Encourage Independence in the Elderly

March 22, 2022 3 min read

An active effort in promoting independence in older adults can play a huge part in helping them to maintain a healthy mindset and a sense of purpose. Ageing does not mean the complete loss of independence and the need to fully depend on a caregiver. Here are some ways you can encourage independence in your loved ones.

1. Keep them moving!

Sometimes, their mobility and body may be the only thing they feel they can control. Encourage them to keep active by walking and moving around on their own. This way, they are able to go to places they want to and do things for themselves. It gives them a sense of accomplishment and dignity!

How?


Accompany them to take walks, or if they are up for it, ask for their help to buy lightweight items from a nearby grocery store. Teach them simple exercises that can also improve their muscle strength.

To ensure their safety while they are moving, consider using mobility aids. Check out our bestselling walking aids to encourage mobility: Walkers & Rollators

2. Make Your Home Elder-Friendly

Having a positive attitude towards ageing also means knowing the right changes to make the living environment more conducive. As we get older, we become more prone to accidents and injuries. This may sometimes lead to the loss of mobility and independence.

Create a safe living environment to ensure that your love ones feel confident to get around the house by themselves.

How?

Ensure they have clear, ample space to walk without anything that can cause them to trip over (eg. cables, loose items). Grab bars can also be installed at corridors or high risk areas such as the bathroom to provide them with extra support. 

Keep frequently used items within reach. For example, keep shampoo and body soap on a rack in the toilet instead of on the floor, preventing them from losing balance and slipping while bending down to reach for it.

Other fall prevention devices include anti-slip floor accessories, toilet rails, shower chairs and bed rails. Check out our other blog article to read about the Ultimate Guide to Fall Prevention At Home.

3. Encourage Social Activities

Social interactions are important to keep minds active. They are also essential to an older adult's mental and emotional well-being. Having social activities outside of the home will encourage them to get out and avoid being cooped up at home. At the same time, it will encourage them to stay mobile and walk around more, which improves their strength and keeps them healthy.

4. Avoid Giving Excessive Assistance

To promote independence in older adults, caregiver assistance should be sufficient but not excessive. Caregivers should know when to take a step back and allow them to do things that they are able to achieve on their own.

You may feel like you're helping them at the point in time, but in the long run, your actions may be expediting their deterioration. By giving our loved ones the freedom to perform some daily tasks independently, this will build up their confidence and also enable them to age with dignity.

If you're worried about leaving them alone, consider our Wireless SOS Alarm to ensure that they are able to call for help when needed.

5. Respect and Love Them For Who They Are!

Older adults also desire respect, love and for their opinions to be heard. To help them be more independent, ensure that they feel capable of making their own choices to do things they want to on their own. Hear them out, be empathetic and understanding. After all, they are humans too.

 


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