Published on May 05, 2014

Stay independent longer

Independence plays a key role in our health and wellness.

couple joggingAn injury, illness or aging can lead to the loss of independence and make everyday activities challenging.

“If you can’t walk a mile anymore, try walking a half mile. Learn to accept your limitations,” says Donna Raziano, MD, MBA, FACP, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Home Health and Mercy LIFE.

Medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and osteoarthritis can worsen if you become inactive and less independent, agrees Milagros Soto-Pillot, DO, staff physician at Mercy LIFE.

Dr. Soto-Pillot recommends a few things to keep older adults independent:

Accept that there are some limitations. Be open to different ways of doing things, even if it takes longer.

Exercise. An inactive life can cause depression and isolation. Follow the recommended exercise program prescribed by your physician. Find a walking buddy at the Mercy LIFE Centers.

Maintain an active social life. At the Mercy LIFE Centers, participants meet peers, attend Bible studies, play games, take trips and more.

Exercise your mind. Try books on tape if reading is difficult for you. Crossword puzzles, singing, painting or knitting all work your mind and “maintain strong thinking ability,” says Dr. Soto-Pillot.