Promoting Independence in the Elderly

We all like to live an engaged, active lifestyle. We also all want maintain our independence. But we must admit this can sometimes become more difficult as we age. Luckily, there are certain steps one can take to promote independence in ourselves or our elderly parents.

Why Is It Important to Promote Independence in the Elderly?

Maintaining our independence as we age is incredibly beneficial. While some of the benefits are obvious, such as not needing assistance with everyday tasks, other less obvious benefits of maintaining independence include a sense of achievement that we are still able to take care of most (or all of) our needs. Plus better quality of life.

Tips on Maintaining Elderly Independence for Ourselves or Our Aging Parents

  • Focus on Your Abilities: As we age, it’s only natural that some tasks may get harder. For instance, perhaps you have arthritis and find it painful or difficult to tie your shoes. Consider purchasing slip-on shoes to make this task easier. Focus on what you can do and work on finding ways to make the tasks that can be difficult easier.
  • Exercise as Best You Can: No matter what age you are, the key to a happy and healthy life is exercising regularly. Our recommendation is to not over-exert yourself and only do what you feel most comfortable with. You can also get some ideas on the best exercises for seniors here.
  • Update Your Home as Needed: As tasks get more and more difficult, some modifications to the home may be necessary. For instance, updates could be made to make it easier to bathe or to get up and down the stairs.
  • Exercise Your Body and Mind: In addition to keeping physically fit, make sure you are regularly exercising your mind as well. This can be done a number of different ways, from reading, to playing games, doing crossword puzzles, and taking classes to learn new things.
  • Be Social: Socializing has a number of different benefits and it’s very important for seniors to remain social, particularly after they retire.
  • Have a Weekly and/or Monthly Schedule: While the first weeks and months of retirement can be very relaxing, many older adults start to miss the structure that work provided them. A schedule can help in both maintaining independence and finding purpose in retired life.

How Adult Children Can Help with Promoting Independence in Elderly Parents

seniors on vacationAs an adult child, what are various ways that you can help your aging parent maintain their independence? At Acts Retirement-Life Communities, we would recommend using the tips above and figuring out ways that you can encourage good habits. For instance, try to include your parent in family activities you may be planning with your own children, or find a word game that you two can play together through social media. But keep in mind not to push them too hard, and be sure to remain patient. This should become something fun you do together.

What Else Can Be Done to Maintain Elderly Independence

Choosing to age in place has a number of different drawbacks and can affect your ability to maintain independence. Retirement communities are an excellent choice for older adults who want to maintain their independence as long as possible. Additionally, Acts retirement communities include healthcare options so that you can receive the care you need as you get older, within the same community. Learn more by selecting a retirement community near you.