Most people take their independence for granted. They go to work, play with the kids, coach baseball, cook on the grill, and make their own decisions. For older people, though, independence can be lost as issues with aging affect or prevent them from doing the things they used to do. Although Independence Day only happens once a year, for those at risk of losing their ability to live alone, LifeStream Services is there to help seniors maintain their independence year-round!
IDEAS FOR MAINTAINING AND NURTURING INDEPENDENCE
Staying active is important to keep muscles strong. Sitting for long periods at a time causes muscle atrophy – the weakening of the muscle tissue – and an increased likelihood of blood clots in the legs. As muscles weaken, important muscles in the legs, hips, and gluteal area waste away causing issues with getting out of a chair, standing, and walking. In addition, prolonged sitting can lead to swollen ankles, poor circulation, varicose veins and even deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Have a plan and set goals for moving and maintaining balance and strength. LifeStream offers the virtual exercise program Geri-Fit as one way to combat the effects of sitting.
Social activity lifts a person’s spirits and eases loneliness. Conversely, a lack of meaningful relationships is associated with depression, a reduced quality of life, and poor health. One way to foster new friendships and engage in social pursuits is by participating in activities sponsored by the local senior center. Additional options are to join a card playing club or craft group, mentor a child or young parent, or volunteer in the community. Social activities are an important part of helping a person stay mentally sharp.
Volunteering is not only an avenue for making friends, but giving back to the community is a rewarding experience. Communities have many opportunities for volunteering, and most any non-profit organization would love additional volunteers. LifeStream also has many volunteer openings, such as the Friendly Caller program, which matches a caller with a lonely senior. That call fulfills the social needs of both the caller and the receiver of the call enhancing social well-being; a friendly caller is a bright spot in a lonely day.
Stay on Top of Your Health
While it is important to see a doctor on a regular basis to review medications to manage medical issues, focusing on day-to-day activities goes a long way in maintaining good health. Nutrition is necessary for the body to function properly and eating more than once a day every day will provide those nutrients. LifeStream, in partnership with Second Harvest, offers Senior Safety Net Food Distributions in Hartford City, Daleville, Muncie, Anderson, Portland, New Castle, and Parker City. This program offers those over the age of 60 assorted food items in a drive-thru format. In addition, Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) vouchers are available in the summer to income-eligible seniors on a first come, first served basis and can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables.
When a little more help is needed, LifeStream works with clients to provide in-home care and options counseling. The process to start services begins with a call to LifeStream’s Information & Assistance Department.
As the aging process creates more difficulties for living alone, LifeStream’s mission is to help seniors stay independent as long as possible through various services and programs. Contact LifeStream Services at (800) 589-1121 for more information.