Ask any elder what they want as they get older. Nine out of ten will say they want to remain at home and stay independent. In summary, they want things to stay the same.
This sometimes butts up against the reality of what a person needs as they get older. Everything can’t always stay the same. And, everyone won’t be so “lucky” to be exactly the same until one day they die peacefully in their sleep or playing golf. But, maintaining independence is possible…with some planning and support. Also, things may change but it doesn’t mean you can’t maintain the life you’d want to live.
Isn’t in home care help the opposite of being independent?
We’ve seen just the opposite in action. So, we believe it’s time to rethink our notions of independence. It doesn’t mean we never get help; we’re all “interdependent” to some extent. Stubbornly refusing help often leads to the very things one was trying to avoid.
What people really want is to stay in control. They want to live life the way they want. We’d all like to be able to make decisions for ourselves.
How does in home care support independence?
Facilities offer a lot of convenience and services, but they’re not for everyone. Many families don’t realize their loved ones can get the same support at home, where they want it. In home care can be provided the way they want it, on their schedule. There’s no need to eat breakfast at a standard time. Dad can sleep in as late as he always has and eat what he likes. Mom can enjoy going to her weekly bridge game as she has for 20 years. She can relax on her porch every afternoon or spend time in her prized garden. Meals can be made to exact preferences. Caregivers can provide companionship and conversation, or be quiet and focus on tasks.
This is just why we build a customized care plan for each EasyLiving client. This road map lays out how they like things done. It tells the caregiver what to do. This supports the client in his/her independent ways. The care plan strives to keep the client healthy and happy.
Learn more about how EasyLiving can create a custom care plan to help you stay independent.
In Home Care Solutions to Maximize Independence
Drive to Thrive
Older drivers have higher rates of fatal crashes than any other age group except the youngest drivers. Not everyone dies in a car accident, though. A car crash can lead to a downhill spiral and early nursing home placement. And, simply “taking away the car keys” is the worst possible hit to independence. Getting help with driving ensures you can continue to do what you love (safely).
You may applaud a loved one’s decision to limit driving to daytime or a few spots. However, more limitation on activity tends to cause decline. Hiring a caregiver to help with driving means not being dependent on friends and family for rides. It offers the flexibility of an independent lifestyle.
Managing the Meds
Medication errors are common, especially as the number of medications increases. This has the potential to be devastating to independence. For example, we worked with one client who was increasingly confused. She’d had several dangerous incidents and her son contacted us about her ability to remain at home.
Our care manager noticed the disarray of her medications. After setting up a pillbox and hiring medication management services, she began to be her old self. It turns out that overmedicating was the root of her confusion.
Food is Life
Food keeps us healthy. It feeds our brains and bodies. A healthy diet protects us from illness. But, it also means so much more. We all have favorite meals, comfort foods, and special food memories.
It may become overwhelming to deal with grocery shopping and meal prep as we get older. Then again, many of us don’t love those tasks at any age. Check out Three Easy Ways to Help Dad with Better Nutrition. No one should have to rely on fast food or frozen meals. Remove the challenges of meal prep with these delicious, nutritious resources.
Home, Sweet Home v. Burden and Danger
While staying at home is most people’s ideal, the home often becomes a danger zone. It may be hard to keep it clean and clutter-free. The house might not be easy to get around. This can lead to falls. It also becomes a burden to keep up with household tasks. That’s far from what most people picture when they imagine enjoying their later years at home.
Start with a good home assessment to identify fall hazards. Most homes can be safe with minor adaptations. Get regular help with cleaning and chores. A caregiver can also assist with organizing and special projects, such as cleaning closets.
The Luxury of Dignified Personal Care
Sometimes there comes a time when you might need help taking a bath or shaving. Most people don’t want their son or daughter bathing them or helping them to the toilet.
Having a professional help with personal care preserves dignity. A trained caregiver knows how to make it comfortable and even luxurious. You can take your bath in the comfort of home with your favorite soaps and fluffy towels. The caregiver can give your back a good scrub and make sure the water’s just how you like it.
Often, elders cut down on baths, shaving or changing clothes when it becomes difficult. Or, they may be afraid to do these tasks. They fear “losing independence” by falling or admitting there’s a problem. We hear time and time again how clients wish they’d gotten help sooner. They feel better being clean and looking their best.
Call us at 727-447-5845 to discuss your situation or set up a free consultation.