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July 1, 2019

4 Ways to Help Seniors Maintain Independence

Independence is a part of life that many of us take for granted. But as we grow older, the amount of control we are accustomed to having over our lives can decline. 

It’s not unusual to find that the more we become involved with helping to make decisions for our loved ones, the more they may feel like their independence is in jeopardy. However, there are various ways seniors can still maintain a comfortable level of independence. 

1. Stay connected. 

As we age, the more our social circles shrink due to the deaths of friends and family members, as well as loved ones moving away. As Elder Care Alliance notes, “The loss of social contacts can have a direct impact on mental and physical well-being.” The decrease in social circles is one of the many reasons caregivers may choose to move their loved ones to an assisted living community. Furthermore, our loved ones can remain connected to the people in their lives through social media and other technologies.

2. Give back to the community. 

It’s essential for our loved ones to understand that as they age, they are still valuable and have something to contribute to the world. Seniors can exercise their independence by choosing to volunteer for a cause that is meaningful to them. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, seniors tend to volunteer the most in tutoring or teaching, mentoring the youth, fundraising, or distributing food. In addition to building self-worth, seniors who volunteer can experience benefits such as a decrease in feelings of isolation and fewer symptoms of depression. 

3. Promote safety.

When seniors sustain injuries, their ability to maintain independence lessens. To help promote safety, Walden University suggests measures such as securing rugs, installing handrails in the bathrooms, repairing uneven flooring, and using a cane or walker. The more risk factors you can remove from the home, the better. They should also consider obtaining a personal emergency response system which allows users to easily call for help with the push of a button. 

4. Keep physically active.

To prevent injuries, your loved one should incorporate exercise into their day-to-day routine. Exercising can help with maintaining balance and mobility, which in turn can help prevent falls or other traumas. 

If your loved one has been on their own for a while, and you notice they may need some additional support, we would love to talk to you about your concerns and needs. Connect with one of our care consultants today. 

 

About the Authors 

Carla Guthrie has more than 20 years of experience in the senior living industry. As a family support mentor for the Provision Living Beaumont community, she helps families with disease education, community resources, as well as coach families through difficult times. She has a proven track record of creating resident - focused, high-commitment work teams to support families, residents, and staff. 

Guthrie previously worked as a program manager for the Best Friends Adult Day Program for the Alzheimer Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana. She was awarded Professional Caregiver of the Year in 2013 by the Alzheimer Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Aleshia Patterson currently serves as the digital and social media manager for Provision Living Senior Communities. Her strengths include developing digital marketing strategies, streamlining content, and enhancing digital engagement. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri—Saint Louis and a master’s degree in communication arts from Webster University. 

 

Resources 

Maintaining the dignity and autonomy of older people in the healthcare setting

The Importance of Socialization in Aging

The Corporation for National and Community Service

Helping the Elderly Maintain Independence