How to Help Seniors Stay Independent
All adults, young and old, want their independence. For senior adults, they’ve spent decades building a life in their homes and understandably feel great comfort being independent at home. However, as seniors age and typical daily activities become more complicated, loved ones often begin considering nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Sometimes this is absolutely necessary, but more often than not, encouraging senior independence at home can help improve the quality of their life. Here are some ways that families can help seniors stay independent at home.
Benefits of Senior Independence
Before diving into practical ways that loved ones and caregivers can encourage senior independence, let’s look at some of the benefits of helping your senior stay independent at home.
Studies show that seniors have better health when they can stay at home. They can even have better recovery times from illness or injury at home rather than a nursing home. This isn’t just better physical health either; mental health can also improve with more independence at home.
We all like a predictable daily routine and knowing what to expect. Giving your senior family member the independence to create their own routine at home will help them feel more secure and at ease. Even if their routine requires some assistance, it’s still very comforting to predict a typical day’s plan.
- Familiar And Comfortable Environment
A senior’s home is their safe place. Allowing them to age at home as long as possible not only gives them great independence but gives them comfort and relaxation. In addition, for those seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the familiarity of their home is very beneficial to their care.
Ways To Encourage Senior Independence
Every person and situation is unique, but these general tips can help encourage any senior to stay independent as long as possible. Even if your senior loved one has medical conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia, these tips can still be helpful to encourage senior independence.
- Social Life
Help encourage your senior loved ones to continue their social interactions. Visiting family members and friends, church, social groups, and clubs are great ways for a senior to have needed relationships with others. If it’s challenging to go out to events and gatherings, try to bring a social life to them. Ask them what they like to do for fun and let them help plan the activities if they are interested.
- Daily Responsibilities
Even as your senior takes longer to complete tasks or finds them more difficult, encourage them to have daily responsibilities and choices still. Daily tasks will help keep their mind and body active and help them feel needed. For example, folding clothes, feeding a pet, or grocery shopping, if they are able, are significant tasks to help encourage senior independence.
Physical activity is critical for seniors who want to remain independent at home as long as possible. Exercise can easily adapt to your senior loved one’s physical ability. Water aerobics, a neighborhood walk, and light gardening are just a few ways you can help your senior loved one stay active. Join in with them, and you both will appreciate the activity and social interaction.
- Play Games
Along with physical exercise, exercising our minds is also vital to a long life. An excellent way for seniors to keep their minds busy is to play games. Studies show that playing games can help improve memory in seniors too. Puzzles, card games, word searches, and crossword puzzles are games that friends and family can get involved with too. Many communities have senior centers or senior game nights that your senior loved one can get involved with too.
Independence with In-Home Care
As seniors age, though, they need more help with daily tasks. There is a way to encourage the benefits of senior independence and provide the necessary support they need. Through at-home care, caregivers can provide a variety of needs for aging seniors. From driving to the grocery store to meal preparation to assisting with medication, home caregivers can help in many different areas where needed while still encouraging senior independence. Caregivers United provides this type of senior care, plus even more specialized care for surgery recovery, cardiovascular care, and dementia care.
You don’t have to choose between worrying about your senior loved one living alone or placing them in a nursing home before they are ready. The short-term or long-term home care that Caregivers United provides is a perfect way to allow your senior to live at home longer and still provide the safe and necessary assistance they require. Read about Caregivers United’s services and request a free courtesy visit to see how we can serve your senior loved one well. Find Caregivers United on Facebook and Twitter!