How do we promote senior independence without compromising safety?
Independence is an aspect of life that cannot be controlled by seniors. Living an independent life changes with age. For many seniors, complete independence is not possible because as they age the things that they did for themselves can no longer be done without help.
In as much as seniors want to be independent, we do not need to compromise their safety as well. For seniors, moving from independence to dependency on loved ones or hired caregivers is not always easy. They often hold back on letting their family members know that they need help. This is their way of maintaining independence.
It is always best not to allow seniors feel they are wholly dependent on the loved one caring for them. This is the reason why engaging them with any care being provided is important. It is important to encourage their independence, but it is also important to acknowledge their need for help so that falls, and other injuries can be prevented. Bathing, dressing, and feeding are some of the activities that makes a senior dependent on a loved one. Once a senior has easy access in and out of bed, proper supervision is required for safety to help with other daily activities of living.
These tips will help promote independence in seniors:
Provide a sense of purpose. Providing purposeful tasks for seniors and the ability to independently accomplish such tasks makes their day fulfilled.
Focus on their capabilities. Seniors sometimes become frustrated at the increased difficulty and inability to perform tasks that were once second nature to them. You can encourage independence by focusing on the things they can still do for themselves.
Mental stimulation games keep the mind active and boost memory skills and prevent depression. You can engage seniors with puzzles and brain games.
Socializing with family and friends, attending parties, other events and hanging out make seniors feel associated.
Encourage physical activities. Exercise is important for the elderly as well. The senior’s physician should inform the family as to which physical activities the senior can be involved in. A little form of exercise will help keep them fit and motivated.
Assist in daily tasks. Sit down with the seniors and find out which activity they can help with and allow them to participate. Like meal preparation, making a grocery list and folding of laundry should be encouraged so far as it does not endanger their safety. Making sure they have a role in simple tasks promotes a sense of self- sufficiency.
By: Anita Amos
Senior Care Coordinator
Adult Alternative Home Care