Independent Living Archive


Shining light on night blindness

Night blindness makes it hard to see in dim or dark settings, which can affect safety at home and make driving dangerous after dark. While the cause varies, there are steps people can take to address these problems.

When should you hire in-home help or health aides?

Most people want to live at home for as long as possible as they age, and managing this successfully may mean hiring outside help. Considering this step raises many questions, and answering them honestly will help guide decisions about when and how to proceed.

How to stay in your own home longer

Two kinds of services help people remain in their homes longer. Home health care is covered by Medicare and brings professional nurses and therapists into the home to provide treatment. It's intended for people who are recovering from illness, injury, or surgery. Private duty care is not covered by Medicare. It provides the day-to-day help most people need for the activities of daily living, such as housekeeping and meal preparation. Care is available for a few hours or 24 hours per day.

What to do when driving skills decline

Many people experience a decline in their driving skills as they age. While some choose to stop driving, others resist. Whether it's you or a loved one, planning ahead can help you tackle fixable issues, make transitions easier, and avoid harming yourself or someone else.

Health-savvy house hunting

When people house-hunt in their 50s and 60s, they should consider home features that enable them to age in place if they become less mobile. Such architectural details include fewer or no stairs, bright lighting, an open layout, cabinets that aren't too high, and bathrooms with step-in showers. Outside amenities are also important, including nearby health care facilities, stores, pharmacies, and parks. A vibrant community can expand people's social options and provide proximity to neighbors to call if needed.

3 types of therapists to help you improve daily function

When physical change makes once easy tasks challenging, it may be time to turn to certain therapists for help. A physical therapist can use exercises to help someone improve strength, balance, and mobility. An occupational therapist can teach someone new ways to do daily tasks by adjusting existing techniques or using adaptive equipment. A speech-language pathologist guides a person through exercises that help with difficulties speaking loudly, swallowing, or communicating.

Programs to sharpen your driving skills

Several types of programs can make driving safer for older drivers. A Car-Fit evaluation helps improve the way a driver fits in a vehicle. A driving refresher course helps drivers stay up to date on driving techniques, laws, and vehicle safety technology. A formal driving assessment evaluates a person's physical and mental health and driving ability on the road. Driver rehabilitation provides training for people to use adaptive driving equipment, practice driving in challenging conditions, and develop safe driving habits.

What's the relationship between memory loss and driving?

Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia affect all the regions of the brain involved in driving, but whether or not a person should give up driving depends on the severity of the disease and the specific cognitive abilities that are impaired.

Taking up adaptive sports

Our abilities may change during the course of a lifetime. Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational activities that are modified to support people living with disabilities or limitations.

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