Sometimes, our senior loved ones need a bit more guidance as they age, but balancing independence and support for seniors can be a hard boundary line to tiptoe. We want to help our family members, but we don't want them to feel like we're taking away their independence.
Let's explore ways to support your loved ones while enabling them to take care of themselves and maintain a certain level of self-support.
Journal To Identify Triggers
Before making any changes, try journaling their activities. Noting certain behaviors and reactions can help you identify triggers and avoid them.
For example, your loved one might avoid washing dishes because they're afraid of breaking them in the sink. Upon learning this, you can offer them plastic dishes so that they feel safe and able to clean their home themselves if they so choose.
Invest in Voice-Activated Tech
A great way to help your loved one continue independence is by providing them with voice-activated technology that can help them complete activities around the house. Some things these devices can do include:
- Turn on/off TV and lights
- Control thermostat
- Make phone calls
This advanced tech is excellent for older adults who have trouble working with Today's technology. By using their voice, they can do so much more in their home.
Staying active as we age is critical to our health, so be sure to encourage your loved one to get in at least 30 minutes of light exercise each day.
This can include a swim class at the local senior center, gardening, or just taking a walk around the neighborhood. Joining them for these activities can help them enjoy exercising more and encourage future exercise sessions.
Arrange Social Time
While we don't mean that you should take your loved ones to a wild party, they might enjoy relaxing social experiences like live theatre, library lectures, church, or even just visiting with other family members.
Continuing regular activities like social events is a great way to help them feel connected and supported by their community.
Talk to Them
Part of helping your loved one maintain their independence is communicating with them and simply asking, "How can I help you?"
Asking this question shows them you care without imposing on daily routines without permission.
Your senior loved one might also benefit from in-home personal care assistance, which can help them live independently while still providing the care they need. Talk with them to determine the next right steps.