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The Importance of staying independent and how to achieve it!


19 October 2022

The Importance of staying independent and how to achieve it!

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The idea of growing old isn't very appealing for most of us. That's because growing old often means relying more on others for help and support – something that can be hard to come by in a country as vast as Australia.

However, a recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study shows that the number of people aged 65 and over who live independently has increased significantly in the past two decades. This is excellent news as staying independent comes with great benefits such as:

1. Independence keeps you mentally active.

Studies have shown that older people who remain independent and mentally active tend to suffer from less dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is likely because independence helps keep your brain active and engaged, which in turn helps protect it from age-related damage

2. Independence keeps you physically active.

As we get older, our muscles naturally start to weaken. But by remaining independent and doing things for ourselves, we can help keep our muscles strong and healthy. This helps us stay mobile and agile and reduces our risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease or stroke.

3. Independence gives you a sense of control over your life.

When we're no longer able to do things for ourselves, it can feel like losing control over our lives. But by remaining independent, we can retain a sense of control over our own lives – which is incredibly important as we grow older.

4. Independence helps you stay social and connected to your community.

It's no secret that social isolation is a significant issue for older people. But by remaining independent, you can stay connected to your community and maintain your social networks – which is crucial for promoting well-being in later life.

Now that we know how important it is to stay independent as we age, the question is: how can we do it? 

There are many ways to stay independent, with or without a driver's license. Sometimes people think that losing a driver's license means the end of independence. Still, for some, it can be newfound independence, a way to become more active and might even be better...

Why? Some of us are natural drivers, but others are more hesitant. You may not want to drive when it rains, is dark, on the freeway or visit destinations you aren't familiar with... This is perfectly fine, and it's a good idea to only do what you are comfortable and confident in doing. But sometimes, this can impact our confidence and even our feeling of self-worth. Taking the car out of the equation can often be a mental and, most definitely, financially relief. No more expensive car insurances, no need to worry about the fuel prices increasing or when the roads get busy. It will also force you to do something that we all should be doing more. Walking.


Walking is excellent exercise. It can be done almost anywhere and lets you stay mobile. Even a small amount can increase your fitness and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast and colon cancer. Walking can also improve your mental well-being, relieve stress and help you sleep better. Walking is a low-impact exercise, so it's suitable for all ages and fitness levels. And the best part is that it's free!

All you need is a good pair of walking shoes, and away you go. If walking is becoming difficult, there are many mobility aids such as Walkers, Rollators, Walking sticks and more, which can make getting out and about much easier and safer!

So now that we have established that walking is essential and that we all should be putting our runners on and getting outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, the question remains on how to stay independent without a driver's license...

This may be very easily done if you live centrally, close to reliable public transport and all essential amenities within walking distance, but what if you don't, or don't like to catch public transport?

Don't worry. Many options are available to get you where you want to go.

  1. Homecare services assist you in getting you where you need to go, such as shopping and doctor's appointments.
  2. Have you looked into community transport options? This can be a cost-effective and convenient way to get to where you need to go and stay connected to your local neighbourhood.
  3. Taxies and Uber.

You may argue that the above isn't true independence as you still rely on other people to get you where you need to go. In that case, electric mobility scooters, powerchairs or electric wheelchairs are the perfect solutions!

Like your car, you can have it parked in your garage or carport, ready whenever you need it. You can safely park it at your destination and explore on foot OR take it to the shops, restaurants, or doctors' surgery.

On top of that, mobility scooters are:

  • Cheap to run
  • Easy and intuitive to control
  • Some models are suitable for public transport (so you can go either further)
  • You can easily transport all your shopping
  • You can take your walker, walking stick or rollator with you, thanks to a simple attachment
  • It can be a great talking point and makes for friendly social interactions
  • You can enjoy the fresh air without any fumes
  • Stay protected from the elements with a range of sun and rain cover options

Combining some walking with Public transport or electric mobility aids such as mobility scooters, powerchairs, or Electric-wheelchairs can be a great way to go further and see more! So next time you feel stuck indoors or like you need to get out more, go for a walk – your mind and body will thank you. Everyone can do it. It's a matter of perspective, attitude and perseverance!

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Additional tips to stay active & healthy as we age:

Stay socially active: Join a club, attend events, or get involved in your local community. Staying social will help you stay mentally and physically active and connected to the people and things you love.

Eat healthily: Eating a healthy diet will help keep your mind and body strong as you age. Make sure to include plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in your diet. And don't forget to stay hydrated!

Exercise regularly: Exercise isn't just good for your physical health but also for your mental health. Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression and improve your sleep quality. So get moving and stay fit!

Have regular checkups: Seeing your doctor regularly is essential for maintaining your health as you age. They can help spot any health problems early on and give you the information and advice you need to stay healthy and independent.

If you are having trouble getting around or would like some help finding the right mobility solution for you, get in touch with us today. Our team of specialists are always happy to help!

What are your thoughts on staying mobile and independent as we age? Let us know in the comments below! We would love to hear from you! :)

#independentaging #mobilityscooters #perthwa #walkingaids #publictransport

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