A: You can continue to live independently as you age by making simple adjustments, taking safety precautions and having the support of others.
- Get help with daily tasks. Give yourself more time and less hassle by using agencies that provide services like shopping, cooking, and housekeeping.
- Get meals or groceries delivered to your home. Use a lawn service to do yard work.
- Ask your bank if they provide services to pay bills and keep track of your accounts. Or, have bills paid directly from your checking or savings account.
- Hire a cleaning service to vacuum, dust, mop and do laundry.
- Use memory aides. Labels, lists, notebooks and sticky notes can help cope with memory loss.
- Label drawers to help find things.
- Keep important numbers by the phone.
- Take safety measures. Make home safety improvements, such as installing grab bars in the bathroom. Use appliances with an automatic shut-off feature.
- Take your medications as prescribed. A pill planner can help organize medications; ask the pharmacist or a family member to place pills in the planner for you.
- Have a plan to get around. If it is no longer safe to drive, there are other ways to get where you need to go. Ask family and friends for a ride or hire an agency to provide a driver for you.
- Protect yourself from solicitors and potential fraud. Register your phone number on the “national do not call list.”
- Stay active. Continue doing hobbies you enjoy. Gardening, dancing, painting, volunteering, playing sports or card games will help you benefit from mental and social stimulation.
Information provided by Joan Ingwersen, At-Home Care Company, 1513 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 4, Ankeny, 963-4410.