Senior Independence Hinges on Health, Connectivity, Activity
As we age, people are often concerned about the need to rely more and more on others, giving up some of our independence. Focusing on a healthy, active lifestyle – both physically and socially – dramatically increases the likelihood of remaining independent over the years.
The population of older adults is growing year by year – in 2009, there were 39.6 million Americans, or nearly 13 percent of the population, who were aged 65 or older. By 2030, there will be an estimated 72 million Americans who are 65 or older, making up nearly 20 percent of the population.
As the population of older adults increases, more emphasis is being placed on senior health and wellbeing as factors in maintaining independence. Simple everyday activities, from exercise to connecting over the phone, can make a difference.
Tips for maintaining senior independence
When we encounter the challenges that come with aging, most of us want to make sure that we have the freedom to make our own choices and do what we want to, when we want to. There are several different ways that you can help yourself remain independent as you age:
- Exercise can help you maintain your independence as you age because it builds strength and improves balance, which helps prevent falls. Exercise has also been shown to be good for the mind and for lowering stress levels. Exercise does not need to be strenuous to be effective. Taking a daily walk, riding a bike, or joining a yoga class are all low-impact forms of keeping active. Make sure to consult your doctor before you do any exercise. She or he can help you come up with an effective plan that is right for you.
- Stay mentally active, too. For example, taking a painting course, having a friend teach you a new recipe or simply doing crossword puzzles are good ways to keep your mind active. Mental exercises and learning new things have proven to improve memory and foster positive moods.
- Be social. Staying in contact with friends and family reduces the risk of loneliness and depression. It also has been shown to lower blood pressure and to potentially reduce one’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular problems and other health issues.
- See a doctor to check your hearing and vision. Treating vision or hearing issues can help you stay independent.
CapTel captioned telephone for independence
If you’re living with hearing loss, it can be difficult to hold a phone conversation. You might feel anxiety when you need to make a phone call or when the phone rings. Some people with hearing loss even avoid the phone altogether, and instead ask a family member to make calls on their behalf
The CapTel captioned telephone helps you maintain your independence and stay in touch through the use of captioning technology. CapTel works like any other phone except you also get the benefit of reading captions of everything the other person says. By having captions throughout the conversation, you can trust you’ll catch every word, every time.
CapTel brings friends and family closer
Keeping in touch with distant friends and family might be just as important to your independence and wellbeing as being able to schedule a doctors appointment on your own, and a captioned telephone can help you do both.
According to Helen, a CapTel user who has lived with hearing loss for several years, her CapTel captioned telephone has been instrumental:
“It’s made me independent and I think that’s what everybody wants, to be independent,” she said. “Being able to make my own telephone calls is really one of the biggest gifts I was ever given.”