Encouraging Seniors to Remain Independent

Author: Kristin Worthington

Every teenager looks forward to that rite of passage of becoming a legal adult. Turning 17 brings more freedom, yet also brings more responsibility. There is a newfound pride in reaching the age of maturity. The truth is that these feelings don’t subside as we approach our senior years—senior adults still want to be treated with respect and know that their independence will remain steady.

If you are caring for seniors, you already know how important it is to protect their sense of pride and respect. You want to encourage them to stay active and stay independent. But how? Read on.

It’s About Mental Health AND Physical Health
Your concern for the senior’s health shouldn’t be just physical. Many studies reveal that seniors often struggle with mental and psychiatric challenges as well. Many of these issues require extra care and a good support system. Even if you don’t feel qualified to deal with these delicate issues, you can learn to recognize the signs and offer support. Once you know the symptoms, you can then pass it off to the appropriate professional.

Careful Preparation for At-Home Care
Most homes aren’t equipped to handle the care that will come with a senior who is homebound. Of course, their needs will determine the type of preparation that should take place, but the main thing is to assess these needs ahead of time, so you are adequately prepared. These types of preparation could include:

• Mobility Equipment.
This would include walkers, wheelchairs, stair lift, etc. If these items are used, furniture should be moved to accommodate them. Bathrooms may need to be fitted with handicap grab bars, raised toilet seats, etc. The main thing with this step is to make sure that the senior can navigate easily throughout their home safely.

• Medical Alert Device.
Every senior who spends any time alone should ALWAYS have a medical alert button they can push in the case of an emergency! The technology is impressive and even includes fall detection. If they live alone, the monitoring company can see if they have gone too long without being active and send someone to do a welfare check. Of course, an ambulance would be dispatched in any event of emergency.

• Clear Clutter
This step is so important!! Nothing in the home is more dangerous to seniors than clutter and loose items on the floor. Make sure all walkways are clear of rugs, loose floorboards, etc. Walk through and imagine where the senior will walk and prepare accordingly. The safer your senior feels, the more independent he will feel.

Sign Up for Grocery Delivery Services
The mundane task of quickly driving to the market to pick up items we need is anything but mundane for most seniors. They may have limited mobility, making it difficult to leave the house. With technology today, you can use a smartphone or other device to order groceries online and have them delivered right to your door. If your older adult is still able to drive, many stores will allow them to place orders for groceries online and simply pull up to a special parking space while an employee loads the bags into the car. Pretty cool!

With some good preparation, the senior in your life can stay as independent as possible while remaining in the comfort of their home. For more tips on keeping seniors safe and secure at home, contact us today!

Home Helpers of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care as well as homemaker services in CincinnatiKenwoodBlue AshIndian HillGreenhillsFort ThomasHyde ParkMadeiraSharonvilleMasonWest ChesterMt. LookoutAndersonWyomingCovingtonBurlingtonFlorenceMontgomeryMt. WashingtonFinneytownMilfordNewportClifton, and Forest Park.



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