As your loved one reaches an older age, it’s important to incorporate activities into their daily routine that will allow them to remain independent. Not only does increased independence improve an individual’s quality of life, but it will help them feel self-sufficient and useful. The following three things are key in maintaining independence into older age.
1. Make Safety a Priority
Here are ways you can ensure proper safety measures are being taken around the house:
- Install bathroom safety products such as grab bars and toilet handles
- Have them wear non-slip footwear while inside
- Remove clutter and items that could be tripping hazards
- Rearrange furniture so it’s easier to navigate around the house
Safety should also be considered while your loved one is out and about, and one great way to do this is to invest in a mobility aid to give them extra support. Some options include:
- Mobility scooters
- Wheelchairs (manual or electric)
Safety is crucial for avoiding dangerous falls in and out of the house. One fall could greatly reduce their ability to remain independent, so these safety considerations are of great importance.
2. Encourage Daily Exercise
The most obvious form of exercise is for the body, which could include simple ideas such as:
- Going on brisk walks
- Following along with a home workout video
- Doing home activities such as gardening and mowing the lawn
Just as important as exercising the body is exercising the mind. Here are some ways your aging loved one can continue challenging their brain:
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Putting a puzzle together
Not only are these forms of exercise important for your loved one’s health, but they’re also a great opportunity for you to spend quality time with them. Next time you decide to go on a walk or complete a puzzle, invite your aging loved one join you.
3. Let Them Take the Reins
It’s easy for caregivers, especially when they’re family members, to be eager to help in any way possible. For example, if your loved one is on oxygen therapy requiring them to use an oxygen concentrator or other form of respiratory equipment, let them participate in the cleaning, setup and administration of their therapy. Not only will this allow them to feel accomplished, needed and helpful, but they can take some weight off your shoulders if they assist in administering their own therapy and treatments.
Over time, your loved one will begin to slow down, and you’ll be there to step in and help. While it’s important for them to have a support system around and people to make sure they’re safe, it’s also crucial for them to remain independent for as long as possible. We hope you keep these three helpful tips in mind as you care for your aging loved one!