Independent Living In A Care Home

For many older adults, a challenging part of ageing can be the loss of their independence. The transition into a care home can be frustrating as a lot of elderly residents worry that they are going to lose their independence. The loss of something we all tend to take for granted can be depressing for them.

Seniors can live independently, requiring no help or very little. However, for others, some level of assisted living may be a requirement, possibly due to mental or physical limitations. In such situations, encouraging independence for your loved one is essential, whether the elderly person lives in a care home or is cared for at home.
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Why Independent Living Is Important For The Elderly

Independent living for the elderly is meaningful because it benefits them in many ways. It can boost their self-esteem and confidence, help mental and physical health, as well as improve their quality of life and sense of purpose. Elderly people often feel guilty that they’ve become a burden on their loved ones, but encouraging independence can help reduce this guilt.

When your loved one loses their ability to be independent, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to be independent. It’s just that sometimes, other things can get in the way and prevent them from being independent.

It’s therefore imperative to promote independence, whether this is at home or in their care home. There are many ways you can do this.

How To Promote Independent Living For The Elderly

Encouraging an elderly relative or loved one to be more independent will enhance their life in many ways. For example, it can benefit their social, physical, and cognitive skills and improve their quality of life.

It’s only natural to want to help an older adult as much as possible. This comes from a desire to ensure they’re safe, and often it feels like it’s a duty. However, it is possible to help too much, and finding the right balance is essential.

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A fear of falling is a common concern for elders and their caregivers. If they’ve fallen before, it can make them worried about doing everyday things such as showering and walking. Safety modifications in the home can help to keep them safe but at the same time encourage them to do things without needing or asking for assistance.

Installing safety features such as chair lifts, ramps, grab rails, and purchasing kitchen utensils that have been modified can make things easier and safer for them to stay living in their home. This way your loved one will continue to feel independent but will have support where they need it.

Mobility

Mobility is often a big issue as a person gets older. Being a wheelchair user can make them feel isolated as it makes it difficult for them to leave their home. To help your loved one feel independent, you can encourage them to get outside more by providing a mobility scooter. It will allow them to travel short distances without any help, meet up with friends, even do their shopping.

Social Time

As a person gets older, spending time with friends and family is essential. It’s prevalent for ageing adults to experience feelings of isolation and to get depressed. These feelings are only made worse if they are losing their independence.

You can help your loved one feel more independent by arranging social time. It will allow them to maintain relationships that are important to them. You may have family members to talk to and arrange to visit, call, or write letters regularly.

There may be social centres for the elderly in your locality, or you might be able to encourage them to join activities or take a class. Talk with them and see what they like doing. You might be able to arrange opportunities for them to do something they love, such as crafting, cooking, or solving puzzles.

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As a person gets older, it doesn’t mean they no longer have their preferences or opinions. You must encourage your loved one to voice their opinions and make their own choices.

An excellent way to do this is to give them lots of options, such as what they want to do that day and what they want to wear or eat. Giving a loved one the chance to make their own choices helps them maintain their independence.

Movement

A loss of mobility is something that often accompanies old age. It’s, therefore, crucial to encourage seniors to make an effort to move each day. Exercise can help to increase bone and muscle strength, boost mobility, and promote independence in the elderly. However, it is essential to talk with a senior doctor to determine what type of exercise is suitable.

When a loved one gets older, it’s very easy to change from doing things with a person to doing things for them. It’s important to remember that they still deserve and need your respect and love. Choose to do something with them rather than for them because it will help to make them feel they are less of a burden and feel independent.

If you’d like to learn more about how we encourage our elderly residents to live independently at Jackman’s Lodge, please call our team today on 01483 694339.