Independent Living for Seniors
Do you feel that you can live independently.
It is easier than you imagine.
Please read on to see how to do it.
Independent living for seniors is now a lot easier with wonderful living aids and gadgets now available for all of us.
I have found life to be simply amazing in my senior years and I live independently in an Independent Living Unit in a retirement community.
Never believed it could be this good.
With a little bit of help it can be awesome.
Independent living is a situation where a person is able to look after themselves with minimal assistance and help.
The community I live in also has assisted living units as well as high care nursing available.
In assisted living meals are provided and bed clothes are washed and changed for the residents who live there. Cleaning is also done by the cleaners attached to the community.
In the independent living units residents cook their own meals and keep the unit clean and tidy themselves. All laundry is done by the resident.
I have a cleaner come in once a fortnight and it is my responsibility to arrange payment for her.
What Does Independent Living Mean for You
I believe it gives you Freedom of Choice and More Privacy.
Now, I realize that some people due to their situation may not be able to live independently as they may have issues that will mean they will need a carer to look after them.
You will find that you have choice in a few different areas of your life including:
- The choice of where you live
- The ability to choose where and when you eat
- You will choose when to clean your home
The choice of unit.
With assisted living all residents, although having their own unit, are usually housed in the same block.
This is to allow workers and management to deliver services more economically to residents.
With an independent living person it could mean staying in your own home or if you do move to a retirement community you choose the location of as well as what type of unit you wish to live in.
Get to choose when to do your house cleaning
With assisted living the management plans when cleaning of the unit and changing of bed linen takes place.
Being independent you can -plan this yourself.
Choose Where and when you eat.
Usually with assisted living residents dine in a dining room at a specified time and eat the meal that is prepared and served up. There can be a choice of 2 different meals.
The term independent means just that. You choose what meal you would like and if you would like to eat out at a restaurant or stay at home and cook your own meal or have one delivered.
The time of eating is your choice.
You will find that in an independent living situation you will get more privacy than in an assisted living unit.
Friends and neighbours will visit when you want them to.
If you want to go out of your home or unit it is up to you. It is your decision.
You will not have cleaners coming in when maybe you don’t feel like having anyone else in your space with you.
If you are in an assisted living environment cleaners will be in and out of your place, usually at set times, but if they are early or late then the timing may not suit you.
What is Available for Residents of Independent Living Units
In our community we are able to access a Drug Store, Hairdresser and a Medical Center.
Outside the drug store there is a cash machine and a post office box for posting of mail.
A community bus takes residents to nearby shopping malls 5 days a week. This is a free service.
We each have our own mail box for delivery of mail.
An outside Pest Controller comes in and provides a cut price service for residents as does a window washer.
24hr Nurses are on call as is security.
The resident’s committee organizes for musical afternoons where musicians come to the village and perform.
Attendance at these is heavily subsidised and afternoon tea provided.
There are a lot of other similar activities organized as well.
Once a year a mini olympics is put on between the staff and residents.
As you can imagine this is a roaring success.
Almost monthly we can go along to a themed dinner night and dance.
A lot of other activities are put on covering a variety of sports, exercises and lectures about things of interest.
How You Can Be Helped to Remain Independent
Assistance With Mobility
There are various items you are able to use to help you get around.
Walking Stick or Cane
Firstly a walking stick or walking cane.
Walking sticks can help with balance or if you have an injury which is making walking awkward.
Use the stick in the other hand to the injured leg.
A walker is good for balance. If you are still able to move around but a bit unsteady then look at a walker.
Most walkers have no wheels.
You simply lift the walker and place it on the ground in front of you while walking to the spot.
Others have 2 wheels.
With this type of walker you lift the back legs and wheel it to where you wish to go.
If you are feeling a little tired or weary then put the rear legs back on the ground and have a rest.
The next item is a Rollator.
They have brakes on the handles and usually a seat and a storage compartment underneath the mein 2 different models.
One has 4 wheels while the other has 3 wheels.They both generally have a seat which the user can rest on if getting tired.
They have a seat for sitting down on when you get tired.
Under the seat is a small compartment for storage of small items.
Mostly they are able to be folded for trips to the shops or where ever you want to go.
Please read our full article on Rollators.
In this article there are 2 photos of my Rollator.
One is as it is ready to be used while the second one is showing it in a folded position ready to be placed in a car trunk.
With all 3 items above you are able to get accessories for which extend their usefulness.
Mobility Scooter or Wheelchair
At the next stage you are able to get a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair.
Either of these will allow you a great form of freedom with mobility.
I have had to get a mobility scooter but if I am only going a short distance I prefer to walk with a walking stick.
I would warn you though take all safety precautions when using a mobility scooter.
I was helping a friend of mine who was on hers and didn’t think of any safety precautions and got run over.
No real harm done and we laugh about it still.
Once I was able to free my leg I could get myself up.
Before you use yours know the full operating procedures and safety measures to take. I just rushed in like a bull at a gate and didn’t take any safety precautions.
She still loves me anyway and that is the main thing.
Accessories for Mobility Products
All of the products mentioned above have accessories for use with them.
The link above is to an article on this website where you are able to see many of these accessories.
Other Aids to Help You Stay Independent.
Help is available for you in all rooms of your home or unit as well as in the garden.
The Bathroom is a room where you are able to get a lot of help.
To find products for this room please go to our resources page and the bathrooms section.
Grab rails are available in a number of shapes and sizes.
These are particularly useful if your balance is suffering a bit.
I find the one in the shower very useful.
You can get a non-slip surface put on your shower floor.
Non – Slip Bath Mats are also handy for when you get out of the shower or the bath on to a wet floor or for when your feet are wet.
Shower stools and seats can be useful for bathing.
A bath transfer seat is able to be obtained even one from a commode to bath.
Towel Rail that incorporates a handrail.
Long handled body washing products to make it easier to clean those hard to get to places.
For further safety in the bathroom a floor to ceiling pole with a horizontal bar attached for people who have problems going from a seated position to a standing position. It also aids balance issues.
Help is even at hand for the smallest room in the house.
From a raised toilet frame to padded and raised toilet seats.
The padded seats are to protect areas of pressure sores.
Toilet Paper holding devices including tongs to make this job easier as the end of the products are bent to an appropriate angle are available.
There are all manner of products that you can get for this most important room of your house.
We will be covering this room fully in another article.
You will find many things to help you in your bedroom.
The link above will take you to our bedroom resources page on this site.
In this room you will be able to get some adaptive aids for your bed as well as quite a few aids to assist you with dressing.
Bed rails are rails that go along the sides of your bd to prevent you from accidentally rolling out.
There are also pads that will protect you from coming into contact with the actual bed rail itself.
A mattress protector is available to protect your mattress from moisture or staining.
If you suffer from sensitive feet a blanket holding frame is able to be purchased to prevent pressure on your sensitive feet.
Furniture Risers are able to be placed under each leg of the bed so should you have limited mobility you will find it easier to move in and out of bed.
To help with drinking in bed an arm that holds cups, bottles, glasses or cans of liquid and attaches to a bed rail is there for you if you suffer mobility in this area.
Bed tables to support meals or other items are also available for you.
These tables would also support a laptop for you.
Positioning pillows for tall people will help prevent putting pressure on the body and are of assistance for people with pressure sores.
Knee pillows are available in 2 different models.
The first model is a pillow that is placed between the knees to keep them apart.
The second is a wedge shape for raising the knees where this is needed.
Suspension boots are able to be worn in bed to prevent heel ulcers.
Foot pillows are designed to help provide relief of pressure for the feet, heels and ankles.
Contour pillows are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Some are great for simply reading in bed while others may aid digestion while sleeping and adjusting your bodies position to more of an upright position by elevating your head.
Pillow covers are able to be obtained for all versions of contour pillows.
Therapeutic Pillows for the Neck and Shoulders can be used for neck support when sleeping or travelling.
You can use a polymer mattress overlay for reducing pressure to help with pressure sores.
There are other mattress pads and overlays available.
In this area you will be able to get numerous products to assist you with this daily task.
For people who are quadriplegic or who have other lower extremity disabilities you are able to get a hand mirror on a long handle foe self catheterization or to inspect m,any parts of your body.
A device to hold on to sleeves while putting on a coat as well as button and zipper tool will assist people with arthritic hands.
A long handled shoe horn and different types of sock aids will help with the feet area of your body.
You can get a dressing aid. These will help you to get clothes off clothes hangers as well as putting on clothes especially following surgery.
Some of these are available with a shoe horn on one end.
A Jewelry Clasp will make putting on and taking off Necklaces and Bracelets easier.
Special shoe laces make it easier for putting shoes on as well as taking them off.
An adjustable trouser aid will help with trousers, jeans and underpants when dressing.
An occupational therapist designed a bra aid that allows for ladies with limited movement or only 1 hand to be able to put their bra on independently.
Special leather belts are available for people who suffer from dexterity problems with their hands.
I would almost wager that at one time you were an accomplished cook in the kitchen.
These days, possibly due to arthritis or some other problem, you possibly are having difficulties in the kitchen.
You may be amazed at just what is out there for you in this important room.
For a more detailed look at this topic please read this article on this website.
This article is the first of 2 that will cover the aids for the kitchen.
Here you will find everything from adapted cutlery to special plates and bowls.
Items that have been designed for the disabled as well as the elderly.
Will they mean that you will be able to remain in your home for a longer period of time?
Only you will be able to answer that following using the product and discussing the situation with either your carer or loved one.
Another article on our site for you to read is Having Difficulties in the Kitchen Now You Are A Senior Citizen
On this article we have covered these items that we mentioned above.
In the Car
Even in the car there are a number of items for you.
Primarily they are mainly to allow easier access to the vehicle for yourself or a wheelchair.
A device that can be wrapped around the window frame of a vehicle and has a handle for you to hold on to to a sliding pad that allows the user easy access to a vehicle.
There is also a cushion like a lazy susan that allows the user to swing their legs around when entering or leaving a car.
We mentioned wheelchairs.
This applies to scooters as well.
You are able to get ramps or a lift for these items to get them into a truck or SUV if there is sufficient room in the vehicle.
The lifts are a permanent installed device while the ramps are foldable and used when necessary.
Here is another two articles on this site for you to check out.
Were you once Champion Gardener of your Suburb?
Do you have a desire to be able to just simply potter around in the garden again?
Want to once again enjoy being outside in the fresh air?
We have covered these devices in several articles so to save you having to read them all here again we are providing you with a link so you are able to revisit them and find out what you can get to make your dream a reality.
I thank you for reading this article and have found it useful.
Found something new you didn’t know before?
I hope you have been able to get some useful information from our article Independent Living for Seniors.