February is National Senior Independence Month. This provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate seniors maintaining independence as they age while remaining safe at the same time. At Homewatch CareGivers, we understand the importance of focusing on what your senior loved one is capable of and highlighting their abilities. We also empower seniors to be involved in decisions about their care. Here are several ways that a caregiver can help your loved one remain independent and live their life to the fullest.
As people age and their abilities change, so too does the need for support. In-home care services can help individuals develop a life of interdependence.
Starting with the idea of “aging in place,” which means living in one’s home wherever home may be. A representative from a home care agency can come in and assess the home for safety to include identifying risk for falls. By making the home itself safer and reducing the risk of a fall, someone who is living alone at an advanced age might be able to enjoy independence longer.
A caregiver can help with light housekeeping, decluttering to help avoid tripping hazards, and point out areas of risk. For example, someone may need to get up frequently at night to use the bathroom and the path from the bed to the bathroom may be poorly lit. Maybe a simple solution would be to plug in a nightlight to guide the way. Other solutions to ensure safety would be to work with a professional electrician or handyman to make modifications to enhance safety.
Simply having a caregiver to engage with regularly, to provide companionship, to help with meal preparation and transportation to medical appointments, can help a senior to stay sharp, feel less lonely and therefore remain independent.
Here are some additional ways to help promote independent living for your loved one:
Organize. If your house is cluttered with too many items, it can create tripping hazards and an unsafe environment. Staying organized and keeping objects you don’t use regularly in storage spaces, such as on shelves or in closets, can go a long way in helping you remain safe at home. If you need assistance cleaning and maintaining your home, there are many cleaning companies, such as The Cleaning Authority, who can come to your home and take care of these tasks for you. It is also important to ensure that your house has adequate lighting. Try to keep hallways clear and well-lit, especially at night.
Tune in to Technology. When using the word technology, many people tend to view the younger generation as being the primary users. However, computers, cell phones and iPads can also be very helpful tools for seniors. Cell phones provide an easy way for senior adults to stay connected to family and friends. They can set their primary contacts to a speed dial setting which will allow them to get help quickly and easily in an emergency. Seniors can also use the flashlight setting on cell phones to help them get around at night. iPads can allow your loved one to do online shopping for household items they need, order meals, FaceTime loved ones and even read books through an app such as Apple Books or Amazon Kindle – all from the comfort of their home.
Whether you are helping your senior loved one maintain independence, or you need a qualified and experienced caregiver to assist them, Homewatch CareGivers is here to support you this February and every other month too!