Whether it’s due to disability, illness or age, losing your independence is something most people dread. Having worked so hard for a home of your own, leaving it behind for a care or nursing home is a wrench. However, there are a number of ways that you can retain your independence for longer.
Firstly, you must recognise and acknowledge the tasks which are becoming too difficult for you, and develop coping strategies for them. For example, if you have trouble remembering whether you’ve taken your medication, simply putting a Post-It note on the packet with the day’s date on it when you take it will stop you wondering later. If there are some tasks that are necessary but which you can’t develop an independent strategy for, you can get care in your own home from a range of agencies. Homecare.co.uk provides a thorough listing as well as other advice.
There are a number of benefits which can help you to remain independent in your home. The Gov.UK site lists them. It is a good idea to go through these with a family member or advocate from the Citizens Advice Bureau to find out exactly what help and assistance is available.
If you can afford to – and some grants and benefits may help with this – there are plenty of modifications that you can make to your home to make sure that you can live there comfortably for longer. A lift company, Axess2 for example, can install disabled access lifts to avoid the problems of stairs and allow you to continue using your upstairs floors. If you’re confined to a wheelchair, you can have your kitchen and bathroom adapted to suit, with surfaces set at the right height for you and special baths and showers that are easy for you to get yourself into. An electric bed from a company like The Electric Bed Company makes it easier to get in and out of bed, one of the prime challenges for independence, and similar adjustable chairs are available too.
Simple steps like eating the right diet can also help and home delivery meal services make this easy. One company Wiltshire Farm Foods will bring nutritious and tasty meals to your door. This avoids having to negotiate the supermarket and means that individuals do not need to spend hours chopping, preparing and mixing foods in the kitchen.
Finally, getting some exercise is important. Talk to your GP about what exercise is appropriate to your condition and don’t overdo it, but staying as mobile and as fit as you can will ensure your independence for longer.