Helping Seniors Remain Independent Starts with These Four Steps

portrait of a sprightly looking 90 year old man

Allowing seniors to help with simple tasks or important decisions can have a positive impact on their self-esteem.

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of caregiving for a senior you care about. There is a great deal to be done, and sometimes it is just simpler and much more efficient to do it all on your own, letting a loved one relax. After all, our elders have taken care of things for a lifetime; haven’t they earned a break?

The truth, however, is that helping seniors remain independent is incredibly necessary to their wellbeing, something that arises from having a feeling of purpose and meaning in life. And even though ensuring safety is, without a doubt, paramount, there are ways to empower a loved one in your care to remain in control as much as possible. For instance:

  • Work together on projects. While standing at the kitchen sink and washing dishes might be difficult or unsafe for a loved one, maybe he or she can sit at the table and dry them. The senior may not be able to bake a pie from start to finish but can mix ingredients as you reminisce about recipes made over the years. It may take a little planning, but even so, it’s worthwhile to determine methods to alter tasks to incorporate the senior’s assistance as much as possible.
  • Permit decision-making. Seek out opportunities to ask for the older adult’s input, allowing him or her to remain in control. In lieu of assuming he or she will want a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, ask. Before automatically accompanying a senior loved one into the doctor’s office for an exam, ask if she or he would like you there. Having a say in even the most basic decisions helps make a difference in self-esteem.
  • Ensure safety with respect. Safety is crucial, but there are ways to ensure a senior stays safe without overstepping boundaries. Medical alert systems, for instance, are an excellent way to encourage independence in seniors while providing them with the means to call easily for help when needed.
  • Hire professional in-home caregivers. Some older adults resist the thought of their adult children assisting them with personal care needs, like taking a bath or using the toilet. A professional care provider, who is highly trained and experienced in being able to help seniors maintain dignity while staying safe, is often a more agreeable solution.

Reach out to our aging care team at CareWorks Health Services for additional information about our trusted home care services, always provided with the respect and attention to dignity older adults deserve. We’re available for as little as a few hours every week up through and including 24/7 care. Call us at (949) 859-4700 today for information on home health care in Mission Viejo, CA and the surrounding communities.