10 Skills You Need to
Stay Independent as You Age
Accepting that we are aging is difficult for the best of us. Old age does carry a bad reputation. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take on this next chapter of your life in high spirits.
After working hard all your life, now is your time to enjoy it. So pursue all your goals, chase your dreams, and do everything that brings meaning to your life. You want to remain in control of how your story unfolds.
But of course, worrying about the physical, mental, and social adversity that comes with old age is normal. Carry on reading to discover the 10 skills you need to stay independent as you age and live your life to the fullest.
1. Stress Management
Stress is not only emotionally taxing but it also leads to many mental and physical illnesses. If you don’t know how to manage it, it can render you incapable of living your daily life healthily.
When it comes to stress management, living in a retirement village that is designed to facilitate the needs of aging adults is a great way to get started.
With exercise facilities, eateries, transportation, and socializing opportunities, facilities like Living Choice retirement villages contain everything you’ll ever need to enjoy a life free of stress.
2. Financial Management
As you get older, you may remain unable to work the same way as you did in your younger years. This can lead to financial instability, and in the worst cases, poverty. Financial management is, thus, essential to cover expenses and maintain your standard of living even in old age.
You also want to be prepared for unexpected expenses that can result from deteriorating health. Having a sound financial plan in case of illnesses and injuries can save you the trouble of asking other people for monetary help in times of need.
Good finances also mean you can remain financially independent. In other words, you get to spend your money whenever and however you want. You may want to go on a trip across the world or buy an expensive new car. You don't need to ask anyone — it's your money!
3. Social Skills
As you age, you don’t just need to be physically in shape — you also require emotional fulfillment. By developing and using social skills, you can maintain relationships with loved ones, seek assistance from community members, and ensure opportunities to engage in social activities and hobbies. This way, you can remain young at heart even as you get older.
Moreover, social skills are essential to navigate daily life. They enable you to effectively voice your case and resolve conflict, which may be required for aging adults who must deal with health care systems, courts, and other complex societal institutions.
Plus, social skills can help you maintain physical and cognitive aspects of your health. New studies reveal that social interaction may prevent dementia. Other researchers have found lower rates of depression, better cognition, and improved immune system functioning in older adults with good social skills.
You may think, why cook when I can simply order from my favorite restaurant? While that may be true, it is probably not the best for your health.
Being able to cook gives you control over what you eat, how nutritious it is, and how it tastes. Plus, only you know your favorite recipes, seasonings, and food pairings.
In addition, cooking at home helps older people save money and lead more financially stable lives. So why pay for high-caloric and sodium-dense food when a cheaper, fresher version is available?
5. Home Maintenance
Whenever a lightbulb loses its fuse, the AC stops working, or a kitchen cabinet breaks, most of us instinctually run towards the phone to call an expert. At times, the complexity of the task may even require us to do so. But at most times, simple home maintenance is a skill that can be mastered with little effort.
This skill is important for all of us but it’s absolutely critical for aging adults. Older individuals face an increased risk of immobility even from simple falls. Thus, to keep your home safe and accessible for yourself, home maintenance is something you should dabble in from time to time. Here are 15 things to know to keep your home safe.
Relying on others whenever you need to get out of the house can not only be exhausting, but it may also be debilitating. Imagine requiring groceries or a medical check-up but not having a ride. On top of that, even when you go somewhere, you are bound by someone else’s clock and priority list.
This can be avoided by simply learning to drive or use your local public transportation system. These skills give you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, and for however long.
No matter how badly you may want it to be, exercising is not a skill you learn overnight. If that were the case, Olympic athletes would win gold medals after a day’s practice.
Instead, building stamina and strength requires consistency, discipline, and hard work. The results, however, are astonishing. In fact, walking just 10 minutes per day can extend longevity!
In addition to extending your lifespan, exercise enhances the quality of your life. It makes you more physically able to pursue your goals, live independently, and most importantly, do whatever makes you happy.
8. Technological Skills
Technology has become so widespread in our lives that it is now impossible to imagine someone being able to survive without it.
Now, not everyone must know the latest TikTok dance or be updated on Instagram trends. However, some technological knowledge or interventions may be helpful or even life-saving for older individuals.
For example, knowing how to use pill-reminder applications can ensure you don’t miss important medicines.
9. Safety Skills
Safety skills include fall prevention techniques, safe driving habits, and home safety measures to reduce injury among older adults. These skills not only save aging adults money and keep them in good health, but they also foster confidence and a sense of control in their lives.
Last but not the least, older adults must feel emotionally, physically, and mentally healthy to exercise independence. And what better way to do that than to take care of yourself? By learning to do small things, such as maintaining personal hygiene, you not only look aesthetically better, you also feel better on the inside. This lets you live each day to the fullest!