5 ways to help loved ones live independently


5 ways to help loved ones live independently

As your parent or loved one age, it can be difficult for them to receive the care they need while maintaining the level of independence they want. We know most people prefer to remain in their homes as they age, maintaining their privacy and independence. However, not having medical help on hand can pose a threat should an accident or medical issue arise. Here are 5 ways to help a loved one live independently and safely.

1. Get things delivered

It’s important seniors eat a healthy diet to maintain their physical and mental health. However, as we age, maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult. Some seniors are no longer confident to drive or move around supermarkets and wait in line. Luckily, we can now get a lot of essentials delivered. With online shopping and same-day delivery increasing across Australia, it’s easier than ever to get everyday essentials delivered to our doors.

By now, almost 80% of baby boomers regularly use the internet, so your loved one is likely confident browsing the web. Talk to them about internet shopping, especially for groceries. Most supermarkets offer an online shopping service for their entire catalogue. Seniors may find being able to shop from the comfort of their own home is simpler and more convenient than physically going to the shop while also maintaining their independence.

2. Understand health requirements

Ageing often comes with increased amounts of health checks and daily medicines, and independent living needs to include management of this.

Speak to doctors and ensure you know what medications must be taken and how frequently doctors’ appointments need to be attended. If you or a loved one are finding it hard to keep up with medical regimens, it’s advisable to find a support worker on a platform like Mable who is qualified to administer medications.

3. Make some home improvements

It’s common as a parent or loved one to ages, changes need to be made throughout the home. The best approach is to ask your parent what they think they need, however, sometimes they don’t want to make changes as they don’t feel they need help. In this instance, put yourself in their shoes and think about ways to make daily living easier.

Key areas like the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom can be modified with basic changes. Some simple things that can make a big difference include hand railings and non-slip mats to prevent falls in the bathroom, or more lighting and accessible chairs and bedding. It’s also a good idea to make things easier to reach in the kitchen.

4. Be emergency ready

For caregivers, one of the biggest concerns of an independent senior is the possibility of an accident. If no one is present in the event of a fall, more serious problems can arise. For seniors, it’s important that they can contact emergency services in the event of a fall or other medical emergency, like a stroke or heart attack.

An alert device is perfect for independent people who may need help if an emergency arises. In the case of such an emergency, help is only a button away. This gives caregivers peace of mind and seniors the confidence to live independently.

5. Make emotional connections

While ageing loved ones may be confident they can live independent lives, it’s important to ensure meaningful emotional connections can still be made. Try to organise for your loved one to attend local events and join community groups for seniors. Encourage them to participate in local groups and activities that they enjoy.

Video calls can greatly benefit emotional well-being if you or other family live far away.

Continuing to live an independent life is important for many ageing Australians. While it might be daunting to adult children and caregivers, many seniors can continue living independently in their own homes with the right resources and planning.