering around your home will be easier with a decreased risk of injury.
2. Easy Access to Belongings
We all hate it when items we need are out of reach and attempt to get it numerous time without success causing frustration and potential injury. Reduce the need to over extend yourself reaching for everyday items by ensuring they are easily accessible to you. To do this you might need to move items to lower shelves and move furniture out of the way of the refrigerator, dresser, and cabinets.
3. Upgrade Your Home
If needed, install hand rails and grab bars throughout your home to aid in mobility. Make sure to place grab bars in the bathroom near the shower and toilet as well. If your home has stairs and you have trouble navigating them consider installing a chair lift. This will help to reduce difficulty you might have in getting around your home.
4. Reduce Fall Risks
Just as we mentioned decluttering, it is important to address fall risks. Falls should be prevented at all costs because they can lead to injury which in turn leads to a loss of independence. As you are decluttering your home make sure to clear the floor of any unnecessary items that might cause you trip. Additionally, make sure rugs are tapped down so you do not have to worry about your feet catching the corners causing a loss in balance.
5. Make Sure the Home is Well Lit
Darkness can make it hard to maneuver safely around your home. Lighten up the house by replacing any burned out light bulbs and plug in night lights around the home in order to help you see better at night. The easier you can see the less chance of an accidental injury.
6. Utilize Technology to Make Life Easier
Technology today is advancing rapidly producing new products that can simplify home life. Here are a few items that can be implemented in homes to help you live a relaxed independent lifestyle. Emergency pendants that can be worn around the wrist or neck can be pressed in case of an emergency and will immediately call 911 and/or programmed family members. These pendants bring you peace of mind knowing that if you were to fall or injury yourself that the help you would need would be a press of a button away. Everyone has those days where you cannot remember if you took your medication or not. Medication dispensing systems can help you always remember to take your medication by notifying you when it is time and they ensure that you do not accidently take it twice. Other devices that can be helpful is health tracking apps on cellphones to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and even something fun like Amazon Echo to answer daily questions, read out loud your favorite books, and through voice commands shut off lights throughout your home.
7. Staying Healthy and Active
It is important to stay as active as you can to maintain independence but also to be healthy! Ensure to do some type of daily exercise in order to reduce risk of injury, improve balance and strength, and to keep you as mobile as possible. Eating whole balanced healthy meals is also important in saying healthy. If you are having trouble making it to the grocery store or running out of recipe ideas try a food delivery service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh. Don’t forget to schedule routine checkups with your doctors to keep a pulse on your health status.
8. Address Emotional Needs
We just mentioned how being active is important to stay healthy. Another component of that is to ensure you are keeping an eye on your emotional health as well. Talk with friends and family regularly in order to stay connected and have regular engagement.
Hopefully the above tips will help you as you reflect on National Senior Independence Month and will aid you in your active and healthy lifestyle. At Cedarhurst, we understand the importance of independence and value it with our residents which is why we are here to help you reach your goals and to maintain your independence with dignity and respect.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us today by completing our online form here.