Community Blog

Independence is Incredibly Important Issue for Seniors

By Debbie Humphrey

I’ve had the opportunity to help lots of seniors over the years, and one of the primary takeaways from each is their longing to age in place, in their own homes, for as long as possible.

In several of these cases, the seniors under my care remained at home until their passing. With others, their families discussed various options – living with a family member, assisted living communities – and alternate decisions were made.

Since senior independence is such an important issue for aging adults and their families, it is recommended that factors are considered and a discussion is planned for a serious dialogue.

Anthony Cirillo, contributed this to the Association for Long Term Care Planning: “The most important thing is to discuss the issues early and plan early. You need a plan when you are healthy to avoid disaster when you are not. Start with the legal and financial instruments you need to protect yourself.”

If an aging adult insists on staying independent at home, he suggests exploring safety issues inside and outside the residence. Make sure your senior loved one is getting proper exercise and proper nutrition  for their sustainable health and vitality. Determine how much social engagement your loved one will have, because isolation can lead to depression and “premature death.”

Michelle Seitzer of Apple Care and Companion concurred, “Isolation can quickly become an issue for any senior, healthy and independent or not. Isolation can lead to poor nutrition, depression and feelings of loneliness.”

In terms of senior independence, family members should assess their senior loved ones for cognitive and visual decline, because these can lead to “poor decision-making and unsafe conditions.”

Furthermore, she suggests family members make time for their aging loved ones living at home to monitor their moods and behaviors. Give them a call or stop by for a visit when you can. If it appears grandma is depressed, try getting them out of the house to a library, community event, volunteer opportunity, or whatever floats their boat!

If challenges arise, such as illness, or physical, mental or emotional conditions, Home Helpers provides plenty of resources to lend a helping hand. A compassionate caregiver can make a world of difference to maintaining senior independence.

A perfectly-matched caregiver can assist in many ways to keep your special senior someone happy, healthy, safe and independent at home!

Caregivers provide companionship to seniors, keeping them company so they don’t feel alone; keeping their minds engaged in meaningful conversations; making sure they stay involved in social activities; and monitoring activities of daily living.

Caregivers manage homemaker services like laundry, light housework, grocery shopping and meal preparation that may be too difficult for seniors to manage alone.

Caregivers assist with transportation when illness or disability prevents one from driving. Need a lift to the salon or doctor’s appointment?  Seniors can remain independent without worrying how they will be able to manage personal errands, or missing important doctor appointments. Our licensed, bonded and insured caregivers and our affordable Safe Wheelchair Transport Service, are available for prompt, safe transportation assistance for seniors, no matter where they need to go locally.

When a family member steps-up to care for their aging loved one, caregivers are available for respite care, so you can take the time you need for yourself and your family. Our caregivers take their responsibilities very seriously when it comes to reminding seniors about taking medications; preparing healthy meals & snacks; and assisting with personal care like bathing, dressing and more.

If the unfortunate occurs, and Alzheimer’s and Dementia care is needed, I employ caregivers certified in this specialized care through our partnership with the National Certification Board for Alzheimer Care (NCBAC), so you can rest assured your senior loved one receives what they need, how they need it.

In contemplating our nation’s Independence Day, senior independence is equally as valuable to those desperately wanting to age in place.  If you know a senior who experiences struggles with activities of daily living, but who wants to remain independent in their own home, I am happy to offer a FREE in-home consultation to assess their needs, so I can personally select the best professional caregiver to assist them.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539

Source:  Association for Long Term Care Planning