Continuing the theme from my post about caring and ensuring you look after yourself. I have recently been in a position to speak on the subject and hit on some topics of staying independent. As such I thought it worth while noting down some simple things that you can do in order to stay living in your home for longer, after all when you are coming to terms with a new situation or diagnoses the last thing you want to have to face is relocating.
Firstly its about adaptation, as you will never know when you might be struck down with a serious illness there is little you can preempt. Unfortunately this was the case for my dad, he was in his early forties when he suffered an unfortunate illness which left him permanently disabled. However he still to this day which is some 20 years on, still remains fiercely independent. I would say that a lot of this independence is due to the early adaptations he managed to secure.
The first thing that he undertook was a downstairs extension including a full wet room for disabled people, meaning everything was easy access for his wheelchair, and gave him some much needed space where he could feel confident and safe.
After the extension was finished he was able to get ramps designed and installed to the front and back of the house, which meant that he could use his electric wheel chair to get some much needed outside time, without the need to bother anyone to help him, which I know played a lot on his mind.
I think it is essential that adaptations are undertaken quickly in order to allow the user to keep their confidence levels up. In order to assist with confidence I believe it is important to keep fitness levels up, both mentally and physically. I have seen it has been important for my Dad to feel he can still achieve important aspects of his own care himself like he would have done prior to the illness.