What happens when independent living becomes a challenge? It is easy to talk about “aging in place” when you are in your 50s and 60s, but as you careen toward 80 it seems a bit more daunting. It is rather alarming to discover, even if you have done everything right, that it is harder to maintain the status quo than you thought it would be. Independent living is like the standard learning curve. There are peaks and valleys along the way, but learning how to take care of yourself and how to get along with others becomes a large part of who you are. Basic skills, learned as a child, morph into an “independent living” module and it is something to be proud of. Independent living is a process; a learning process. Learning may be easier for some than for others, but everyone learns. If basic activities of daily living have become challenging, learning is more important than ever. Having a disability, whether at six or sixty-six, does not diminish who you are. If you are having trouble with activities of daily living it may be time to seek help. Ask your doctor about an Occupational Therapy consult. OT is not just about rehabilitating hospital patients. The scope is larger now and it encompasses all aspects of independent living. It may be as simple as dealing with the physical changes that accompany aging (hand arthritis, hip or knee problems, mobility or pain control). Issues associated with aging or catastrophic changes in life all threaten independence and self-esteem. Occupational Therapist are people who can help you learn or relearn basic skills. Sometimes the adjustments mean learning how to use adaptive equipment or exercising to strengthen muscles around painful joints. You can learn how to simplify your life if you will allow these professionals help you. There is always room for improvement. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Fear is what keeps you dependent on others. Tasks that seem insurmountable can be conquered. You are never too old to learn something new; accept the challenge.