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Ways To Help Elderly Relatives To Retain Independence

In the last ten years in society, there has been a spike in people living past the age of 75. This is due to advances in medical care, better living conditions the world over, and better access to nursing assisted living facilities.

This is great, as it means people can now live longer and have more time with their family and friends. For family members, it can feel like a pang of guilt if you need to place an elderly relative into assisted living. So, it’s worth considering the ways that you can help them to retain their independence in their home for as long as possible.

How can you do that? Read on to find out.

Seek Support

The first thing you will need to do is to seek support from the local community. There are many facilities, such as assisted living in Rockford Illinois, that can offer your elderly relative a place to go for daily activities, where they can meet the residents of the facility and engage in social interactions. This will also allow you the chance to talk to members of staff about any concerns that you may have relating to your loved one’s health or your own well-being.

Grab Rails

To help your loved one stay in their home, adaptations will need to be made relating to immobility. This is where grab rails come in. The two rooms or areas in the home where accidents are most likely to occur for the elderly are the bathroom and the staircase, so you need to ensure that there are grab rails in place in both of these areas to prevent them from falling. Other things will need to be put into place, too, such as motion-activated lighting to help them move around in the dark. It may be worth making over the bathroom to have a walk-in shower and even installing a bidet.

Routine

Having a routine is essential to help those who want to retain their independence. It doesn’t have to be strictly regimented, but it can benefit those who may be suffering from dementia or other neurocognitive issues to break down their day and manage their tasks better.

Don’t Take Over!

The key feature is to help them to retain their independence, and while it can be tempting to want to take over everything so your elderly loved one doesn’t have to do anything, this is counterproductive. You will need to take a step back and observe the things they can manage and the areas they may need help with. This will help them to feel more independent and not feel like they are burdening you, which will be better for them and your relationship.

Seek Medical Assistance When Needed

As mentioned before, you will need to keep an eye on them even if they state that they are fine. For many people, it can be extremely disheartening to begin to see the signs of dementia or mobility issues worsening in their elderly relatives. So, always be aware that to help them retain their independence, medical assistance should be sought when needed.

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