5 Ways to Encourage Independence in Elderly Relatives

One of the most challenging things about getting older is the feeling that you’re losing your independence. This is natural due to health issues and the decrease in mobility that inevitably comes with age. Encouraging elderly relatives to remain independent for as long as possible has many benefits. It will enhance their cognitive and physical abilities plus give them more opportunities for social engagement. It will help to improve their overall wellbeing and way of life. Here are five ways to encourage independence in elderly relatives.

Research their mobility options

If your loved one has mobility issues, try researching their options. There are several possibilities available allowing them to still get around independently. For example, the Motability & PIP Scheme offers them the opportunity to exchange their mobility allowance for the lease on a car. It’s useful for those with reduced mobility who want to regain independence.

Teach them how to use technology

Teaching your elderly relatives to use technology will give them many opportunities. You can teach them how to order deliveries online and how to use entertainment and fitness apps. It’s difficult to stay connected to older relatives at the moment, and if you teach them how to use communication channels such as video chat, it will be easier to stay in touch. There are also plenty of devices, such as smartphones and tablets, that are more suitable for elderly users.

Ensure safety in the home

To enable them to feel more independent at home for longer, there are plenty of household aids available on the market. This way you can ensure they can carry out daily tasks safely and with ease. Hopefully, they’ll be able to cope longer with everyday activities before needing at-home support. Things like grab rails and specially designed utensils will make their lives easier and they’ll be able to carry on as normal without the help of other people.

Suggest ways they can help in the community

Sometimes a new hobby or activity can do the world of good. It will help to boost their self-esteem and make them feel useful. There are plenty of volunteering for seniors opportunities. These volunteer jobs are aimed specifically at the over 65s and there’s plenty of support available. Helping out in the community is very fulfilling and will give them the motivation they need. You could try suggesting a couple of ideas to your elderly relatives after doing some research yourself. 

Change your mindset

If you want to create a positive environment in order to foster independence in your elderly relatives, you may need to change your mindset. Don’t consider taking care of them a chore and don’t make them feel like a burden. Encourage them to do as much as possible for themselves, while being available when they need you. Find the time to spend together and motivate them to stay active and maintain a social life.  Feeling like you’re losing your independence can be daunting, so you need to provide the support they need.