At Home Helpers Home Care, we’re committed to quality caregiving that fosters lifestyles infused with purpose and meaning. That’s why we’re proud to celebrate Maintaining Senior Independence Month by highlighting the many ways older adults can preserve their independence.
Independent living gives you choices, options and control over decision-making, which can be key factors in warding off feelings of depression, isolation and hopelessness. From practical to personal, these 10 suggestions can help you live independently without compromising your dignity and happiness:
- Personal and Home Safety
Safeguarding yourself against home accidents is key to successful independent living. Optimize mobility with hand rails, place items in easy reach and consider a security alert device for emergencies.
- Resource Lists and Contacts
Work with a caregiver to compile a list of contact information for family members, doctors and therapists, and home repair services. Keep the list in a central location for easy access.
- Meal or Grocery Delivery
Commit to healthy eating by ordering meals or groceries online through local delivery services. Keep a running list of items you need, and share it with a caregiver for future orders.
- Landscaping and Snow Removal Services
Keeping up with landscaping and snow removal can be a challenge for anyone. Neighborhood teens and landscaping companies can offer all-inclusive care across the changing seasons.
- Household Support
Pinpoint the help you’d like to receive with light housekeeping, laundry, or mail sorting. Develop a plan with a caregiver to make sure each task gets scheduled and managed effectively.
- Socialization Opportunities
Get together with friends, attend library programs and participate in social events sponsored by community centers. A vibrant calendar of activities prevents loneliness and provides fun outside the house.
- Companion Care
When you’d rather stay at home, companion care offered by home care agencies can be a great option. Companion programs feature regular visits from a caregiver eager to talk, listen and spend time doing activities you enjoy.
- Regular Physical Exercise
Regular exercise — working in the garden, walking in the park and attending fitness classes — can keep you feel more energized, achieve deeper sleep and renew your zest for what tomorrow will bring.
- Mental Stimulation
Play games and do puzzles to keep your mind sharp. Invite neighbors and family members for a game night, or ask a caregiver to print out crosswords or math challenges from favorite websites.
- Seeking Out Help
Asking for help when you need it is a sign of strength, so reach out to your support system early and often.
Achieve Independence With Home Helpers of Walnutport
We’re here to support seniors and their caregiving partners at every turn. Contact us today to learn more about programs and services that help you achieve independent living.
Elder Abuse Awareness: How To Identify and Stop Elder Abuse
By Vicki Crow
Elder abuse and neglect is a growing concern in our nation, as it is a silent condition that often goes undetected. According to studies, one in four seniors is the victim of abuse and only a small portion of this is detected. Elder abuse is characterized by physical violence, neglect and theft. Sadly, the majority of victims are abused by loved ones.
Identifying Physical, Emotional and Financial Harm
Whether the abuse occurs in the home or a caregiving facility, it is often hard to detect. That said, the phenomenon does not come without signs and symptoms. In addition to having physical signs, such as bruises, bedsores, cuts and torn clothes, victims also demonstrate emotional symptoms, such as emotional withdrawal, apathy or unusual behavior. If you’re concerned about a senior loved one, look for the following signs:
- Broken bones
- Burn marks
- Pressure marks
- Comments along the lines of "oh, she hit a door"
- Bed sores
- Soiled diapers
- Ripped or dirty clothing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of necessary medical aids, such as hearing aids, glasses or a cane
- Nervous behavior
- Fearful behavior
- Forced isolation
- A strained relationship between your loved one and his or her caregiver
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Unaccounted for money
- Bills going unpaid
- Frequent cash withdrawals
- Unusual purchases
- High credit card bills
Putting a Stop to Elder Abuse
If your loved one is in a caregiving facility and he or she exhibits any of the signs of elder abuse, call 911 right away and report your concerns to the facility supervisor. If you suspect that your loved one’s life is in danger, pull him or her from the facility and either care for the person yourself or find a new facility.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused by a family member, call Adult Protective Services. An agent of APS will visit the home, investigate the situation and do what he or she can to intervene. Unfortunately, some states limit what APS can and cannot do, so it may be necessary to involve the police or another government agency to get your senior loved one out of the hands of the abusive family member.
Elder abuse can happen to anyone at any time. Sadly, many victims are too afraid to speak out against their abusers for fear of angering them even more. You can help keep your senior loved ones safe by knowing what signs to look for and reporting any suspicious symptoms or behaviors to APS and the local authorities.