For many seniors, losing independence means moving away from home, feeling like a burden on family, and being unable to handle everyday activities. While it’s difficult for some seniors to maintain their independence, they can take the following steps to remain safe and healthy while aging in place.
1. Get Some Physical Activity Every Day
A decrease in physical health is one of the top reasons seniors lose their independence. Loss of muscle mass and increased pain make life difficult, but remaining active can combat these issues. Getting physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean heading out to the gym daily. Stretching, gardening, swimming, walking, and playing with a pet helps older adults get some exercise and maintain their independence.
Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Anchorage seniors can depend on.
2. Ensure Adequate Sleep Every Night
Stress and hormonal changes can make it challenging for older adults to get proper rest at night, but there are some things you can do to enhance your loved one’s sleeping habits. To help your parent get sufficient sleep, turn off screens about an hour before bedtime, don’t serve caffeine and alcohol at night, and make sure the bedroom has a relaxing atmosphere.
3. Keep Learning
Learning new skills can stave off Alzheimer’s disease and other health issues that impair independence. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of cognitive decline is to challenge the mind on a regular basis. Some of the best ways to stimulate the brain include reading, taking classes, playing games, completing puzzles, dancing, and learning a new language.
4. Modify the Home as Needed
Some older adults are reluctant to make senior-friendly home modifications because they don’t want to seem old or feeble. However, adding more lighting, rearranging furniture to make way for walkers, or introducing a video monitoring system to the home can help your loved one remain independent. Show your loved one it’s okay to make these changes.
Making modifications to the home is not the most overwhelming responsibility you may have to face. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Anchorage families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
5. Maintain Healthy Relationships
Older adults who are isolated often experience depression and poor overall health. However, staying in contact with good friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers can have a big impact on a senior’s independence. Seniors who have children, grandchildren, friends, and other loved ones are more likely to live independently than those who don’t.
6. Develop a Sense of Purpose
Older adults who have retired from their jobs, watched their children move out, and lost their spouses may not feel like they have anything to live for, which leads to poor health and a loss of independence. Encourage your loved one to find a purpose by engaging in volunteer work, babysitting grandchildren, taking up a part-time job, or adopting a pet. The activity should make your loved one feel accomplished and a necessary part of society.
Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to an assisted living facility. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading Anchorage home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks. To create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.