February is National Senior Independence Month, and that means Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home care services is celebrating our community of active care receivers! Remaining autonomous is an important goal for many of the individuals we serve, and entirely attainable with a little work. Preserving that independence into the “Golden Years” requires a safe living space, strong physical and mental health, and an active social life.
Start with these Seniors Helping Seniors® tips, and your upcoming years can be fulfilling and fun! Let’s dive in!
Redecorate for Safety’s Sake
Our homes have potential hazards that we often don’t realize. For independent seniors, being proactive can prevent slips and falls, make daily tasks easier, and ultimately, extend the length of time you can live alone.
If you’re unsure where to start in safeguarding your house, contact us – our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers can help identify the most pressing issues, assist with the heavy lifting. We can even provide friendly, caring companionship throughout the process!
The following suggestions might spark some ideas on how to whip your space into shape:
Amp up the safety features
Install handrails around staircases, showers, toilets, and beds, and place non-slip rubber mats on surfaces that can become slick. Pay special attention to bathroom/kitchen floors and wooden steps.
Declutter and organize
Rearrange furniture to establish a clear pathway through every room and purge belongings that are no longer needed to gain extra space. For added convenience, reorganize cabinets, shelves, and storage areas so that frequently used items are easily accessible.
Address current hazards
Fix broken steps and floorboards that can result in a fall and secure rugs so they lie flat and don’t slide around. Tuck away loose cords and wires, ensuring they’re clear of walking paths.
A healthy exercise routine is crucial in sustaining physical wellbeing, mental sharpness, and personal autonomy. When developing a regimen, choose exercises that focus on each of the following categories for a total body workout that will keep you ready to tackle any obstacle!
- Endurance – walking, water aerobics, dancing, yardwork, and household chores all build stamina
- Strength – build muscle with you own body weight or hand weights, starting with light resistance and slowing increasing over time
- Flexibility – incorporate toe touches, arm rotations, and side stretches into your routine
- Balance – practice activities that build your core strength and leg muscles, like standing on one foot
Whether it requires a few words of encouragement, a steadying hand, or a lift to the gym, our Seniors Helping Seniors® caregivers are dedicated to helping those we serve reach every fitness goal. Our aim is to motivate our care receivers to keep moving for a long, independent life!
Manage Mental Health
Staying physically fit is important, but we also encourage those we serve to keep their minds sharp. The following suggestions exercise muscles in the brain and optimize mental health, improving short-term memory, planning skills, reaction time, and decision-making capabilities:
- Stimulate brain activity – complete puzzles and crosswords, play board games, learn a new skill, read and write daily, and pursue hobbies
- Eat smart – include vegetables, berries, walnuts, and fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, but avoid saturated fats, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils
- Prioritize brain use – free up space in the mind to learn new skills by using smart phone reminders, planners, calendars, and lists to remember everyday things like appointments, social engagements, and where you left your keys
Coming up with processes and routines to keep your day running smoothly can be tough, but our Seniors Helping Seniors® companions are here to help and love finding new ways to help our care receivers succeed!
Keep Social Skills Sharp
Maintaining an active social life is closely tied to mental health, as it helps ward off depression, loneliness, and anxiety. It also encourages participation in mentally stimulating activities which improve brain function and lead to happier and more satisfying lives.
Ensure Your Social Calendar Stays Full
If your social game has slipped, there are plenty of ways to kickstart it! Try picking up a hobby or activity that’s practiced regularly, like joining a lunch club, bowling team, or fitness group. In addition to providing something to look forward to, planning ahead helps ensure outings aren’t just a one-time event.
Worried about finding transportation? Don’t be! Our caregivers want to get you where you need to go!
If leaving the house isn’t an option, engage online. Video chat with family and friends or join a virtual hobby group. These activities still offer mental benefits and the connection needed to keep the negative effects of social isolation at bay. In fact, we all got better at virtual visits during the pandemic!
At Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services, we strive to pair our care receivers with caregivers who share similar interests, passions, and hobbies. Just imagine the fun you and your companion can enjoy together!
Ask For and Accept Help!
Being independent doesn’t mean that you never need support. Lean on family, friends, and our caregivers to push you to try new things and provide a hand whenever needed.
Our care receivers’ independence is a philosophy that we at Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services take seriously. With your best interests in mind, we provide the encouragement and assistance to live life on your terms. Bravo to all our independent seniors -- we salute you and are thrilled to watch you thrive, and not just during Senior Independence Month!