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Seize your freedom and remain independent by Tina Y. Gerber

I think you would agree, most of us would prefer to live independently for as long as possible. The emotional effects of leaving one’s long-lived-in home can have serious health implications. Canadians are living longer, and for the vast majority, seniors would prefer to age in their own homes within their community.

There can be many challenges and costs associated with maintaining independence, but it is possible. Remaining in the family home gives seniors the freedom to see family and friends, entertain the grandchildren, and keep beloved pets.

Staying healthy will make it easier and safer to stay at home. Seniors are more active than ever before. From daily walks, laps in the pool, to hikes in the forest. Seniors need to take care of their health and be active for as long as possible. We all want the ability to live comfortably and independently but may also need help with meals, assistance with housekeeping, rides to the doctors’ office, bathing, and yard maintenance. Of course, this depends on the seniors’ physical and mental health, treatments needs and other circumstances.

As we age, we do experience some physical limitations and setbacks. Due to modern technologies over the last decade, living at home is a possibility, with apps which can do anything. They can analyze your home environment and recommend modifications, such as adding safety features, like grab bars and a shower chair for the prevention of falls, which increase after age 65. Modifications like stair-lifts, mobility scooters, and home security systems enable us to live at home longer. There are voice-enabled devices, such as medical alert systems, with which the wearer can press a call button for medical help 24/7. A medical alert system empowers seniors to retain their independence without compromising their personal safety. New devices can provide easy access to health information and services.

Staying at home requires planning, based on your needs and knowing what things may change over time. Staying healthy is up to you.

Looking for a little help? Talk to your doctor and family members about your health concerns, and look into what assistive devices and home modifications are available to help you live independently and remain at home. Try visiting the local library, where staff can help you search for resources. You have worked hard throughout your life, so retirement should be about you and creating the future you want.

No matter where you are in life: today is a new beginning to live life to the fullest!

To stay active and healthy, you can find a hobby which provides you with two important things. First, it should keep you physically active and mentally healthy. Second, it should keep you entertained and engaged.

For instance: working in your garden or from a raised flower box, to enhance mobility and flexibility; reading a good book, an inexpensive fun hobby which offers knowledge; painting and sculpting, which helps you relax and keeps your hands and mind busy; baby-sitting grandchildren, which brings pleasure, as does spending time with any of the people you love.

There’s social activity, like: a leisurely golf game, a gym workout, swimming, or tennis which all keep muscles and joints moving; and playing video games can maintain dexterity and keep your brain active. Studying genealogy, helps connections with family history, fighting depression and anxiety, and provides a valuable record for other family members identities; or scrap-booking, which helps you to relax and increases self-esteem as you review your accomplishments; photography also helps relieve stress, when your focus is on the petal of a flower, that feathered friend at the feeder, or the dimples of your grandchild.

Woodworking also keeps hands and mind busy; puzzles keep your brain sharp while having fun; you can also knit for charity, volunteer in your community or at Church, this brings satisfaction to you as well as supporting an organization.

There is still plenty of time to be creative, start a new hobby, or discover a new passion to find your inner joy and be grateful and thankful for the life you do have.

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