The Importance of Encouraging Independence in the Elderly

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Caregivers usually walk a fine line between looking after their senior loved ones’ needs and encouraging them to be independent. However, some older adults require assistance with daily tasks. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Lincoln, NE, elderly care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Family caregivers should encourage their loved ones to do certain tasks themselves because it is important for their emotional and physical wellbeing. Striking this careful balance may take a little planning, but making independence a priority can pay off by providing seniors with these benefits.

1. Deters Memory Loss

Everything seniors do can help them maintain their cognitive abilities. For example, when a senior is cooking a meal or going through the bedtime routine, he or she has to think ahead. Alternatively, seniors may be required to solve a problem if they have two appointments scheduled close together on the same day. These types of situations require independent thinking and can help strengthen your loved one’s memory.

2. Helps Regain Abilities

Seniors can experience a temporary loss of abilities following an illness or injury. For instance, seniors who have had strokes may lose the strength in one hand. Practicing basic skills can help your loved one perform therapeutic exercises for regaining strength. Fastening clothing, shredding lettuce for a salad, or walking to the restroom are ways for seniors to regain skills that might have weakened during recovery.

3. Provides a Sense of Purpose

Most people do not want to be cared for. People naturally derive pleasure from accomplishing different tasks throughout the day. Seniors who are able to plant a garden or prepare a snack for themselves develop a sense of purpose that motivates them to continue striving for better health.

4. Fosters Stronger Relationships

Caregivers with a loved one who is resistant to help know how important it is for seniors to be independent. Stepping back when possible to allow seniors to tackle tasks on their own can be an effective strategy for building trust, and it can also encourage them to accept help when it is needed. Once your loved one realizes you are both on the same team, he or she may be more likely to reach out for support when a task seems overwhelming or unsafe.

Older adults who have dementia often resist taking help from others. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia home care Lincoln families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.

5. Protects Dignity

Privacy is an important aspect of senior care, especially when an older adult needs assistance with personal tasks such as toileting or bathing. Caregivers are encouraged to only provide as much assistance as a senior requires. For example, you may need to help your loved one into the bathtub, but then you could step aside while he or she uses a washcloth to bathe. Alternatively, you might stand outside the door while your loved one uses the restroom and enter only if he or she requests help. Taking an as-needed approach protects a senior’s dignity and self-esteem.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from hiring a live-in home caregiver. Lincoln, NE, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call (402) 817-1976 to speak to a qualified Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.