As your parent or loved one ages it can be difficult for them to receive the care they need while maintaining the level of independence they want. We know that most people would prefer that they remain in their own home as they age, maintaining the their privacy and independence. However, not having medical help on hand can pose a threat should an accident or medical issue arise. Here are 5 ways you can help loved one live independently, and safely.
- Get things delivered
It’s important that seniors are eating a healthy diet to maintain both their physical and mental health. However, as we age, maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult. Some seniors are no longer confident to drive, or move around supermarkets and wait in line. Luckily, we can now get a lot of essentials delivered. We live in an era of online shopping and same-day delivery which makes it easier than ever to get everyday essentials delivered right to our doors.
By now, almost 80% of baby boomers regularly use the internet so it’s likely your loved one is confident browsing the web. Talk to them about internet shopping, especially for groceries. Most supermarkets offer an online shopping service for their entire catalogue. Seniors may find that being able to shop from the comfort of their own home is simpler and more convenient than physically going to the shop, while also maintaining their independence.
- Understand health requirements
Ageing often comes with increased amounts of health checks and daily medicines, and independent living needs to include management of this.
Speak to doctors and ensure you know what medications need to be taken and how frequently doctors appointments need to be attended. If you or a loved one are finding it hard to keep up with medical regimens it’s advisable to find a support worker on a platform like Better Caring who is qualified to administer medications.
- Make some home improvements
It’s common that as a parent or loved one ages some changes need to be made throughout the home. The best approach is to ask your parent what they think they need, however sometimes they don’t want to make changes as they don’t feel they need help. In this instance, put yourself in their shoes and think about ways you can make daily living easier.
Key areas like the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom can be modified with basic changes. Some simple things that can make a big difference include hand railings and non-slip mats to prevent falls in the bathroom, or more lighting and accessible chairs and bedding. It’s also a good idea to make things easier to reach in the kitchen.
- Be emergency ready
For caregivers, one of the biggest concerns of an independent senior is the possibility of an accident. If no one is present in the event of a fall, more serious problems can arise. For seniors, it’s important that they can contact emergency services in the event of a fall or other medical emergency, like a stroke or heart attack.
An alert device is perfect for those who are living an independent life but may need help if an emergency arises. In the case of such an emergency, help is only a button away. This gives caregivers the peace of mind and seniors the confidence to live independently.
- Make emotional connections
While ageing loved ones may be confident they can live an independent life, it’s important to ensure meaningful emotional connections can still be made. Try to organise for your loved one to attend local events and join community groups for seniors. Encourage them to participate in local groups and activities that they enjoy.
If you or other family members live far away, a tool like Skype can be greatly beneficial to their emotional well-being.
Continuing to live an independent life is important for many ageing Australians. While it might be a daunting prospect to adult children and caregivers, with the right resources and planning, many seniors can continue living independently, in the comfort of their own home.