How to Maintain Your Independence: 5 Tips for Seniors

These guidelines are a great start to a lifelong plan for aging gracefully—and living on your own for as long as possible.

Studies show that walking can do much more than burn calories. It can also improve your mood and help beat depression.

Studies show that walking can do much more than burn calories. It can also improve your mood and help beat depression.

© Mary Katherine Wynn | Dreamstime.com

As we get older, our bodies and minds go through numerous changes that are often undesirable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to live a satisfying and independent life for years to come. These five tips will serve to remind you how to maintain your independence while ensuring that your aging process is both healthy and comfortable.

#1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Nutrition is key to avoiding the health issues that are most common among seniors. Make sure your diet includes a good balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and nuts to ensure that you maintain your proper weight and keep your immune system strong.

#2. Exercise regularly

The benefits of exercise are endless—it’s good for your heart, improves balance and flexibility, and improves your mood. If you need a place to start, try an exercise plan that is low intensity, such as walking, stretching, and light weightlifting.

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#3. Take care of your mental and emotional health

As our bodies age, it can have a great effect on how we think and feel. In addition to exercise, it’s important to remain social, exercise our brains, and seek medical help as needed to battle depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions that can rob us of our joy.

#4. Find a good doctor

It’s a daunting task for all ages, but it becomes even more critical as you get older. Common health problems in elderly people, such as osteoporosis, age-related macular degeneration, and hearing impairment, can make it very difficult to live an independent life without treatment from a trusted medical professional, so take the time to do some research. (Looking for an integrative physician that supports your “natural medicine” beliefs? Learn how to find one here.)

#5. Get a senior alert device

This is especially important if you live (or spend most of the day or night) alone. Today’s easy-to-use senior alert devices allow you to contact a family member, friend, or emergency service organization almost instantly if you’ve taken a fall or experienced some other life-threatening complication. It may just save your life.


Originally posted in September 2016 and updated.

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