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The Power of Independence

The Power of Independence

As we roll into another 4th of July, let’s remember the true meaning of Independence day:  On July 4th 1776, the leaders during this revolutionary era signed the Declaration of Independence, with the resolve of the United States to become a free country and to set a path for liberty. This Independence has allowed our country to offer our citizens the options to choose our paths and to grow into what I believe is a great nation.

Now our forefathers most likely did not have the insight to see how large our country would grow. Nor could they see the medical or technological advances that would allow so many people to live the long lives they are now living. However, they set the foundation for us to gain our independence and in most cases, to have freedom of choice in how we live our lives.

Independence has now taken on new meanings for those of us who are getting older as we navigate new challenges in a world where long lives are becoming the norm. None of us have the option of avoiding aging; however, we do have the freedom of choice to determine how we face new chapters in our lives.

Maintaining our individual independence has benefits for our nation, as our societal systems have not evolved fast enough to support our country’s fastest growing population (Super Adults). Yet, it is our individual ability to make choices to support ourselves as we get older that can be a game-changer to how we live the rest of our lives.

Setting ourselves up for success is the key. Straight forward conversations with our spouses and family, awareness of our options, and recognized insight into how we can support ourselves and loved ones is crucial. Supporting the systems that empower you and lobbying for better support networks is also vital.

Talk to your spouse and/or family about viable financial and life skill issues. Are you empowered to continue your quality of life if your spouse dies? Do you have a housing game plan that enables you to stay in your home or to move to a desired location? Do you have a long-term plan if assistance is eventually needed? Do you or your spouse have the skillset (and access) to maintain monthly management of accounts or to simply support yourself, whether with maintaining the house, cooking a nutritious meal, or transporting yourself to much needed appointments? To be proactive for the future with estate and advanced care plans enables you to have your wants and needs addressed and establishes a game plan before situations change. Change is inevitable as we get older, but these are the realistic conversations we need to have so that we can maintain the independence we want.

Additional foresight can also be valuable in making your transition to getting older easier. Aging in your current home, if you are able, means setting your home up to embrace your evolution in life. Is your home safe? There are options to make your home secure with better anti-fall systems and better bathroom utilities to include raised toilets and easy access bathtubs. Looking at these options before they are needed simply helps for when they are and does not impede your lifestyle. If you have an older family member who spends time in your home also consider these options. If you know you will not be able to maintain your home, then look at support services that may be viable options such as lawn care, home maintenance, and even home care service providers.

If you know you will need to move, now is the time to establish a game plan. Establishing options empowers you. Hold onto your memories by identifying keepsakes important to you, transition physical pictures into digital formats, and make sure your financial and personal paperwork is accessible and in a secure place. Establish a plan now for future living options, whether you plan to live with family, need affordable housing, or assisted living, allows you freedom of peace of mind and a smooth transition. Knowing the services you can rely on, and the support networks afforded to you is so important.

As the Executive Director of the Blaine Senior Center, my goal is to offer a community that supports you from the age of 50 to hopefully 100 plus. Community is an important ingredient to successful ageing. Our goal is to encourage active living to our Super Adult members to stimulate healthy living, lifelong learning, and fun. However, it is also to educate members on their future options, to help with life game plans, to establish support networks and community resources, to ignite skills training, and to have a community based on kindness and support. I embrace the Super Adult by supporting independence and the right to choice as we get older. As a member, we offer you the #1 resource in our community for maintaining the support you need as you get older.

Finally, Happy 4th of July. Please support the Blaine Senior Center on the 4th by joining us for our annual Independence Day Breakfast and support our life-changing community non-profit.


Pete Nelson

Executive Director

Blaine Senior Center


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