Independence is huge for aging adults and maintaining independence may feel harder than it has to be. Your senior may not even be able to tell you exactly what drives her to keep striving for independence. Sometimes it’s fear of being a burden, but usually it’s more to do with being able to keep doing all the things that your senior has done in the past. That’s all really important, and it could be more possible than you think.
Work with Your Senior’s Strengths
Your elderly family member may be facing a lot of different issues, but there are some big ways in which she’s able to remain independent and live her life on her terms. In terms of remaining independent, let your elderly family member run with her strengths. Having help from you and others when she needs it allows your senior to conserve energy for the things that she is able to do on her own.
Address Health Goals Head On
It’s tempting to ignore health issues, especially if they’re relatively minor for now. But ignoring those concerns now can lead to bigger problems later and it does your senior no good whatsoever. Work with her to communicate with her doctors and to develop a plan for addressing her health issues proactively. That’s going to empower her and help her to maintain her independence.
Offer Emotional Support
The easiest thing for you as a family caregiver to offer to your elderly family member is emotional support. Just knowing that you’re there for her can give her a lot of what she needs to deal with the challenges she’s facing every day. Sometimes people don’t need a lot of emotional support from the people that they love, they just need to know that you’re there. And knowing that you can help her to find even more support when she needs it is even better.
Listen to What Your Senior Wants
What does your senior really want from her later years? Understanding those wants along with her needs can help you both to tailor a plan that keeps her moving toward those goals. Without a plan, your elderly family member may find herself dealing with bigger issues than she expected and it can be overwhelming to manage.
Bring in Senior Care at Home
Having help when she needs it from home care providers is essential for your senior no matter what she’s facing. Senior care at home can offer your elderly family member support that she may not realize she needs. Having help with daily activities that are difficult allows your senior to rest more, which can keep her doing the things that she still can do on her own for a lot longer. That is all a part of keeping her as independent as possible for as long as possible.
Ultimately, it’s vital to protect your senior’s independence along with her safety. When she’s able to continue to handle important aspects of her life on her own, that’s going to keep her engaged in her own life and in solving problems that crop up daily.