Help Seniors Cope with the Loss of Independence
Loss of independence is something that many seniors fear. When this fear becomes a reality, there are several ways that you can help. Continue reading to learn some specific things that you can do for your loved one, and contact Perennial Angels in Atlanta to learn about the experienced caregivers that we can provide.
According to an AARP study conducted in 2012, 57 percent of seniors over the age of 70 do not find it easy to live alone and need help with daily tasks. The loss of independence that seniors face can often result in grieving, frustration, and other emotional responses. Putting yourself in their shoes, so to speak, allows you to more fully understand some of the feelings they are struggling with, which helps you to respond with a deeper compassion.
Types of Independence Seniors May Lose
As your loved one’s body and mind age, they may experience a variety of types of losses that impact lifestyles and even their understanding of the world. Some types of independence seniors may lose include:
- Ability to live alone
- Comprehension/decision-making skills
- Strength to perform daily tasks
- Energy to clean and cook
- Social life
Common Emotions Seniors May Experience
Loss of independence is an emotional experience for many seniors. They may experience and exhibit some of the following emotions:
What to Make Accessible to Seniors with Mobility Limitations
TV remote or computer
Basic contact sheet
A calendar or schedule
Reading or other entertainment materials
How to Help Seniors Cope with Increased Dependency
Relying on the assistance of others for basic tasks such as bathing, toileting, or other common activities including driving, can be frightening and even frustrating for seniors. With the loss of independence, your loved one may also feel as though they are losing some control over their schedule, freedom, and preferences.
Caregivers can help make decreased independence more bearable using strategies like these:
Maintain a Standard of Dignity
The qualified caregivers at Perennial Angels provide caring assistance with personal activities such as bathing and toileting that allow your loved one to retain their dignity. It is also helpful to use the same type of language and wording that your loved one does when referencing body parts, activities, and hygiene products.
Provide Options for Caregiving
Since dependence requires trust and can be very personal in nature, it is important for seniors to have choices. Determine if your loved one prefers same-sex caregivers, certain routines, or other specific types of care and then let your chosen homecare provider know their wishes.
Stay Organized and Consistent
Dependence on another can feel like a loss of control. If your loved one has to wait on another person for assistance, then this can be a stressful experience for them. The caregivers at Perennial Angels in Atlanta work hard to remain consistent in their routine so that you and your loved one can rest easy knowing that their routine will be honored. We also strive to make sure that if your loved one struggles with mobility issues, then all necessary materials are organized for their convenience.
Ask, Don’t Tell
Caring for someone who has less independence than they are used to, means that they need support from their caregivers. The personal caregivers at Perennial Angels make it a priority to ask your loved one about their preferences and needs, so that they feel well-taken care of.