5 Ways that Seniors Can Stay Independent

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As we age, it’s natural that our physical and mental conditions deteriorate. The human body is like a vehicle, and the more mileage it has on it, the less likely it is to run as smoothly as it once did.

Just as we need older car maintenance, we can also take steps to take care of our bodies and minds. Seniors can live on their own longer when they work to stay healthy.

Here are five ways that you can do that.

Take Yoga Classes

You probably want to avoid ending up in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Some take great care of their residents, but elder abuse does occur as well, and you don’t want to experience it.

One way to ensure that you can live on your own for longer is if you stay limber. That means fewer falls in the home. Yoga is a way that you can do that.

Yoga:

  • Is great for balance
  • Works all major muscle groups
  • Can help keep you lean and supple  

The body can easily grow brittle as we age. The muscles get weaker if we don’t use them. If you go to regular yoga classes, these things are less likely to happen.

Make sure before you start that you talk to the instructor about any physical limitations that you have. It’s best to start by taking simple introductory classes. If that doesn’t appeal, you can always join a gym or take walks around the neighborhood.

Socialize Regularly

Many studies show that if you live alone and never see anyone, it’s detrimental to your health. When you socialize with others:

  • It gives you something to anticipate on the calendar
  • It helps you keep up with current events

Some lively conversation can be just what you need if you live by yourself and don’t interact with others very much. You gain nothing by being a misanthrope.

You have to be cautious these days with the pandemic happening, but you can still go to dinner at a friend’s house or invite them over, provided that you wear masks and practice social distancing.

Keep Working

Many individuals retire at some point. That might be in the fifties, sixties, or seventies. Some people like to continue working, though, until they’re even older than that.

It all comes down to whether you still like your job and have a passion for it. If you never liked what you did for a living, you’ll be eager to get out of it as soon as possible. If you always loved it, you might not want to retire at a normal age.

Being productive gives you a reason to live. Some people feel depressed or useless once they retire. If you find yourself in this spot, working at least part-time might be the answer.

Do Volunteer Work

Even if you retire, that doesn’t mean that you couldn’t take up an unpaid job helping those who are less fortunate. You might want to volunteer for the Salvation Army or a local soup kitchen. Maybe you could help at-risk teens or Army vets.

You might even consider fostering a child if you think you’re up for it. There are lots of ways to feel useful and make a real difference in others’ lives.

Take Trips

Something else that you can do is travel. It’s true that with Covid-19 ravaging the globe, you can’t move around as freely as you once could, but presumably, it won’t be around forever. Once medical science comes up with a vaccine, you can travel again if you can afford it.

Even if you can’t afford to go on exotic vacations to Rome or Paris, you can always travel around the country. Maybe you’ll get yourself an RV and see some of the national parks. You should certainly see sites like the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore that are so much a part of Americana.

Older adults run into trouble when they feel like there isn’t anything to get up for in the morning. If you feel like one day is much like the last one, then you’re in a rut, and you should make some changes.

Even if you don’t feel like you’re physically or mentally up for some of the activities we’ve described, at the very least, you could go to museums or concerts, or you could read some books. If you want to stay independent, you need to keep the mind and the body active for as long as you can.

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