senior independence

9 Ways to Maintain Senior Independence While Accepting Help

Over two-thirds of seniors living in the United States need help to perform daily activities. Many of these people still wish to maintain their senior independence. 

Do you or a loved one need help but are still mobile and maintain vital faculties? Learn these ways to maintain independence and accept help at the same time.

1. Adapting the House and Equipment

New inventions and technologies have made it easier for seniors to maintain independence longer. Some of these options include chair lifts, smart technology, and raised toilets.

You don’t have to buy expensive technology to make independence more attainable. Storing items easily within reach and removing heavy objects from the household can make life safer.

2. Simple Clothes

As a person get older, buttons and zippers can become difficult tasks. The coordination and motor skills required start to diminish with age. Make sure there are enough clean clothes that are easy to dress. 

Clothes should be comfortable and easy to put on and undress. The ability to get dressed independently helps a person’s confidence and energy to start a day.

3. Hobbies and Activities

Is there a hobby your activity your senior loved one enjoys? If they can’t do the activity they once loved, this is a good chance for them to try new hobbies in Northern Tuscon Arizona.

If they can do something that has a social aspect, even better. Try collecting coins, bird watching, playing bingo, or cooking new recipes. These are all activities that can be done without any help.

Your responsibility is to help push them towards those activities. Having something to look forward to during the week can encourage a person to maintain their independence.

4. Exercise Equals Senior Independence

Exercise is an excellent way to check multiple boxes for senior independence. Along with the health benefits, exercise also provides social and mental stimulation.

You can register your loved one for senior exercise classes so they can meet others who have similar goals. If their personality is more introverted, go with them for walks in the park or at the shopping mall.

Set small goals for them to hit as they work on their fitness and get out of the house. Always make sure you consult a physician before beginning any form of regular exercise.

5. Speak Openly

Many senior citizens have endured tough times and phases of life that have made them proud and capable people. It may be a humbling experience for them to ask for help. You might need to be the one who helps them realize that help is necessary.

It can be painful for you to have to be the voice of reason; but if anyone’s voice will carry, it’s yours.

You want them to feel comfortable asking you for help and talking about problems that might occur. If you can constantly make visits or phone calls, it’ll keep a channel open for them.

They might not want to admit it, but it’s up to you to help them decide when it’s time to move to an excellent assisted living community.

6. Learning From Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Remember not to judge too harshly if your elder makes a mistake, and don’t punish yourself if you forget an appointment or miss a visit. 

It is natural to want to ensure the safety of someone we love. When they make a mistake that could be harmful, our reaction is to take away their freedom in exchange for safety.

Instead of overreacting, we should learn from the errors people make. Think of solutions that could prevent a person from causing problems or hurting themselves.

If you can enact these solutions, there’s no need to take away the independence of a person. Repeated actions that prove dangerous warrant further and more drastic actions, but make sure you don’t overreact to a small mistake.

7. Spend a Day Coaching

Sometimes people avoid doing tasks or activities because they messed up once. Help your loved one by coaching them – it might be a verbal reminder or physically demonstrating an action.

For example, show your aging mother that she does know how to cook a simple meal. Remind her of all the safety tips and watch her do it. As she completes the tasks, this will give her the confidence she needs.

Even if you have to adjust chores or write down instructions, coaching them will boost their confidence to continue living independently. The coaching might take more than a day, but it could extend their freedom by years with your assistance.

8. Give the Power of Choice

Along with coaching, you should be encouraging your elders to make choices for themselves. For some, this won’t be a problem. For others, it can take time to instill that power.

For people who have had a recently passed spouse, making choices might be an obstacle. You can show them that nothing bad will happen if they choose their dinner or when to go out and shop.

If they can see that they are capable of making choices by themselves, outside assistance won’t be needed as much. 

9. Healthy Diet

A smart healthy diet combined with any proper medication will keep doctor visits at a minimum. Foods that promote a strong heart and healthy bones and muscles are ideal.

Everyone has individual needs, but plenty of fruits and vegetables along with protein are good foundations. If a senior citizen can’t cook anymore, make sure they have easy access to healthy meals and snacks. 

It’s advisable to avoid alcohol, smoking, and foods that could make the body vulnerable to disease or influenza. A clean diet will prolong their physical and mental health so they can continue their independent living.

The Cost of Freedom

Helping an older person maintain their senior independence will take effort, but the benefits will be shared by everyone. Even if they demonstrate high levels of independence, there’s a good chance you’ll still have to assist them.

If you think your loved one has diminished too much to be alone, then contact us today so we can help transition them to a more comfortable life in Marana, AZ.