How Can I Help My Older Parent Be More Independent?

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Seniors who strive for independence can increase their longevity while reducing their risk of various age-related conditions. Aging in place is also less challenging for older adults who maintain their independence. Use the tips mentioned below to encourage your aging loved one to be more self-sufficient.

Explain the Benefits

When older adults realize how taking on more responsibility could boost their quality of life, they’re more likely to stay involved in everyday activities. Explain to your parent how cooking can reduce the risk of joint and muscle pain, heart disease, dementia, and depression and how cleaning can help with hand-eye coordination. Remaining self-reliant could also prevent your loved one from moving into a nursing home. Instead, he or she can stay in the comfort of home. The more seniors know about the advantages of independence, the more self-sufficient they’ll likely want to become. 

Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Bethlehem senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Limit Tasks

Instead of giving your parent a list of things to complete in one day, spread the tasks out throughout the week. Limiting the number of chores and responsibilities your loved one takes on could increase his or her independence. Keep in mind that when seniors have heavy workloads, they can exert too much energy and experience injuries or accidents that negatively affect their physical and mental wellbeing. Your loved one should have one primary task and a few minor projects to perform each day. Maintaining a schedule can increase your loved one’s ability to complete tasks without relying on you and other family members or caregivers.

Simplify Activities

Seniors often give up on cooking, cleaning, driving, and other meaningful tasks because of their physical and mental limitations. Look for ways to simplify your loved one’s daily activities to boost his or her independence and give you more free time to focus on your personal and professional commitments. You can also make changes to the home that allow your loved one to navigate the house with ease while reducing the risk of minor accidents or severe injuries. To simplify your parent’s tasks, base each activity on his or her health, weaknesses, and strengths. For instance, if your parent’s balance isn’t as strong as it once was, avoid giving him or her heavy baskets of laundry to lift, and ask him or her to fold or separate the clothes instead. 

When considering elderly home care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. 

Give Praise

Don’t point out what your loved one does wrong. Instead, highlight the things he or she does correctly and try to help him or her avoid common mistakes going forward. For example, if your loved one has put his or her shirt on backward but his or her shoes are on correctly, focus on the shoes. When you continuously point out the things your loved one does inaccurately, you could reduce his or her confidence and cause him or her to stop striving for independence. Giving praise can make your parent feel good about him or herself and encourage greater self-reliance.

Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Bethlehem seniors can depend on. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.