How to Help a Senior Live More Independently
05 Feb 2018
More and more, our aging population wishes to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. So long as their physical and mental health supports this decision, independent living can give your loved one a sense of pride and control over their lives. Though it makes them happy, it can leave you, the caregiver, with worry and anxiety about their health and safety at any given moment. To help you work through these challenges, we want to offer four pieces of advice that can help you support an aging loved one who wishes to live independently. Take a look!
Make Their Living Space Safer
Creating a safe living environment for an aging adult is one of the most important steps to helping them live independently longer. Aspects of their home that may not have been an issue years ago, might now pose a serious threat to their safety. Slippery rugs, objects stored on tall shelves and a lack of grab bars in the shower all have the potential to cause a serious accident and threaten the health of your loved one. Take action early by regularly assessing their home, and their physical abilities, and making adjustments as often as needed. You may never know the accidents you avoided, but you will gain a greater peace of mind knowing your loved one is in the safest possible environment.
Establish a Frequent Check in Schedule
To help your aging loved one live independently as long as possible, you should establish a frequent check in schedule that can be shared by you and a few other people. Depending upon their physical and mental abilities, you may want someone to check in on your loved one once or more per day. This can be done in person or by phone call. Seeing them or hearing their voice will give you assurance that they are okay. Never hesitate to pick up the phone or stop by their home if you feel that something is not right. You will never regret checking in frequently on your loved one’s health and safety!
Use a Medical Alert System
Technology makes it easier than ever to quickly alert a family member or 911 of an accident or illness. If your aging loved one wishes to live independently, but you’re worried about them having an accident, invest in a trusted medical alert system for them. There are many wearable products such as necklaces, clips and bracelets that make calling for help no more than a press of a button away. Your loved one, too, should gain peace of mind knowing they will not be stranded without help if they should have an accident or medical emergency.
Transition into Independent Living
It may sound counter-intuitive, but you can help an aging loved one lived independently longer by transitioning them into an independent living apartment in a continuing care community early. By doing so, you will help them to make the transition before their physical condition has worsened to the point that they must go right into personal care or assisted living. An independent living apartment, adjacent to a personal care or assisted living community, also increases safety and accountability for your loved one. They will have people who will check in on them regularly. They will also have more opportunities for actives and interactions to grow relationships and stay mentally alert.
Do you have an aging loved one who wishes to maintain their independent living? What tip from this article did you find most helpful? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!