Most seniors would love to be independent as long as they can.  Below are four ways that family and friends can help encourage seniors and independence as much as possible. The old rule is in force here: use it or lose it. It is important to encourage as much independence as possible, for as long as possible.

 

  • Allow them to do things on their own. Allow your senior to actively participate in their own care as much as possible. Avoid completing tasks for them if they are capable to safely do so. Avoid doing everything for them—this really is not benefitting them.

 

  • Complete tasks together. If you senior can do something independently anymore, help them by working together. It is important to encourage them to complete as much of the task as they can. This promotes a sense of self worth.

 

  • Modify their Environment. Simply adding a shower chair to the tub area can help someone safely bathe themselves. Adding handrails to walls can make it easier to go up a step, or walk down a long hallway. Simple environmental changes can help your senior stay more independent at home.

 

  • Encourage them to maintain an active schedule. Encourage them to go out with friends and socialize if possible. Play scrabble together or work on a crossword puzzle. These simple interventions can help decrease depression and slow memory challenges which can then interfere with independence and safety.