Caregiving for Seniors: How to Encourage the Independence of Your Loved One

Many caregivers struggle to find a balance between doing many things for their care recipients and doing too little. This dilemma becomes more complicated when the abilities needed and the care the receiver wants change constantly.

The issue of helping or not is often blurred between proud receivers and eager caregivers, particularly when the caregiver is caring for a loved one. How could you possibly provide the necessary support and care for your loved one, while still maintaining their independence? Below are some practical guidelines:

Plan Well in Advance

Before your loved one begins to require help, have an intimate discussion about how their capabilities might change as they grow older. Think of this as being realistic instead of being presumptuous. Ask how they plan to cope with reduced cognitive and physical abilities in the future and how you could help. Begin by suggesting less invasive care options such as senior concierge services, sitter assistance, or peace of mind visits.

Help Your Loved One See That “Help” is Empowering

Tell your loved one that it’s your duty to help them live independently for as long as they can. Assure them that your main goal is to allow them to continue doing the things they love to do. Emphasize that fact while you do all that you can to help them, they’re still ultimately responsible for their life after all.

Encourage Your Loved One to Focus on Things They Could Still Do

For instance, prep simple meals if they now lack the skills to cook more complex dishes. Reminisce about the old times in the event that they’re having trouble with short-term memory recall.

Don’t Just Jump In and Help Out

You need to be extremely cautious before introducing various changes into your loved one’s life or you might hurt their pride and meet resistance. Observe how your loved one functions and behaves, so you could verify your observations with relevant individuals prior to deciding that they really need help at this time in their life.

Put simply, being a caregiver does not necessarily mean that you have to take on every single aspect of caregiving yourself. No one wants to feel helpless, and it’s best that you allow your loved one to care for themselves for as long as they can. This would mean less stress for your loved one and in turn, less stress for you.