How To Help A Loved One Retain Independence In Old Age

In 2022, there has been an increase in the number of people living to be in their 90s or even early 100s, which is not a bad thing. It allows the younger generations to meet their grandparents or even their great-grandparents.

Unfortunately, with older age can come a loss of independence, due in part to physical issues such as arthritis. But if you live with an elderly relative, this does not mean you have to pick up the slack in all areas. Depending on their level of mobility, there are some things you can do to help them to retain their independence, which will inevitably have a positive impact on their overall mental health.

Here are some things you can try.

Encourage Daily Tasks

Daily tasks, such as running a household, should be encouraged in people who are older as it can allow them to feel more in control. In fact, this is something that even care homes or assisted living complexes, like the Sycamore assisted living communities, will practice as it helps to boost self-confidence and prevents a feeling of worthlessness. Completing tasks can also be beneficial to help the elderly relative that you are living with to maintain better mobility in their joints.

Make Home Adjustments

Home adjustments may be required to ensure they have their independence. In fact, many people who share their home with an elderly individual will have to put in grab rails and safety bars. You can also get a seating bar, which can help the person you share your home with to lower themselves onto the toilet and stand up without putting additional pressure on their joints. It can also be worth considering getting a stairlift installed. If your elderly relative is in a wheelchair, you may need to think about having your home adapted for wheelchair use.

Hire a Caregiver

Caring for your elderly relative is not an easy task and many people struggle in this role. That’s why hiring a professional caregiver can be of great help for both sides. Caregivers help bridge the gap in everyday activities and provide significant support in practically all areas.
Sites like https://www.caregiverlist.com/ are great resources which can set you on the right track to get professional help.

Home Delivered Food

Diet is extremely important for those who are elderly. It is worth noting that they should avoid highly salted or sugary foods. If you are not able to prepare their meals for them, there are many services available that can deliver food to their homes. This food should be of high quality to ensure that your elderly relative stays healthy. Just be sure that any diet that they undertake is compatible with any medications that they may be taking.

Socialize

There is something of an epidemic amongst the elderly in relation to feeling cut off and isolated, potentially due to mobility issues. So, encourage the elderly person in your life to get out and socialize with their friends. This could be a weekly trip to a coffee shop or even a walk around a local park.

Communicate

It is important that you don’t take over when caring for an elderly relative and not belittle them. So try to keep communication open and ask them if they are struggling with any area of their life. Do not be judgmental and allow them the space to speak. Of course, make adaptations as and when required if they state that they are having difficulties.

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