Caregivers should always strive to strike a balance between assisting their senior loved one and encouraging independence. While seniors may need extra help in some areas, they may be fully capable of performing other tasks independently. Independence should be supported, as it may provide feelings of fulfillment. Here are five tips for caregivers who don’t want to intrude on their loved one’s independence.
1. Increase Safety in the Home
A safe senior is an independent senior. Injuries rob many seniors of their independence, because a slip or fall can permanently limit their mobility. To keep your loved one safe, outfit the home environment with the necessary safety equipment. Safety adjustments should be tailored to your loved one’s needs, but common safety measures include installing handrails in the bathroom and placing traction strips beneath rugs. When proper safety measures are in place, you can let your loved one lead an independent life with less worry.
If you are worried about the safety of a loved one aging at home, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Lincoln, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Consider a Medical Alert System
For seniors who live alone, a medical alert system can be an invaluable precaution. These systems come in many varieties, but they all provide immediate assistance when seniors are faced with an emergency. They come with features like auto fall detection, easy-to-access help hotlines, and GPS technology. If your loved one uses this technology while home alone, you’ll know he or she will be taken care of in the event of an accident or health scare.
3. Be Watchful and Sympathetic
Independent-minded seniors aren’t always willing to ask for help. They may be worried that one appeal for assistance will lead to more of their freedom being taken away. If your loved one wants to stay happy and healthy, he or she needs to be comfortable talking to you if he or she starts to experience health issues or cognitive decline. To ensure your loved one feels comfortable asking for help, be sympathetic to his or her needs. If lending a sympathetic ear doesn’t result in honesty, keep a watchful eye on your loved one’s lifestyle, health, and habits.
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 elderly care. Lincoln families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Facilitate Social Events
If seniors prefer to live independent lifestyles, caregivers should support them for as long as possible. However, sometimes independence can turn into isolation. Social contact is essential for seniors, and spending time with friends, family members, or peers can boost their emotional wellbeing. If you suspect your loved one has become too isolated, facilitate social interaction. Keep your loved one in mind when planning or searching for events. If your loved one is naturally reserved, the local Valentine’s Day dance may not be the best venue for interaction. Instead, plan family events or search for local clubs and organizations that might catch his or her interest.
5. Attend Medical Appointments
Stay up to date with your loved one’s healthcare history and needs. To make sure you have a full picture of your loved one’s health, attend important medical appointments. This ensures you know what medications your loved one is taking, whether he or she needs to make lifestyle changes, or whether you need to hire in-home care professionals. For seniors to maintain their independence, their health needs must be met.
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 Lincoln seniors can depend on. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your loved one, call us at (402) 817-1976.