Independence is important for remaining active and maintaining overall health in the golden years. You can help your elderly loved one maintain a sense of independence by adopting the following strategies.
Prevent Falls at Home
Your aging loved one’s independence is threatened the moment he or she experiences a fall that results in serious injuries. However, active seniors are more likely to fall if their house is not set up to meet their changing abilities. Make sure your loved one has a clear walking path, and install items such as grab bars and nonskid mats in areas with slippery floors such as the bathroom. Identify a few people your senior loved one can call if he or she needs help lifting something heavy, climbing on a ladder, or managing other tasks.
To successfully age in place, some seniors require the help of a professional caregiver. Families rely on Home Care Assistance Portland to provide caregivers who are expertly trained in various aspects of senior home care, including our holistic Balanced Care Method, an evidence-based program focused on healthy eating, regular exercise, mental and social stimulation, and calmness and purpose.
Provide Assistive Devices
Many devices are available to help seniors simplify challenging tasks. For example, your loved one can use a special tool to fasten the buttons on clothing if he or she has stiffness in the fingers. A food processor is another tool your loved one can use to prepare meals if chopping vegetables is too difficult. Find out which chores are challenging for your loved one, and see if there are any assistive devices that make those tasks easier.
Promote Better Joint Health
Joint issues, such as those caused by arthritis, limit mobility and affect how well seniors can perform many of their daily activities. Help your loved one develop a stretching and exercise routine that keeps the joints limber. For instance, your loved one may be better able to manage daily responsibilities if he or she begins the day doing stretches in bed or takes a walk first thing in the morning. Healthy joints can also help your loved one prevent fall-related injuries.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Portland families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Encourage a Positive Attitude
Motivation plays an important role in the ability to stay independent. However, older adults sometimes fall into negative thinking that causes them to give up on household tasks or personal hygiene. Provide your loved one with opportunities to socially engage with other members of the community. Whether your loved one volunteers or just enjoys having lunch with a friend, the emotional boost may encourage him or her to strive toward living independently for as long as possible.
Know When to Step In
At times, your loved one needs your help, yet he or she may not always ask. Watch for signs that your loved one is having difficulty managing daily responsibilities. For example, failing to pay the bills or take medication on time could be a sign that memory loss is taking its toll. When you notice these types of issues, arrange for professional assistance at home so your loved one can enjoy aging in place.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Portland seniors can depend on. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your senior loved one, give us a call at (207) 835-4849 today.