The aging process can look different for everyone. However, one thing that remains constant is the desire to stay independent for as long as possible. Studies have shown that independence is a crucial factor in seniors’ physical and mental health.
Even more, especially for seniors who have spent their entire lives working and being active in the community, a loss of independence can feel discouraging and unmotivating. However, we know that the natural effects of aging can certainly make living an independent life more difficult. Difficulties with mobility, behavioral and memory conditions, and financial strain can all contribute to the challenge of remaining independent.
So, what are the best ways for seniors to maintain their independence for as long as possible—allowing them to live happier, more fulfilling lives? As it turns out, there are quite a few ways to comfortably age in place. Let’s learn about the top three ways seniors can maintain independence in their later years.
Adult Day Care
This option offers a hybrid environment in which seniors can be at their home and independent throughout the night, then spend their days at an adult day care center. Designed for seniors who may need a little bit of extra assistance throughout the day with things like health services, therapy, or activities to keep the mind strong.
Adult day care is best utilized when it’s paired with in-home care. While it’s meant to be a temporary solution, seniors still enjoy all of the benefits and freedom that come with having in-home care services. For this option, it’s recommended that seniors utilize about ⅓ of their time in adult care, and the other ⅔ of their time with in-home services.
Adult day care can typically be divided into two separate disciplines; adult social day care and adult health day care. Adult social day care is less intensive and offers programs like social activities, meal prep, recreation, and possibly a few health-related services. Adult health day care will have a comprehensive health focus—offering intensive health services for those who are faced with severe medical conditions.
Whether you choose social or health services, the idea of adult day care is to provide seniors with a solution that allows them to delay or prevent being sent to a permanent facility. When senior’s regularly attend day care centers, they’ll enjoy routine activities like exercise, physical therapy, recreation, socialization, medical management, and more.
While adult day care is designed to meet the needs of seniors who are mainly remaining independent, it also helps as a relief for family members. Family members enjoy this brief but necessary moment of air without the pressure of needing to be around a senior throughout the day to make sure that they’re doing well—family members enjoy this brief but necessary moment of air.
In-Home Senior Care
In-home senior care services are one of the best options for seniors to remain independent and live comfortably in their homes. With in-home care, seniors will be assigned to a dedicated caregiver who gets to know them and provides services that are designed to help them remain healthy, comfortable, and of course, independent.
The level of care seniors receive in their homes can vary depending on their needs but will generally include meal preparation, light housekeeping, assistance with hobbies, respite and family relief, laundry, and more.
Personalized solutions will help seniors to receive the best in-home care that they possibly can. By getting to know their in-home care provider well, and vice versa, they’ll feel a sense of relief knowing that they’re in good hands.
For seniors there are many reasons why they prefer in-home care over any other independent living options. Most importantly, they’ll get the chance to be relaxed and comfortable in their own home. Even more, if a senior is dealing with memory issues, such as Alzheimer’s, remaining in their home can be one of the best things they can do to encourage a strong mind.
It’ll be essential to seek out an in-home care provider you can trust and depend on to offer seniors friendly, and comprehensive care services. You should always start by checking referrals and reviews. Once you’ve found a company you think you can count on, sit down with them and ask about the various levels of service they can offer—make sure that it’s a fit for your, or a loved one’s needs.
One of the best ways to keep seniors feeling young and independent is to make sure they have frequent social interactions. Socialization is great for overall mental health, whether with friends, family, or companion service.
With companion services, seniors are given the opportunity to remain independent in their homes, while having the benefit of someone being around for them to interact with. Companion services are similar to in-home health care but focus slightly more on socialization and casual interaction.
A companion caregiver may spend time focusing on games to play with seniors. Not only does this provide a fun activity, but it’s also great for memory health. Typically, the companion will encourage seniors to participate in local social events and offer transportation to and from the event. Even more than just practicing meal preparation and cooking with seniors, companions will actually sit down and have a conversation over breakfast with their seniors.
Companion services are a great option to remain independent for longer. By keeping a socialization standard that helps seniors to stay focused and positive, they’ll be able to remain independent for much longer.
Healthy Ways to Remain Independent
The fact is, when seniors can remain independent in their homes, they’re much happier, have a positive outlook on life, and can even live longer. While the aging process can be complex and create a lot of unknown variables, being able to age comfortably at home and with independence offers a constant in seniors’ life that helps them to continue living their life to the fullest.
While there are a lot of different ways for seniors to remain independent in their homes, these are just a few of our favorites. If you’re interested in learning more about any of these independent living services, get in touch with Golden Care. We’d love to chat and offer all the information you need to make the best choice for you or a loved one.