Our bodies and minds inevitably go through changes as we age, some of which we’re understandably not so thrilled about. But, these changes don’t necessarily mean our whole lives have to change too. Maintaining your independence is important for your mental health and overall quality of life. Here are five ways to help remain independent and age gracefully:
1. Stay social.
Research shows that regular interaction with people is key to maintaining good mental health. Getting out and socializing has a beneficial impact on memory and cognitive function, as well as preventing depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. The more connected we stay with family and friends, the better outlook and quality of life we will have as we age.
One large contributor to social isolation is hearing loss, which makes communication over the phone and in person more difficult for everyone involved and places unneeded strains on our most vital relationships. If you have or think you might have hearing loss, be sure to get a your hearing tested and then find a hearing solution that best fits your lifestyle and budget.
2. Pay attention to your diet.
As we age, nutrition becomes more and more important, especially if we are eating less, due to reduced appetite or less physical activity. Eating well can help keep your bones and your immune system strong, and can reduce your risk of many common health issues, such as heart disease and diabetes.
A healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein. Whenever possible, choose foods high in fiber and low in sodium.
Did you know that most healthy individuals with regular healthy diets don’t need to take multivitamins? We would always suggest consulting with your doctor for what’s best for your situation, but you may be better off buying some fresh fruits and vegetables instead of that expensive senior vitamin.
3. Utilize technology.
Today’s world is constantly developing new technologies; it can be be hard to keep up. Smartphones and simple smart speakers in your home have made communicating with family or medical professionals more convenient than ever before. The newest wearable technologies now offer some remarkable features to manage your activity and overall health, such as monitoring vital signs, blood glucose, oxygen levels and more. It can even remind you to take medications if you have a habit of forgetting.
Of course, technology is never going to be a replacement for seeing your physician, but it is becoming more and more simple for you to take control of your day-to-day health monitoring and your peace of mind.
4. Take full advantage of modern conveniences.
With the development of new technology also comes the availability of more home services, making an independent lifestyle increasingly easy and attainable. House call nurses and doctors bring health care to your home, helping you monitor chronic medical conditions and manage medication, and they can save you money. There are also numerous delivery services which will deliver meals, groceries, and prescriptions. Allowing yourself to receive care and services in a different way will in turn allow you to maintain your independence.
5. Keep your brain and body active.
The benefits of physical and mental exercise are innumerable. Physical activity is good for your heart, strengthens your bones, and improves balance and reflexes. Whether dancing, doing yoga, gardening, walking, or housekeeping, it’s contributing to your ability to live independently for as long as possible.
Just like the body, the mind needs exercise too. Keeping your mind sharp can help stave off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. There are many things you can do to keep your mind active, such as solving a crossword puzzle or sudoku, reading books, taking a class, or playing cards.
It is easy to forget the connection between brain activity and hearing. When you are hearing at a normal level, your brain processes thousands of sounds during a day: the hum of a fan, the creak of a door, the voices of your grandchildren, etc. Studies have shown cognitive abilities of individuals with hearing loss decline faster those with normal hearing over a six year period (up to 40 percent). If you or a loved one is putting off addressing their hearing loss, don’t wait any longer.
MDHearing specializes in affordable, FDA-registered hearing aids. No big-box store parking lots, no doctor’s office markups, none of the hassles of appointments and ongoing adjustments. Every one of our hearing aids comes with a 45-day risk-free trial, 100% money-back guarantee, and unprecedented customer support. We’re here to help you enjoy a better, independent life through better hearing.