Here is Part 2 of Maintaining Your Independence and Mobility. In Part 1, we talked about how to maintain balance and strength, fall-proof your home and to drive safely. Let’s look at working, outsourcing and when it is time to no longer live alone.
Keeping Up at Work
A few years ago, most people would retire around the age of 65. But that’s no longer the case. Many people are working well into their nineties – some because it helps with finances and others because they like having the interaction with other people.
They enjoy what they do. Depending on what kind of work that you do, there may or may not be some mobility issues. If you work a job that requires you to be on your feet the majority of the day – and that’s causing you some problems, there are some easy steps you can take to make adjustments.
If you need to be off your feet, you can check to see if you can do your job sitting down. Your employer isn’t allowed to discriminate against you because of your age – and many of them will gladly make concessions that enable you to keep doing your job.
Keeping your independence at work depends on how physically demanding your job is. If you have the kind of job where you have to do a lot of heavy lifting, then your body may not be able to put up with loads that you used to handle.
You can always ask to have someone else handle the labor part of your job while allowing you to handle the tasks that require brainpower over brawn. If you’re still able to work and you enjoy what you do but it is a bit taxing on you, then you can ask your employer if it’s possible for you to scale back on some of your hours.
Many aging men and women find it more beneficial to go from working full time at their job to keeping part time hours instead. Some people don’t want to cut back on their hours – but still need some adjustments in order to be able to continue on in the job.
If you find it tougher to get your work done or some tasks are beyond your physical capabilities, then ask your boss if you can cut back on some of your duties.
If you are self-employed with a long history of running your own business, what you can do is to appoint someone as your overseer. This person can manage the more taxing aspects of the job freeing you up to handle whatever you still feel physically and mentally able to take on.
When You Need to Outsource
It makes sense that you would want to outsource certain duties that can become too difficult for you to take care of. One of these things can be taking care of the lawn.
It can be too much to have to wrestle the lawn mower free from where you keep it covered. Plus, if you use a mower that has a bag, it can be too heavy to remove and dump the clippings.
However, if you’ve always enjoyed being outside and taking care of your yard, there are still some things you can do. But physically demanding jobs like mowing the grass can be passed on to someone else.
You can use a lawn care service that will take care of mowing the grass as well as making sure that your lawn is edged. This same company can also make sure that the leaves are raked and bagged every fall.
Just because it becomes necessary for you to have someone else mow and take care of the grass, doesn’t mean that you have to give up doing what you like to do outside.
If you’ve always enjoyed gardening, since this is less physically demanding than mowing, there’s no reason why you can’t continue doing it. You may have to make a few concessions – such as using a gardening stool or switching to raised flower or vegetable beds, but you can still enjoy it.
Taking care of a garden helps you engage in physical activity that’s good for you because it doesn’t tax your joints or put too much demand on your muscles.
Knowing When It’s Time to Compromise
No matter how much you value your independence, there may come a time when you have to have some help. Assisted living facilities can help you while still allowing you to maintain some independence.
There’s a checklist that you can look at to see if it’s time for you to get some help with your day-to-day living through an assisted living facility. You may find yourself struggling to keep up with the chores at home.
- The house isn’t kept as neat or as clean as you once could keep it. Things begin to pile up because you just can’t keep everything where it needs to go. On the outside, your home shows signs of maintenance neglect.
- You might see boards on the porch that need to be fixed, leaves piled high in the gutter or debris from the wind that’s littered about your yard. Maybe the grass is taller than you’d like it to be because you can’t handle the lawn care any more.
- Eating healthy meals becomes a challenge because you struggle to prepare your food. You find it difficult to make sure that you get the groceries that you need because of transportation or lifting issues.
- It’s a struggle to do the necessary shopping when you are able to go to the store. You don’t drive as much any more or you don’t drive at all. Making sure that you get the right medication at the right time is sometimes a problem.
All of these are signs that you could benefit from assisted living help. Many seniors automatically picture being stuck in a small room in a nursing home when they think about assisted living. But that’s not the case with facilities that specialize in helping senior citizens maintain their mobility and independence. What these facilities have is a wide range of services that they offer to senior citizens.
These facilities aren’t imposing brick buildings that look like hospitals. Most of them are gorgeous apartments or homes within a community. They have hair salons, banking ability and even restaurants. Some have libraries. Living in an assisted living facility allows you do the things you enjoy, but gives you peace of mind knowing that when you need help, it’s there.
You won’t have to depend on family or friends to help take care of whatever it is that you need done. Eventually, as you need help, you’ll find basic care needs help such as getting ready for the day if you need help getting dressed. You’ll also find people on hand to help with any grooming or hygiene needs.
There won’t be any need for you to deal with maintenance issues because they’re all taken care of by the facility. Most of these facilities do all of the cooking for the residents of the community. The floor designs are made specifically for the comfort and safety of senior citizens. There are social programs that help combat loneliness and many of these facilities offer companionship pairing.
You’ll be able to engage in many activities including exercise programs tailored to meet your needs. Your personal studio or home will have housekeeping provided and there will be on call medical personnel. There may also be 24-hour nursing care available.
In terms of anti aging, when it comes to mobility and maintaining your independence, it’s all about staying safe and being cautious. You want to work on your health and stay active during this time, but also be sensible and watch out for signs of aging as they appear so that you can take appropriate action.
Don’t look at the focus of your ability to get around and take care of yourself as a sign of aging. Look at it as preventative measures meant to provide you with longevity so that you can enjoy your life – and your friends and loved ones – for longer than you ever thought possible.
Usually, it’s those who don’t take precautions who end up succumbing to a disability like a fall that causes a broken hip. That can take you from not having a care in the world, to having your world turned upside down because you’re mobile one minute and bedridden the next. Don’t let that happen to you – protect yourself as you age and keep your youthful mobility intact.