As we get older, remaining independent for as long as possible will be a top priority for many of us. According to research highlighted by the Good Care Group, 97% of older people want to remain in their own homes for the rest of their lives, rather than move into residential care.
It’s inevitable that as people age, they’ll need more assistance. Putting in place the right support to keep them safe and maintain self-sufficiency can ensure the elderly stay in charge of their own retirement and keep them healthy and active for longer.
As well as providing the infrastructure at home to help older people complete everyday tasks, it’s also important to prepare for situations when something goes wrong. The risk of falling rises with age and more than one in four over-65s fall each year.
Equipping a loved one with a personal alarm or installing a smart home monitoring system in their home can offer peace of mind in case of an emergency. ‘Long lies’, where an individual remains on the floor for an extended period of time can have a negative impact on health and severely damage confidence, so it’s important to have a fall alarm on hand.
The benefits of staying independent
Staying independent offers a wide range of benefits for older people, as it can maintain both their physical and mental health. For instance, living independently can help to keep elderly individuals’ minds active, which reduces some of the memory loss and other cognitive decline issues often associated with old age.
The link between good physical health and strong mental health is well-known, and this works both ways. People who keep their minds active are also more likely to remain physically active as well. Retaining the responsibility to stock the cupboards or tend a garden ensures an active lifestyle is second nature as a person grows older.
Maintaining independence also helps give older people a greater sense of purpose and identity. Being able to set their own routine, keep in contact with friends and relatives and continue doing activities they enjoy helps prevent feelings of depression or isolation, which Age UK notes are very common among older people.