The ability to live independently after a lifetime of managing their own affairs is treasured by many seniors. This can keep them in familiar surroundings, reduce stress, improve mood and create a feeling of self-sufficiency.
Part of independent living is the ability to get by with minimal home care and reliance on others. But the realities of aging sometimes make previously simple tasks too difficult or time-consuming, and proud seniors may not want to reveal the difficulties they are having with:
- Cooking and cleaning
- Buying food and preparing meals
- Shopping for basic goods
- Managing money and bills
- Taking medication
- Communicating via technology
Having an awareness of what independent living entails can help caregivers provide enough help without taking away independence. Many household responsibilities can be improved or made more simple in several ways:
Cooking and cleaning: If seniors are unwilling to hire outside help to clean the house, this can be an ideal chore for a child or teenager who wants to spend time with their senior and earn some allowance. Small chores adults take for granted, like the ability to scrub out a bathtub, can be exhausting for seniors, so identify which chores seniors are having trouble with and target those.
Buying food: If your senior is tech-savvy, there are several grocery delivery apps that let seniors pick exactly what they want from their favorite stores and have it brought directly to them. For the less technology-inclined, try taking them along when you buy your own groceries and help them pick out what they need.
Shopping for basic goods: Here is an opportunity to take your senior out for a fun day. Home essentials can include basic goods like toilet paper and paper towels, which can be shipped via online purchasing. However, purchasing clothes and shoes and other necessities can be a good bonding exercise and welcome help.
Managing money: This sensitive topic strikes dread in the hearts of many caregivers. Many seniors are very stubborn about their desire to keep paying their own bills independently. If they are confused about when bills are due, this can result in overpaying or underpaying. Caregivers can help seniors by creating a billing log to show when every bill is due and helping track what should be paid when.
Taking medication: Since caregivers can’t force their seniors to take their medications, here organization and proximity are key. A medication schedule posted in a prominent area like the fridge or breakfast table can help seniors remember their medications. Pill sorters can also help determine the dosage. A medicine log can help prevent over- or underdosing.
Communicating: If a senior doesn’t understand how to use a cell phone, they may give up and decide simply not to bother. Caregivers can help their seniors by taking them to classes showing how to use technology or by teaching them how to use it if the caregivers are patient enough. Apple, for example, offers in-store lessons on how to use an iPhone. These are taught by an Apple associate, which can remove a lot of the frustration associated with teaching technology.
Respecting senior independence and providing help doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. By reviewing your senior’s needs, you can more aptly provide the help they require without overstepping.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Jericho, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.
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