WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Research has shown that as baby boomers age, they're trying to maintain their independence longer. A national poll says losing independence is a leading fear for seniors.
"I've always been kind of independent and as I said as we get older we can't afford to hire out and have people come in to do the work for you," said Joe Amell of Westfield.
Amell lives with his wife and 83-year-old mother-in-law at Hampden Village in Westfield. They've made improvements to their home that make it easier to live independently.
"I work full time so that's my independence. At the house, I try to make everything easier to reach. Right now my husband's working on re-fixing my kitchen so it'll be a lot easier for me to reach my pan," France Amell, Joe's wife, of Westfield.
AARP , the American Association of Retired Persons, says there are many low-cost alternatives that can help you stay independent and safe.
Wear non-slip shoes instead of slippers. Avoid area rugs and use hand rails when going up stairs. Sit to cook if possible and always carry a portable phone in case of a fall or an emergency.
"I've had knee surgery so we put the slip mats in our bathroom. A handle so it's easier to grab. Nothing with sharp edges if it's possible," said Joe on Sunday.
Linda Hoynoski has lived in a mobile home for seven years where all of the bathrooms in the senior community are outfitted with accessible walk-in showers. Many of them have grab bars and raised toilets.
"Even though I'm 70 plus we are very active and we want to maintain that. They're very active in the community, we have an association where we put on monthly dinners and play bingo and cards," said Hoynoski. The soon-to-be 71-year-old says staying active will let you keep your independence longer.