Witnessing a loved one age can be difficult. Although it is natural to want to assist them as much as possible, the task of providing constant physical and mental assistance can be both emotionally and financially overwhelming.
It is often healthier for both parties for them to maintain their independence, as 80 to 90 percent of elderly people already prefer to reside in their own homes as long as possible.
Here are five ways to help aging seniors transition smoothly into living independently:
Modify the Home
Create a safe haven for your aging loved ones by making simple household adjustments such as: installing grab bars and shower seats in the bathroom to avoid slips and falls, lowering shelves for easy access, adding better lighting and removing tripping hazards.
Take Advantage of Home Delivery Services
Driving can be challenging, so why not get basic needs like groceries and medication delivered right to the door. Many aging seniors already use the Internet regularly so consider teaching them how to grocery shop online. If your older loved ones are uncomfortable going online, you can simply place an order and have it delivered to them. You can also schedule daily drop-offs from free food delivery services like Meals on Wheels.
One of the most alarming concerns when leaving an elderly loved one home alone is them not being able to reach someone when help is needed. Personal emergency response systems (PERS), can put your mind at ease should an accident happen. For extra security get them a mobile PERS, which includes GPS capabilities, automatic fall detection and two-way phone communication.
Move at Their Pace
Your loved ones will grow into independence at their own pace. Allow them to express to you how much or how little assistance they need from you.
Provide Emotional Support
Over time, many older adults demonstrate the ability to maintain a standard of independent living, however, the need for genuine companionship is still there. Sincere emotional contact is imperative for aging seniors – simple gestures like frequent phone calls, and lunch dates or (if you live out of town) video chats are a great way to stay connected. Also, helping them arrange daily hobbies and activities will make them feel productive and keep them from getting lonely.