How to Help a Senior Parent Remain Independent

senior parent

Many people will experience health or mobility issues as they grow older. As a result, they might become increasingly reliant on others or supportive aids to complete everyday activities.

If an aging parent is becoming more dependent on you for help in the home, it might cause them much anger and frustration. Plus, it could be a sign that they might require additional assistance in the future.

To help your mother or father to enjoy an active life for as long as possible, you must look for ways to support their health and mobility each day. Read the below advice on how to help a senior parent remain independent.

Encourage a Healthier Lifestyle

As the body will change with each passing decade, it is common for many seniors to experience various chronic aches and pains. Plus, their eyesight and hearing might deteriorate as they grow older, which can make it difficult to maintain total independence.

Help your aging relative to maintain a healthy mind and body by encouraging them to embrace a healthier lifestyle. For example, they might need to adopt a nutritious, balanced diet and exercise often. Plus, they must take their medications on schedule and attend regular medical check-ups. Also, you can play an active part in your parent’s good health, as you could go for a walk together or cook delicious, healthy dishes for them to enjoy.

living space

Tweak Their Living Spaces

Seniors are more prone to accidents in the home, as they might struggle with poor vision, muscle weakness, or balance issues. Plus, various health conditions can increase their susceptibility to dizziness or a brief loss of consciousness.

Prevent accidents from occurring in their home by tweaking or changing their living spaces to prevent slips and falls. For example, you could:

  • Remove trip hazards, such as unsecured mats, electrical cords, or obstacles
  • Declutter their interior
  • Install safety features, such as grab bars, ramps, and stairlifts
  • Add additional lighting
  • Rearrange kitchen items – ensure staples and cooking tools are within reach
  • Create a downstairs master bedroom
  • Label food, drinks, and medicines

A Social Lifestyle

According to the CDC, loneliness can increase a senior’s risk of developing dementia or another serious health condition. Also, various studies have found that socially isolated people are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, heart disease, or a stroke.

Ensure your loved one never experiences any of the above and enjoys a full life at home by keeping in touch with them. For example, you should visit them regularly, give them a call, or send text messages.

Also, you must encourage your parent to spend more time with loved ones both inside and outside of the home. For example, they could visit a relative or invite a friend over for lunch or a cup of coffee. A phone call to a loved one might be enough to lift their spirits and make them feel both loved and supported each day.

Talk to Your Parent About Independent Living

Independent living is another fantastic way for seniors to live on their own while enjoying the company of others each day. If your aging parent feels isolated and lonely, they might love an independent living community.

Frontier Management can provide your parent with their own private room to enjoy each day, which will allow them to complete many everyday activities freely. Yet, they will have access to common areas to connect with others.

For example, they can enjoy meals in a dining room, which is a perfect opportunity to socialize with other residents. It can provide your parent with additional support while helping to maintain their freedom and dignity.

Involve Them in Decision-Making

Despite recognizing that your elderly parent needs additional help and support each day, you must avoid making decisions for them, if possible. If you do, you could strip them of all dignity and independence.

While you might believe you know what’s best for your mother or father, you must involve them in the decision-making process. Ask about the different ways you can help them to live a full, happy life each day. For example, they might need additional help with cooking, cleaning, or medical care. You must talk about the different options available, such as a home helper, cleaner, or independent living services.

Also, you must pick the right time to raise various issues to avoid frustration or upset. For instance, you shouldn’t confront them about their declining driving skills when they’re sitting behind the wheel of their car.

Attend Their Medical Appointments

Attending various medical appointments might be overwhelming for an aging parent. Unfortunately, if they can’t take control of their medication or care for a condition, their health could deteriorate, and they might lose all independence at a faster rate.

Help your parent to live a full, independent life by attending medical appointments with them. It will provide an opportunity to ask a doctor questions regarding your parent’s health condition, its symptoms, and the various treatment options available. Plus, you will understand the medications they need, and you could provide your parent with the correct dosage and ensure they take it at the right time each day.

helping hand

Give a Helping Hand

Lending a helping hand might be all you need to do to support your elderly parent’s daily needs. It doesn’t matter if they live at home or in an independent living facility; you could support your mother or father by:

  • Folding laundry
  • Buying groceries
  • Washing dishes
  • Tidying their home
  • Washing and drying clothing

Each time you visit your parent, ask about the various chores they’d like you to complete. While a task might be small to you, it could be a major challenge for your mother or father. Don’t be afraid to roll-up your sleeves and give them a helping hand when needed. Aging can take its toll on a person’s physical and mental health. If your mother or father is struggling to complete everyday tasks, they might need to make small or large changes to their lifestyle to maintain their independence, from making small changes to their home to moving into an independent living facility.

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