Coping with ailments when families are away – How can senior citizens manage being independent?

September 15, 2021 3:33 PM

Several things can be done to help your elders and make them feel more independent. These include:

senior citizensKeep your seniors on the move! Enrol them in a yoga class, get them involved in gardening, or taking a walk, or doing chair exercises at home.

By Punita Khatter,

The desire to be self-sufficient and independent does not fade with age. All seniors value their independence, and are understandably reluctant to give it up. It provides them with a strong sense of accomplishment, along with adding to their self-worth and well-being. Several things can be done to help your elders and make them feel more independent. These include:

Help them to maintain a good social life

Assist them in continuing their regular social activities, such as visiting family and friends, going to the temple or church, and attending local events. If possible, accompany them to the movie theatre, parks, or any other community event which sparks their interest.

Include them in day-to-day activities at home

Depending upon their capability and willingness, include your elders in daily activities and responsibilities. Solicit their help in planning meals, folding laundry, and, whenever possible, buying grocery, cooking, and cleaning. Allow them to choose their favourite TV shows, radio channels, and music. This is called participatory caregiving and goes a long way in making them feel independent.

Encourage physical activity

Keep your seniors on the move! Enrol them in a yoga class, get them involved in gardening, or taking a walk, or doing chair exercises at home. If a physical therapist has advised exercises, remind them and urge them to undertake them regularly.

Keep them occupied and entertained

Play cards or board games, solve sudoku or crossword puzzles, put together a jigsaw puzzle, watch TV game programmes, or cheer for their favourite sports teams.

Prioritize their safety

Remove dangers that could cause your loved one to trip or fall to prevent falls. For further support, install handrails in corridors and stairwells, as well as grab bars in bathrooms. Consider acquiring a personal emergency response system so they can call for help by simply pushing an alarm button if they are alone for an extended period.

(The author is Co-Founder and Managing Director, SenOcare. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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