Q: What’s the best way to stay independent with age?


A: Happy Independence Day! The USA is celebrating its autonomy and freedom — and aging Americans can do the same. Maintaining independence as we age is a crucial aspect of living a fulfilling and dignified life. Here are several tips to help you stay independent as long as possible:


Stay Physically Active: Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining strength, balance, and mobility. Activities such as walking, swimming, and yoga can improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and flexibility. Aim for at least 30 minutes of some type of physical activity each day.


Eat a Balanced Diet: You got this! Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated, limit processed foods, sugar — and put down the salt shaker. A balanced diet helps manage weight, promotes brain health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.


Stay Mentally Active: Keep your mind engaged to help maintain cognitive function. Puzzles, reading, learning new skills and social interactions are all excellent ways to stimulate the brain. Want to stay mentally sharp and socially connected? Take a class or volunteer!


Regular Health Check-ups: Don’t just hope for the best. Preventative care can you identify and manage potential health issues. Help yourself stay healthy and independent by visiting the doctor for screenings and vaccinations.


Home Safety Modifications: As we age, the risk of falls and injuries increases. Installing grab bars in the bathroom, improving lighting and removing trip hazards can improve the safety of your home. Check out for their aging in place home checklist.


Maintain Social Connections: Connecting with family, friends, and community groups has a positive impact on mental (and physical!) health. So do the things you enjoy, whether it’s joining a choir, attending a play, or simply spending time with loved ones.


Consider Help at Home: From hearing aids to walkers, we help ourselves adapt to aging in many ways. Getting help to manage your medication, make your bed or accompany you to the doctor is the next logical step in staying independent. Give yourself permission to get the help you need.


Plan for the Future: One thing we can count on is change. Making legal arrangements now (durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy, living will) can provide peace of mind and ensure your preferences are respected.


Take proactive steps now to enjoy a higher quality of life as you age — It’s your Independence Day! For help with care management and successful aging, visit


One Senior Place is a marketplace for resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their families. Questions for this column are answered by professionals in nursing, social work, care management and in-home care. Send questions to, call 321-751-6771 or visit One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging. Lisa Conway is a Registered Nurse, Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Care Manager for Senior Partner Care Services, Viera. Ms. Conway hosts a monthly seminar, ‘Senior Health Friday with Nurse Lisa.’