Staying independent is not just a matter of will, but also physical ability. When people age, they begin to lose muscle mass. Over time, the acceleration of muscle loss becomes prevalent, which is why people in their late 70s or 80s may slow down, take more time getting up the stairs, or have a need for assistance.
As people age, safety becomes a concern.
Safety is often the top concern of many family members who worry about the well-being of their loved ones. They might take it upon themselves to provide support, and possibly even discourage their loved ones from doing any number of activities.
Below are a number of great tips that can help seniors stay independent longer, which means they will remain safer longer as well.
Tip #1: Focus on safety issues.
It’s important to focus on safety issues when they arise. Some people try to avoid the topic because they don’t want to get into an argument that can cause strife in the relationship. However, by avoiding these important issues, it’s only going to increase the risk of safety related problems for that senior.
Focusing on safety issues can be done in a respectful manner. Talking about observations, things a family member recently noticed, can highlight challenges a senior may be facing and prefacing it by saying they only want what’s best for them can be an easy way to slip into this topic.
Tip #2: Consider help.
Relying on a home care aide or other professional assistance can be invaluable at helping seniors stay independent longer. While family and friends may be more than willing to help, an experienced caregiver will often encouraged the senior to still do what they want while family often discourage these activities out of safety concerns.
Tip #3: Make home improvements.
Where necessary, installing grab bars, a stair lift, improving lighting, and doing other home improvements can be an invaluable asset in improving safety for seniors from all walks of life. Some of these home improvement projects are relatively minor while others would certainly need the support of an experienced contractor.
Tip #4: Be honest about limitations.
It’s important for seniors to be honest about their own physical capabilities and limitations in order to maximize safety. If they are not being honest, they are only putting themselves in harm’s way.
Sitting down and having an honest conversation with an elderly loved one may help them not just view safety differently, but also remain independent longer.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Omaha, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.
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