Managing Your Loved One’s Care & Independence
A lot of us want to have a sense of independence no matter how old we are. It’s important to instill a sense of freedom for your loved ones so they feel they still have authority over their life. The last thing you would want to do is make them feel like they don’t have control over their livelihood anymore. The best thing would be to encourage their independence by being supportive and showing them care.
Picking a Hobby
You can have your loved one choose something they enjoy doing. This could be an outing like going to a store or museum. This could also be a daily or weekly activity. One idea could be bingo which is a great way for them to make friends and improves hand and eye coordination.
Another idea could be an exercise class. Regular physical activity is beneficial to one’s health. Whichever hobby they decide to pick gives them a chance to leave the house, stretch their legs so they’re not cooped up inside their home all day, and gives them an opportunity to make a choice in their lives.
Making Their Own Decisions
Have them decide what clothes and shoes they want to wear each and every day. Make sure the clothes and shoes they have in their possession are visible and are not difficult for them to put on even if they might need help from a caregiver. Or maybe their caregiver presents them with different options for their outfits each day for them to choose.
Allow them to decide what shows or movies they want to watch, what books they want to read, and what music they want to listen to. Have them decide what they want to eat with guidelines that are aligned with health and nutrition. Have them decide their bedtime with guidelines ensuring they get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
Encourage your loved ones to do as much as they are mentally and physically able to do without overextending themselves. Encouragement is good for their self-esteem to become more confident with themselves and their abilities.
You want to make them feel important, that they matter in this world and they are truly loved. Sending an encouraging text every morning if they have a phone, purchasing a nice plaque that has words of wisdom and placing it in their bedroom, or writing an encouraging letter every week can put a smile on their face and give them the motivation they need to make conscious choices every day.
Whether it be daily or weekly, schedule check-in calls, emails, letters, text messages, and/or in-person visits to see how your loved one is doing. Making sure they’re eating, going to all of their medical appointments, and taking care of their hygiene. This also helps to make sure their caregiver is assisting them with all of their tasks and needs. Offer to take them out on an outing, a medical appointment, or have a lunch date so they know you haven’t forgotten about them and you care deeply for them.
It’s okay to let go of the reins a little bit to ensure your loved one still has their own independence and empowerment. You don’t have to completely withdraw yourself, rather you can observe from the right amount of distance, so they know you care and want them to live a long and happy life.
You can also have peace of mind by providing the assistance of a caregiver that can come during the day for a few hours to assist or monitor daily tasks which could include helping with physical or recreational activity, meal preparation, medication reminders, and more. You can match your loved one with the perfect aid based on specific needs through Caring Home Care’s nurse registry. Click here to learn more today!