As your aging loved one under your care starts to get older, they will require more assistance. While it is important to provide the support they need, it is also vital for elders to maintain as much independence as possible. Aging adults want to live as independently as they can, and it is up to their caregivers to help them achieve this. It is tempting to try to do everything for your elder, but that is not healthy for them or for you. Trying to do every little thing will eventually lead to burnout for you and being coddled too much can cause your loved one to become depressed. Independence keeps your loved one active and empowers them, leading to a much more enjoyable life. This is why it is important to balance support and independence during senior care. Here are the best ways to encourage independence while providing support for your aging loved one.
Make Sure Your Aging Loved One’s Clothes Are Easy to Put On
As your loved one ages, some tasks will become more difficult for them. For example, they may now find zippers or buttons difficult to fasten. When this becomes the case, try switching to pants with elastic waistbands that do not require these fixtures. Invest in whichever types of clothing are easiest for your elder to put on without your help. Aging adults can become embarrassed when they need help dressing themselves but needing less support will empower them and give them a boost of confidence. When you are providing senior care for a loved one, making sure their clothes are easy to put on is a great way to encourage independence.
Provide Easy Access to Clothes and Other Items
Making clothes and other personal items easy to access will help your aging loved one remain independent. This will help them be able to grab clothes to dress themselves and choose what to wear. Even if they need help getting dressed, being able to choose their outfits will make them feel much more in control. One of the best ways to make clothes easily accessible and visible is with an open wardrobe. You can purchase these or build them yourself. If you don’t have an open wardrobe and can’t install one, present a few different outfit choices to your loved one so that they can still choose what to wear for themselves. Then allow them to put the outfit on by themselves if they are able. You should do the same thing for your loved one’s other personal items, such as jewelry and accessories. It is also best to keep important things such as money easily accessible and where your loved one can see it. These practices will help to empower your loved one and make them feel like they are in control of their own life even while receiving long-term care.
Update Your Aging Loved One’s Home with Adaptive Equipment
There are a number of home improvements out there that can help aging adults maintain their independence longer even while receiving senior care. The first place to start with these improvements is the bathroom. Grab bars can be installed next to the toilet and in the shower to help your aging loved one maneuver themselves around the area and avoid falling. A shower chair is a great addition because it helps elders to be able to shower by themselves without you having to worry that they will slip and get hurt. Elevated toilet seats minimize the distance your loved one has to move down, making it easier to sit and stand without your assistance.
Now focus on the kitchen. You should place items at eye level or out on the counter to make them easy to access without making your loved one bend down or reach up high. When they can get things for themselves, they will feel more independent because they do not have to ask for your help. If you want to help your loved one be more independent during meals, invest in weighted utensils. Weighted utensils will make it easier for them to feed themselves without assistance by steadying their hand. Pay attention to the challenges your loved one faces each day as you are making changes to their home. Think about their daily routine and where they usually need assistance. Try to find out if there is any equipment that can be used in these areas to make their lives easier and help them be more independent. Implement whatever you can to empower your aging loved one to stay independent longer.
Implement Voice-Activated Technology in Your Loved One’s Home
Voice-activated devices are becoming commonplace and easy to purchase. Amazon Echo and Google Home are just two examples of such devices. This technology is great for people who have a difficult time performing some tasks on their own, especially those who have poor eyesight, challenges with motor skills, or mobility struggles. Voice-activated devices can help your aging loved one do a lot of things without having to get up or deal with confusing technology. Some of the tasks these devices can do are play music, control the thermostat and lights, make phone calls, operate the TV, tell the time or date, and lock and unlock doors. Voice-activated devices allow your loved one to do more on their own to maintain their independence.
Senior Care Help from a Nursing Home Near Me
Being the caregiver for an aging loved one is a lot of hard work and can be overwhelming. To avoid getting burnt out, give your elder as much independence as you can. If your loved one is getting to a place in life where they need more care than you can provide, it may be time to consider your other senior care options.
Jefferson Park at Dandridge is a skilled nursing home that can provide your loved one with all the care they need. Our mantra is “community with compassionate care,” and our goal is making your loved one feel at home while receiving the best senior care possible. We provide both long-term care and short-term care plus rehabilitation and therapy services. You can be confident that your elder will be safe and well cared for at our nursing home in Dandridge, TN. If you’d like to learn more about our facility give us a call today at 865-397-3173.