How to Promote Independence in Your Loved OneSeptember 19, 2023
As we age, it’s perfectly natural to need a little help around. Even knowing that, when the time comes, many seniors find it hard to accept said help. To them, it can feel like a loss of independence, which can be to the detriment of their mental health. When acting as a caregiver, it is important you know how to promote independence in your elderly loved one. Your assistance should be less about taking over tasks and more about giving them the tools they need to remain active players in their own lives.
Make modifications to the home that keep them safe
You don’t realize how much of your home could pose a safety hazard until serious falls become a concern. Thankfully, there are a wide array of easy changes you can do that make a substantial impact on the safety of your senior loved one’s home. A few of these include:
- Grab bars around the toilet and in the shower
- Ramps at stairs
- Removing area rugs and/or using rug tape
- Spacing furniture so there is plenty of room to walk
Provide easy mobility assistance
Tools like canes, walkers, and mobility scooters can make a world of difference in the lives of older adults. These allow them to move about their homes, and the outside world, with far more confidence. Even just getting to the mailbox can be liberating for those who struggle with it.
Mobility doesn’t just refer to one’s ability to move from room to room. It’s likely that driving is no longer in the cards for your loved one. If that is the case, set your loved one up with easy access to public transportation or rideshare apps. This will allow them to move about their lives with more independence.
Illness and injury can encourage seniors to lead sedentary lives. This, however, is one of the last things one should do. In decreasing one’s average physical activity, they lose the strength in their muscles and bones—even causing them to atrophy, if serious enough. Speak with your loved one, as well as their medical provider, to determine exercises that fit their mobility level, and encourage them to move.
Maintaining one’s mobility into older adulthood is one of the key aspects of promoting a sense of independence. It allows them to handle their daily tasks unaccompanied, as well as meet in person with friends and family members more easily.
For additional care, consider home care
If your loved one needs help at home to age in place, consider hiring an at-home caregiver. For 30 years, Home Care Powered by AUAF has offered seniors in the greater Chicago area the support they require to remain independent at home. Our staff is trained in the latest standards of care so you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands. For more information on how our services can improve your quality of life, give us a call at 773-274-9262.
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