How to Help the Elderly to Maintain Independence

How to Help the Elderly to Maintain Independence


The decline of independence is one of the most challenging aspects of ageing that people are likely to experience. For most elderly individuals, it may feel depressing and frustrating when they start to lose their independence.

As someone who cares for the elderly member of the family, it is your responsibility to allow them to engage in things as much as they are able and willing to do. 

When you help an elderly person to maintain their independence, it can not only improve their quality of life but also their physical abilities. However, the question that remains constant is how can you do that. Well, if you have been thinking of the same, then here are a few things that you can do.

  • Make Modifications at Home

One of the first ways you can help the elderly at home is by making a few modifications at home. Basically, the seniors are concerned about falling off and their fear might increase if they have seen someone falling earlier. The elderly person may seem anxious about taking shower, walking, and performing certain duties. 

So the best thing you can do is increase their safety in the house by doing a few modifications. For instance, you can add Grab Bars For Elderly in the washroom.  

Installing these can offer them support and maintain balance when needed. 

It also decreases fatigue that the elderly person may be experiencing while standing. As they age, seniors may encounter a number of difficulties, many of which can be eased with the assistance of these grab bars for the elderly. 

  • Support Them to Have a Social Life

Another thing that you can do is support the elderly people to have a social life. You can assist them in continuing their regular routine of going to church, calling on family, and keeping in touch with their groups of friends. 

Other than that, take them to community events they might seem to be interested in, such as local theatre performances or library lectures. 

When elderly people are encouraged to have a social life, it lowers their chances of feeling depressed or becoming isolated. Also, it will make them feel valued, heard and seen just as they felt at an early age.

  • Include Them in Daily Activities 

Helping your elderly person to be independent means allowing them to be a part of certain daily activities. Instead of stopping them from involving in daily chores, you should support them as much as possible. 

Get them to assist you with meal planning, laundry folding, gardening, buying, cooking, and cleaning. You can also let them stir the dough if they want to or bake cookies. For making things easier for them, you can offer them litter pickers especially if they are undergoing any health problems that make bending difficult. 

The litter pickers minimize the need for bending, stretching or squatting to get anything. Also, it would make the elderly feel good that they do not have to run to you for help for such small tasks.

  • Encourage Exercise 

The next thing that can be done to support the independence of the elderly people is to encourage them to exercise. Most of the time elderly people are seen to want to be independent desperately but do not want to be active at the same time. 

During such times, you must keep them moving through yoga classes or other activities like flower-planting, walking around the block, chair exercises at home, and more. 

This is simply because such exercises would allow them to stay active which is very much required for their overall health. Remind them to perform the exercises on a regular basis especially if a physical therapist has prescribed them to do it.

  • Give Them Choices

Seniors have their own preferences and perspectives which they do not want to go unheard or unseen with time. This is why it is important to encourage your parents to express these views by letting them make independent decisions. 

You can offer them a variety of options for what to eat, wear, and do each day. By doing this, you may support your loved one’s freedom while ensuring that they remain within sensible and healthy bounds.

  • Assist Them in Stay Safe 

Maintaining a sense of independence and identity requires being able to live in one’s own home. This can be made simpler by altering their home as needed. You can ensure that their bedroom is clean and tidy all the time. 

The rugs and carpets are not folded so that their risks of tripping and falling are lowered. If they require ongoing assistance with things like cleaning or shopping – make sure to go with them and offer a hand. 

  • Encourage Brain Training 

Last but not least, it is crucial to keep the brain active. This is why make sure to encourage the elderly to get involved in games like cards, board games, finish crossword puzzles, sudoku, jigsaw puzzles and more. You can also encourage them to watch shows that involve gaming or quizzes to keep their mind active.