Senior man at outdoor swimming pool

Independence can be a significant contributor to self-worth. Having the capacity to take care of your own wants and needs is satisfying if not always easy, and if that capacity slips away with age, it can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated. However though the ability to complete certain tasks may deteriorate with time, it’s possible to prolong and maintain independence by following these steps:

1. Socialize

Frequent social interactions are an essential part of mental and emotional health. Those who have strong relationships with friends and family are more likely to be happy and active later in life. It’s important as you age that you work to maintain your friendships and to keep up relationships with family members. You should also continue to make new friends as you age. This may be more challenging as an adult than it was in your teenage years. However, by attending activities at local senior centers, volunteering, or participating in clubs or classes, you can easily find adults your age with similar hobbies and interests.

2. Don’t miss your checkups

Staying healthy is the most essential component to maintaining independence. You can start taking care of yourself by avoiding fatty foods and sugars, which can cause heart problems and are linked to early dementia. You should also attend your regular checkups with your doctor and dentist. Your doctor should be able to guide you on which actions you need to take to maintain your health and to prevent future problems.

3. Take safety precautions

The risk of falling, especially in your home, increases with age. To protect against this, you can add make certain modifications to your home to remove hazards. Start by adding railings and handholds along stairways and in your bathroom. You may also want to add a movable shower head, non-slip mats, and a seat to your shower for more security.

4. Get the help you need

While getting help seems counterintuitive to maintaining independence, hiring help actually allows you to continue doing the things you love far longer than you could alone. Getting help for your specific needs—housekeeping, medical aid, lawn care—allows you to age at home rather than entering an assisted living center. If you would like to age at home and are interested in a home care provider, take a first look at Best of Home Care certified providers. These home care providers have proven their quality through third-party client and caregiver interviews, and they offer a wide range of services that can meet your needs.

Susan B. Anthony once said, “Independence is happiness,” and for many seniors that’s true. Fortunately, losing your independence isn’t a requirement of aging, and if you follow these steps, you can continue doing the things you love throughout the years.