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The Importance of Independence for Seniors

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

Losing independence is a common fear among older adults. Most seniors don’t want to feel like they are a burden on others. Also, having to wait for help can affect quality of life. However, most older adults eventually require some type of assistance. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust in Omaha, NE, elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Caregivers should understand that promoting independence provides multiple benefits for a senior’s physical and emotional health.

1. Maintains Balance and Strength

The old adage “use it or lose it” is often true when it comes to a senior retaining his or her abilities. Encouraging movement throughout the day can help your loved one maintain his or her current muscular strength and core balance, which can prevent falls that can lead to a long-term loss of independence. For seniors who need help walking, mobility devices that only provide as much support as they need are ideal for encouraging them to move around independently as much as possible.

2. Boosts Memory Skills

Memory loss gradually happens as a senior grows older. However, staying active increases blood flow to the brain, and seniors must use their minds to preserve their memory. Encourage your loved one to conduct as much of his or her daily routine as possible independently. Remembering the sequence of events when brushing teeth or preparing a recipe can strengthen neural connections that affect memory. While promoting independence with daily routines is important, caregivers should be on hand to remind their loved ones to take medication and provide other essential elements of daily care.

3. Provides Opportunities for Achievement

Seniors enjoy feeling a sense of accomplishment. Your loved one’s goals may change after a setback caused by an injury or illness, but it is important to help renew his or her sense of purpose. For instance, if your loved one is recovering from a stroke, buttoning a shirt or taking his or her first steps without assistance can boost his or her self-esteem and promote a positive sense of wellbeing. Caregivers can help seniors enjoy a sense of accomplishment by setting small manageable goals they can work toward every day. Celebrate each task your loved one masters and every challenge he or she overcomes.

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from hiring a live-in home caregiver. Omaha, NE, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

4. Develops a Positive Rapport with Caregivers

A senior who is resistant to support may be resentful of anyone who tries to take over. This is why professional caregivers let seniors know they are only there to help promote greater independence. When seniors discover their caregivers can show them techniques for performing the activities of daily living independently, such as using cooking utensils designed for people with arthritis, they are more likely to comply with other aspects of the care plan that do require help.

Seniors with dementia are often resistant to assistance, and family caregivers may find it challenging to support them. In Omaha, NE, dementia care professionals are available around the clock to help seniors with memory-related conditions age in place safely and comfortably. At Home Care Assistance, we understand the needs of seniors with dementia and the unique challenges they face as the disease progresses. Call (402) 763-9140 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.