Some seniors do well as they age. But, it is not the same for all individuals. There are others who may need further assistance as they grow old.
But, despite this, independence is an important part of life. Apart from that it helps maintain their holistic well-being, it also encourages them to continue to live a fulfilling lifestyle.
It may come as a challenge for many family caregivers to let the elderly stay independent. This is especially true if the seniors involved require long-term support and care.
So, how would one help their elderly parents to stay independent?
- Support Their Social Life
Isolation has adverse effects on health. This is why maintaining close personal links and relationships is essential.
This effectively applies to all seniors. Research suggests that older adults who maintain being social experience better mental health and practice healthier habits. They also tend to have fewer health conditions than those who feel isolated or disconnected.
Accordingly, it is best to support your elderly parent’s social life. Assist them in continuing their day-to-day activities, like going to church, visiting friends or relatives, and conversing with others.
You can also introduce new applicable activities that they can manage. These may include but are not limited to attending events at continuing care retirement communities or visiting library lectures.
- Get To Know Their Needs
Getting to know their needs is important. As a concerned family member, the best that you can do is to be a co-pilot to their overall care.
The first thing that you need to do is to understand the level of their independence. Observe and take note of the challenges that they face on a daily basis.
Upon doing so, you can then think of possible solutions to help and make things easier for them. But, keep in mind that it is also important to let them do things as much on their own as they can.
- Empower Them To Live Healthier
As people age, physical health changes. There are some deteriorations, like limited mobility and chronic pains and aches.
All of these changes may become a challenge to living independently. In fact, physical health is dubbed as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to having an independent life.
So, as a supportive and caregiving family member, the best that you can do about this matter is to empower them in living a healthier lifestyle. Remember, the healthier they are, the more comfortable and safer it will be for them as they live independently. For senior couples looking to enjoy golden years together, there are assisted living communities that accept elderly couples. These facilities offer multiple room configurations that can comfortably accommodate more than one person.
Encourage them to be mindful of their meals and drinks. Help them be on top of their medications and supplements. Also, empower them to have regular visits to doctors for their check-ups.
- Encourage Exercise
Part of living an independent and healthier life is having an active lifestyle. Aside from empowering them to be on top of their supplements and doctor check-ups, encourage them to exercise.
Exercising and working out are great ways to keep their overall health at its best. This will also decrease the risk of obtaining illnesses or of further health degradation and decline. This is why almost all senior living centers have exercise and fitness programs tailored for everyone.
It need not be a rigorous type of workout or exercise. A simple 15-minute walk in the morning and in the evening will already suffice.
- Involve Them In The Day-To-Day
Including them in the day-to-day is another way to maintain their social life. It will also eliminate all possible feelings of being disconnected or isolated from others.
Despite living independently, connecting with others, especially with family members, is essential. So, as much as possible, check in on them regularly.
A simple talk in a day will already do. Make a call at different times of the day for you to be able to get a sense of how they are doing. Also, encourage other family members to do the same.
- Prioritize Safety and Security
While the desire of living an independent life is apparent, challenges also exist in the dynamic. As people grow old, some may experience or develop difficulties in handling a few things inside their homes. Hence, it is best for the family members to ensure the safety and security of seniors.
It is similar to learning all their needs. Get to know the things that they find challenging to adjust to inside the home.
Help them declutter and organize. Get rid of the hazards and obstacles.
Place additional security features inside their home that will ensure their safety as they enjoy living independently. Update all necessary safety alarms inside the house, and monitor them regularly. These will all help them live more comfortably.
- Consult a Home Care Agency
There are times that family members will need additional help from others. While relatives can do the job, it is, at times, practical and wise to have professionals.
When settled, try consulting home care agencies for services that will provide additional care and assistance. There are a lot of institutions that offer these things that will surely help make all things easier for all parties involved.
Rest assured that these services are of the best quality. They indeed provide not only care but also companionship to seniors. Also, they normally tailor the services according to the needs of the older adult. So, comfort, security, and safety can be guaranteed.
The pointers given above are only some of the effective ways to help senior individuals maintain independence. There is a lot more that you can do once you assess the whole situation.
Remember, what is best for others might not be the best for some. Accordingly, make sure to get a better hold of the whole scenario first before applying these things or thinking of new ways to be of help.