Most of us would like to maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible, even as we advance into our golden years. As you get older you’ll experience a number of major life changes, what with retirement, the children leaving home, and becoming less mobile. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose your independence – the key lies in how you handle these life changes. Follow these tips to help maintain your physical and emotional health well into your later years.

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Take care of your essential needs

It’s important that you continue to eat healthy meals every day and can obtain any medication you need. Unfortunately, as we get older it becomes more difficult to do things like shopping. Things like groceries and medication will need to be delivered, but thanks to the advent of the Internet, it’s possible to go online and have everything you need delivered to your door.

For those who aren’t comfortable using the computer, you can use the services of Meals on Wheels companies to take care of your needs.

Prepare the home for old age

One of the most essential steps to ensure your independence is to prep your home for when you’re less mobile. Many elders choose to move into special senior homes, but this isn’t always necessary. By doing things like widening doorways, installing stair lifts and grab bars in the bathroom, you’ll be able to continue living in your own home for years to come.

You can also buy special furniture to ensure your comfort. For example, reclining beds can help you to get on and off the bed much more easily. The same goes for sitting down – you can buy special reclining chairs that make sitting down and standing up much easier. The best thing is that chairs for the elderly can be stylish, so your home won’t take on the look of a senior citizen’s home if you don’t want it too.

Be ready for emergencies

One of the main dangers for elderly people living at home alone is the risk of falling. Statistics show that one in three people over the age of 65 experiences a fall every year, and if no one is present it can be very risky.

Elderly people can be at risk from other medical emergencies too, such as heart attacks or strokes. As such, it’s important to install a personal emergency response system that allows you to call for help by simply pushing a button. Doing so will also give your relatives peace of mind.

Address your emotional needs

More important than any of the above is to be able to live a happy life. Loneliness is one of the major problems for many older people, and so it’s essential we still have meaningful relationships to boost our moral. For those who can’t get out and about so much, take advantage of technology like smartphones so you can maintain visual contact with family members, even if they don’t have time to visit.

Even better, try to find a hobby or partake in engaging activities regularly. Those who’re more mobile can sign up for senior aerobics classes or some other physical activity, or organize regular day trips with other older persons. What’s important is to try and nourish a sense of purpose and belonging in order to stay emotionally healthy.