As many people age, they worry about losing their independence. Many older adults experience a lot of stress when they think they may end up in some kind of senior living facility such as a retirement home. Losing independence is definitely scary, but there are steps you can take to enable your older loved one to stay independent for as long as possible.
Determine Your Loved One’s Needs
Before you can make plans for your older loved one, you need to assess exactly what they need. Depending on health and mobility issues, these needs can vary greatly. Take a pen and paper and make a list of all the conditions you are dealing with every day. Make note of which ones you feel you need help with. Here are some items that might appear on your list:
- Administering medication.
- Keeping up with medical insurance.
- Attending to personal hygiene, e.g., bathing.
- Providing companionship.
- Preparing meals.
- Running errands.
- Doing laundry.
- Transportation, e.g., to medical providers
- Paying bills.
Encourage Your Loved One to Stay Active
Even though age might have thrown your senior a curveball, there are things you can do to help him or her stay healthy, active, and independent. One of the quickest ways for an older person to lose independence is to become inactive and just sit on the couch all day watching TV. Here are some ways your loved one can keep fit, avoid falls, and stay active:
Walking helps stave off heart and brain deterioration, improve balance, and strengthen bones. Invest in a pair of walking poles to take the strain off the knees and ankles and help with balance.
Going to the gym
Many gyms have programs and classes designed for older adults. One example is the Silver Sneakers program that will pay gym fees for those over sixty-five.
The mind and body are impacted by more than just physical health conditions. Seniors who are isolated can become depressed, which, in turn, can lead to a decrease in independence. Encourage your elderly loved one to stay involved in any activity that they have always enjoyed and to socialize with family and friends. By so doing, your senior’s mental capacities will stay sharper, and their life will have more purpose.
Independence for the Elderly Isn’t a Dream
With a little help from you, your aging loved one can stay fit and active for many years. But you might say, “I have a full-time job and growing children and often feel overwhelmed with having to cope with my senior parent on top of everything else.” However, you don’t have to do it all yourself. There are options out there to assist you, including home care.
Home Care in Columbia, South Carolina
Senior living doesn’t mean that aging and giving up independence have to go hand-in-hand. There are services out there that are designed to help home caregivers and to enable your senior loved one to age at home with as much independence as possible. Caring Healthcare specializes in helping to maintain autonomy for the elderly and reduce the stress on their caregivers. So, give us a call to see how we can help you.