How to help the elderly maintain independence?

How to help the elderly maintain independence

It is important for seniors to maintain independence in order to live a dignified and respectful life, which in turn contributes immensely to their physical, mental as well as emotional well-being.

Having said that, this degree of individual autonomy among the elderly, especially when they are performing social and individual tasks, is an extremely challenging issue in each and every society.

This is because during the aging process, implicit physical and psychological changes take place which generate disability in conducting daily life activities, thereby reducing independence.

There are many ways to promote independence, but they need to be tweaked as per the individual’s abilities. So try some of these tips to help seniors stay independent.

Let them live independently 

For many seniors, independence is firmly linked to being able to stay in a home of their own For those who need extra support, apart from help from family and friends, options of receiving senior home care such as live-in home care or regular visits from care support workers can help maintain independence, while staying in at home.

Ensure home safety 

Ensure a safe home for the elders by minimising the risk of falls and other potential hazards. Keep walkways clear and safe by removing any clutter or extension cords in the walking area. Install handrails in bathroom and use shower chairs to avoid slipping and falls. Consider installing a ramp, leading to the main door, if they have balance or mobility issues.

Let them make their own decisions 

It is crucial to let the elderly make their own choice, especially when they have the ability to do so. Don’t make a decision without consulting them to avoid frustration and affect their quality of life. Let them make their own decisions to preserve their sense of independence over their own lives.

Allow them to set their daily routine 

Let the older person decide how they wish to spend the day, right from sunrise till bedtime in order to promote independence in them. Depending on how an elderly person is feeling on a certain day, the daily schedule may have to be changed, so ensure you leave some scope for that.

Encourage them to be social 

Encourage the elderly to meet old friends and forge new relationships. If they are members of a local club or community group, offer to drive them down to any of their meetings or attend a social event if they wish to. Sit down with them and help them find friendship groups in case they want to increase their social circle.

Engage hobbies 

Learning a new hobby is a great way to maintain independence in the elderly as it allows them to do something they want, purely for fun. Additionally, a creative hobby can be an excellent source of accomplishment, while dedicating time to a particular interest can help keep the mind active.

Staying active is important 

Loss of mobility in an older version can have a psychological impact and impart a feeling of insecurity and helplessness when unable to reach certain places and do things which they normally used to do.So encourage constant movement to provide a sense of achievement and remain a part of the community.