Looking after a loved one’s health is about more than prescription medications and dieting. In many ways, ensuring they can maintain their independence – and integrity – is just as beneficial. In order to do that, we need to fully understand their capabilities rather than simply assume them. This is important as it can help them stay positive, optimistic, and accepting of various forms of caregiving while still preserving their way of life later on. Today, let’s explore several ways to help the seniors we cherish in our lives remain as independent as possible.
It goes without saying that we need to treat others the way we want to be treated, and a senior individual never wants to be treated like a child. While you need to trust that they can look after basic needs and live an independent life, they need to trust that you will let them attempt to do so. Trust goes both ways and, with appropriate boundaries in place, your senior loved one can feel understood and respected while maintaining any elements of independence that are sensible in regards to their condition. Of course, apply proactivity and be realistic in terms of what you know they can accomplish on their own, both to not overburden them and not “take” too much away.
Nobody wants to see their senior loved one sit in front of the television if they can still get up and enjoy a fulfilling life every day. However, they might feel as if they are “butting in” or interfering by participating in activities that involve others. Dispel this mindset by encouraging them to get out there, try new things, meet new people and, most importantly, make new memories. Moreover, don’t be afraid to participate in some of these with them – who knows, they might just take a liking to your favourite hobby!
Keeping the mind active is a great way to prevent it from slowing down and reducing, in terms of efficiency. The right activities and mental exercises can also encourage positive emotions such as excitement, happiness, or otherwise. Bear this in mind during that next game of Monopoly or when they decide to sign up for painting classes. The more mentally stimulated a senior loved one is, the more potential there is for fun new adventures while retaining cognitive strength more efficiently – possibly even for longer.
You can get a good feel of a person’s mental state and ability to look after themselves by sitting down and talking to them. Not only that, but seniors love to share stories, give advice, and introduce you to the world through their eyes. Embrace this and look for ways to strike up conversations, whether over board games, nostalgic music from decades gone by or a cup of coffee.
The more we value and understand our loved ones, the more we can ascertain the level of independence they are truly capable of. Take the time to let their personality and mind speak for themselves! Should you need assistance with caregiving solutions that continue to preserve the integrity and independence of your loved one, contact us at C-Care today – we’re happy to assist!
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