Maintaining Independence Into Old Age Is Key for Mental Health
If you are responsible for the care of an older person, you have a challenging task. Like anyone else, older people are used to being independent and taking care of themselves, and when physical failings make it more difficult for them to do so, it can be extremely frustrating.
As a caregiver for this population, you want the person you are helping to feel as in control as possible at all times, while still making sure they stay safe and healthy. So what are some ways you can do this? Read on to learn more now.
Ensure Proper Nutrition
All of us could be better about eating right. Cooking can be a hassle and going grocery shopping can be difficult for older people who may have trouble getting around or carrying heavy bags. But nutrition is critical for older individuals.
If they aren’t getting the calories and nutrients they need, it will be that much harder for them to function. Be sure to monitor your senior loved one’s eating habits and make sure they are eating regularly and healthily.
If you don’t use it, you lose it. The less muscles are used, the more they tend to atrophy. Exercise is also extremely important for maintaining circulation and bone density. Walks are a great, low impact exercise, as is swimming and stretching.
Of course, exercise is not always easy; that much is true for everybody. But you can design an exercise program that offers your senior a healthy but manageable challenge that can do a great deal towards keeping them independent.
Modern technology is truly an amazing boon for older people. They can order the products they need, engage with the world, and enjoy a range of entertainment options without ever leaving their homes. They can also use technology to alert help fast if they get into trouble.
Don’t let a senior convince you or themselves that they are too old to appreciate and use modern technology. Show them what they can do with cell phones, tablets, apps, streaming services, and all the other miracles that the digital age has created.
At the same time, seniors shouldn’t bury themselves in phones or tablets. Loneliness has been found to be a leading factor in premature deaths of seniors. We are social animals and need to interact with other people, especially those that we can relate to, in order to flourish.
Encourage your senior loved one to make friends with those in the community, to engage in volunteer efforts, to take classes, or simply to do whatever they can to stay engaged with others and keep their social lives active.
Often seniors may be afraid to communicate when something is wrong, either because they are embarrassed or because they are afraid their complaint will lead to a removal of some of their independence. However, ignoring problems could lead to less independence in the long run.
Make sure your senior feels safe communicating their concerns and problems to you. Let them know that your goal is to help them stay as independent as possible and that you need to know as much as you can about their situation in order to help make that happen.
Helping to Make the Lives of Seniors More Independent
The right living situation can also go a long way towards maximizing independence. If you need help finding the best housing for your senior loved one in the Portland Metro or Northern California area, contact Golden Placement Services.