Whether your senior loved one lives at home or in a senior care facility, you have the power to encourage a safe level of independence in their life. Just a few small changes–all of which have to do with looking after their physical and mental health–can improve your loved one’s confidence in their ability to take care of themselves.
Commit to Moderate Exercise
The best way to ensure your loved one maintains a sense of independence for years to come is to encourage commitment to a light or moderate exercise regimen. Whether they choose to join a group fitness class, pick up a hobby like swimming or power walking, or even just perform home exercises with a workout video, the important thing is for seniors to stay active.
Much of your loved one’s sense of independence hinges on level of mobility. The more regularly he exercises, the more he’ll be able to take care of himself and his living space, increasing the level of confidence in his ability to take care of things on his own.
Interact with Animals
If your senior loved one is in the position to own a pet, help her go about finding one to stay at home with her. Owning pets helps reduce loneliness, builds confidence, and can even make physical activity seem like a breeze.
Be mindful of choosing a pet for your loved one and avoid high-energy breeds or breeds that may set off any existing allergies.
Even if your loved one isn’t in the position to own a pet, getting her out and about to meet some furry friends will improve mood and prove beneficial for overall health.
Interact with Others
While it may seem a bit contradictory, one of the best ways you can help grow your loved one’s independence is by encouraging regular social activity.
Interacting with other people helps ward off loneliness, which surprisingly has very serious effects on mental and physical health. Whether it’s through classes, clubs, a church group, or family, building and growing connections with others keeps your loved one healthy and happy.
Seek Support with Special Equipment
Even if your loved one can get around sufficiently on his own, it doesn’t hurt to seek a little bit of added support with special equipment made for seniors.
Senior care products and home adjustments like hand rails, fall alarms, mobility aids, and medication dispensers will give your loved one the reinforcements they need to get around their home safely on their own.
Many of these tips on helping your senior loved one restore a sense of independence stem from making sure he is in good emotional and physical health. You’ll likely find that when he is in high spirits and taking care of himself with physical activity, he’ll feel ready to take on all the important tasks that daily life brings.
By: Marie Villeza
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