Your Complete Guide to Helping Your Senior Loved Ones Live an Independent Life
At some point in life, you have to come to a decision together about senior care. Independent living is a natural part of life, and one that everyone should plan for. The changes in an older human body forces you to alter certain, but not all living conditions. Seniors that want to maintain their independence should visit many of the notable independent living communities. It will mark the beginning of a journey that is nowhere near the ending.
Seniors should think about their nutrition long before they reach old age. Missing out on healthy life, in the beginning, does not mean that it is too late to see the benefits. Eating right can be done, no matter what your age is. Before venturing into independent living, find out what your loved one likes to eat. Getting into the habit of eating right will improve or maintain health for the better. Learning what they like will also give you insight into what foods are expected with each meal. Planned meals can be a big part of anyone’s life, regardless of age.
It’s Never Too Late To Be Healthy
Exercising Needs A Rebalance
Good food is only one part of the equation. There are plenty of seniors that take their physical health seriously. Independent living should provide access to appropriate equipment for exercise based on age and capability. This can be a deciding factor for seniors that are currently going through physical rehabilitation. Access to space and equipment are equally as important when discussing independent living choices. Combined with a nutritional plan, exercising is a fundamental way to improve quality of life. Seniors that are out of touch with physical activity can always jump back in at their own pace.
Mental and emotional health is often ignored in all stages of life. Independent living is a jarring experience for anyone, even if they are well adjusted. The change will affect individuals differently, even if they are at peace with what’s to come. Before independent living becomes a true option, seniors have to be healthy emotionally. This is why the initial talk about the change is so important. The attitude from both sides should be about progress more than anything else. Any signs of resistance to the idea of independent living should be talked about openly instead of pushed to the side for later.
Sometimes It Starts Up Top
Get A Good Doctor
Health problems are common the older you get. Having a doctor that is trusted becomes an important luxury for most families. That same doctor is also a factor when seniors decide to pursue independent living. Critical points in health can be highlighted, including any downsides when moving. Diet, exercise and many other routines can be outlined for better health. There are a lot of important services that a senior will need after moving. Without the help of a good doctor, then there is a chance you will miss out on vital information for independent health. If possible, try to get a doctor that has experience with seniors and their related issues.
Senior alert devices have become popularized with the rise of technology. Instead of making something complicated, companies streamlined the usefulness of emergency devices for seniors. When activated, it automatically contacts a friend, family member or approved emergency service. It’s truly a lifesaver and can act as a great tool to have when considering independent living. Seniors that are afraid of being on their own can depend on the device to give them a confidence boost. This extra layer of protection will be exactly what they will need when no one is around to hear them.
Let Technology Work Its Magic
What Are Their Needs?
Even if a place is highly regarded, it may not be the best experience for your loved one. Prioritizing needs over services is an important part of independent living. This becomes vital when dealing with a senior that has special needs but still wants to pursue independent living. Their needs are high, but they also don’t want to be accosted by several people per day when they’re trying to be alone. Having specific needs does not mean a loss of independence. Make sure that whatever living situation you agree on includes checks that don’t interfere with daily living.
There will be assistance options that you’ve never heard of. Simple things like grooming, organization management, and companionship are the things that make or break independent living. Food shopping can be the type of assistance that many seniors can’t live without. Not just because it is convenient, but due to health concerns when leaving the house. There will be a long list of assistance options available when deciding on independent living. Make sure to go through all of them to understand the impact it has on daily living.
Learn What Assistance Is Available
The Priority of Service Matters
Having several service options does not mean they are created equally. Some places may prioritize health management over companionship. Others may prioritize meal preparation over gym areas. These are all things to consider when looking at what service options are available for each place. Independent living will throw a lot of fascinating services at you. As suggested before, concentrate on individual needs rather than the amount or type of services available. Not all service types are appropriate for a senior. Married seniors that decide on independent living will have a different perspective than a single senior. If possible, look at future roadmaps for current services to see whether they will improve them with time.
It’s no secret that the level of care scales with a cost. You will have to come out of pocket to meet the more demanding needs of independent living. By following this guide, the cost gets significantly lower. Instead of paying for unnecessary services and assistance, you concentrate on what is needed the most. Seniors will get more value for their money while reducing the chance of future financial problems. When having the talk about independent living, make it clear who is paying for what. A lot of stress can be avoided by ironing out price specifics long before committing.
Cost Is A Factor
Do They Need Special Attention?
Telling a loved one that they need special care is never an easy sell. Ignoring the subject won’t help either, and can lead to serious problems with independent living. The stigma behind specialized care is that it takes away the very independence seniors want. This is not true and should be explained in detail when describing the service. Special attention for seniors is for their own benefit, and is not the same as 24/7 care. A good example of this is shopping services, appointment management, and routine scheduling. A senior should think of special care services as having their own personalized secretary that interrupts only when needed.
Seniors should never feel as though independent living is something that was thrust upon them. Having the talk early prevents this feeling, and can ease any tension related to the change. Seniors can request specific locations, services and costs that work within their budget. If a loved one is footing the bill, then they can help decide a long-term plan. Independent living puts seniors in full control of their daily lifestyles. By avoiding the conversation, you treat independent living like a negative life change.
Have The Talk
Don’t Be Overbearing
Everyone won’t be thrilled with the idea of independent living. They may even take it as an insult and refuse to discuss the situation further. Don’t push a loved one that has shown displeasure with the idea of independent living. Once you alienate a person on the subject, it is less likely that they’ll be open to hearing about it in the future. When the time comes where independent living is the best option, seniors will look at the change as a forced means to an end. Always remember that seniors are no different than everyone else that wants independence. Respect boundaries, and only discuss a change when it is appropriate and allowed.
Looking at independent living options is a good relationship building exercise. Instead of laying out a full plan and placing in front of them, plan independent living together. Unless you are given permission, never assume that you know what is best for a loved one. Wants and needs change, meaning that making a plan together is healthier than assuming. You can learn a lot about the process together, including what new services are offered for independent living. There have been major advancements within the industry to makes the change more convenient. Along with those changes are lower costs, and better locations for long term stay.
Make A Plan Together
These tips will help any senior or their loved ones make a decision about living independently. Aging gracefully is something that everyone should be allowed to do. Seniors are capable and strong, which means independent living is always their right. A satisfying life relies on everyone involved in understanding that independence means comfort.