One of the biggest issues for your elderly family member as she grows older can be holding onto the independence that she has developed throughout her life. It can be difficult to feel as if there’s nothing within her control, especially if she’s facing health problems that cause her to rely on others. There are ways that you can help her to be as independent as she wants to be, and they’re easy to implement.
Consider Mobility Aids
Often seniors are reluctant to use mobility aids because these devices can make them feel old or frail. But the truth of the matter is that assistive devices can give your elderly family member greater independence. She’s able to be as mobile as possible and she can do so more safely, without having to lean on someone else or feel as if she’s trapped in her favorite chair.
Make Sure Her Environment Is Safe
If your elderly family member’s home is not a safe space for her to be in, that is a big problem. Part of helping her to be as independent as she wants to be involves ensuring that she’s got the tools she needs. Handrails, ramps, chair lifts, and even kitchen tools designed for her needs all allow her to be safe and still live her life.
Help Her to Remain Social
Socialization is something that gets overlooked a lot, but it can be vital for seniors. Having fewer social opportunities can mean that your elderly family member becomes more withdrawn and even starts to isolate herself. That is not a healthy approach and it can be easily avoided by implementing solutions like hiring in-home care providers to spend time with your senior.
Encourage Her to Be More Active
The more sedentary your senior is, the more likely she is to lose muscle strength and possibly mobility. Talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about what sorts of activities are recommended for her at this stage, and then help her to find activities she enjoys. Sticking with movements that she enjoys gives her a chance to reduce the risk factors involved in being more sedentary.
Offer as Many Choices as Possible
One great way to make your senior feel as if she’s losing her independence is to deny her options. You want to make sure that your elderly family member has as much freedom of choice as possible. Keeping her safe is a priority, but that can be baked into the options that you offer to her.
Hire In-home Care Providers
Your senior may worry that home care providers helping her is the very opposite of keeping her independent, but that isn’t the case at all. Your elderly family member can benefit greatly from having in-home care providers there with her offering her just the assistance that she needs. They’re not there to remove options. Instead, they’re there to keep your senior safe and offer help as necessary.
Your senior’s perspective on independence may shift over time, too. Knowing that she can rely on caregivers when she needs to allows your senior to rest when she needs it and still maintain her independence.