The holiday weekend will soon begin, July 4 is a time for family, friends, food and fireworks. You will recall this day as the day our country declared independence from GB, but do you have the independence and freedom you desire in your home?

Perhaps this July will be the month you start a journey towards independent living. At Lifton Home Elevators, we understand that for seniors staying independent is a highly-valued way to maintain dignity and respect and that this plays a big part in physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. This month the Lifton team looks at five ways to improve your independence and enable you to age in place.

Plan ahead

Of course, this can be difficult as you never know how your needs may change. However, try to think about the kind of help you may need in the future. Perhaps you do not need help right now, but you live with a spouse or family member who does, consider any long-term illnesses, and talk to a doctor about what the future may hold. Is there something they or you are likely to need help with. A lot of help is possible within the home, at a cost, perhaps for personal care, household tasks, meals, even managing your money. Anticipating these needs ahead of time and having a plan can make a great difference to your ability to age in place.

Stay Social

It is important that you are able to maintain activities you enjoy and that enable you to connect with others. Whether that is attending Church, visiting relatives, an exercise class or something at your local senior center. Do not be afraid to reach out to friends and neighbours if you need a ride too. Also, familiarise yourself with local transport links and organise a pass so that you are not phased by catching a bus to your regular activity if this is an option. If this is difficult, maybe you would enjoy visits from someone like a volunteer. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to find out about options.

Get Active

Staying active is critical so do what you can to keep moving, whether it is a Tai Chi Class at a Senior Center, some light gardening in the yard, a walk around the block, or some simple chair exercises, try to do something regularly and include in your routine. If you are stuck for inspiration You Tube is your friend here, there are many, many fitness related videos aimed at a senior audience.

Make safety a Priority

Prevent falls by removing hazards that make these more likely. Do you have handrails in stairways and grab bars in the bathroom for extra support? Non-slip flooring is a great help, and If you live alone, consider a personal alarm system so that if there is an accident, you can easily call for help. One of the best investments you can make to ensure your safety in the home and reduce the risk of falls is one of Lifton’s range of residential elevators. A compact home elevator can also be installed with the minimum of fuss, it requires no load bearing walls, will run from a standard power supply and has all the safety features you would expect as standard.

Do not forget mental fitness!

Play cards, do crosswords or sudoku puzzles, tackle a jigsaw puzzle or even just test your knowledge with a TV gameshow or two. All of these things keep your brain active and in peak condition, as they say, use it or lose it!