In-home care for seniors focuses on essential services. Concerns about safety, fall risk, cooking, cleaning, toileting, managing medication and visiting the doctor are priority for most people seeking in-home care for their loved ones.
The concept of maintaining independence is also essential. This might seem at odds with the idea of in-home care. If your loved one requires someone to care for them since they are unable to manage daily tasks on their own, how can they maintain a sense of independence?
At Care Mountain, we have a lot of experience serving seniors and helping them preserve their independence. Our company has served 3000 seniors over the past 17 years across DFW. We are intimately familiar with the importance of helping your loved one maintain a degree of independence.
Many times, families assume that quality care means managing all activities, errands and schedules of their loved one.
Some instances where full-time care is beneficial include the following scenarios:
- Parents afflicted with dementia or Parkinson’s
- Recovery from a stroke
- Visiting a dialysis center
- Undergoing cancer related chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Limited mobility due to an injury or deteriorating physical health.
Constant care is well-intentioned since you want to maintain your parents or loved one’s safety. However, there is a lot of scientific evidence that says maintaining some degree of independence when aging at home is beneficial in maintaining quality of life and health.
3 Benefits of Independence
Studies show that maintaining independence helps with 3 key areas of life:
- Sense of self
- Mental Acuity
- Physical Autonomy
Sense of Self
Aging affects people’s well-being in many ways. Beyond physical changes in appearance, many seniors might be afflicted by one or more of the following:
- Chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension
- Progressive conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Recovery from orthopedic procedures like knee or hip replacement surgeries
- Recovery from cancer treatment or stroke
The ability to maintain one’s sense of autonomy can feel challenging during this process. Going from living as a self-sufficient and independent person to needing help with daily activities like eating, getting dressed, or using the toilet can be discouraging for many seniors.
An experienced and patient caregiver can help by supporting your loved one to make definitive choices throughout the day.
A few examples: instead of informing your loved one that it’s time to eat a meal of the caregiver’s choosing, a thoughtful caregiver would ask them when and what they would like to eat. Instead of informing the patient that it’s time to rest, an experienced caregiver might read to them, or watch a tv show of their choice with them to help trigger a restful and sleepy state.
Empowering your loved one to make independent choices when possible, can help preserve their sense of self and independence.
Often, people associate seniors who need care as being unable to enjoy mentally engaging activities. This is not always the case. Seniors navigating dementia or recovering from a stroke may find it challenging to participate in mentally engaging activities. Studies show that participating in such activities help maintain and even improve mental acuity over time.
Again, an experienced caregiver is essential to this process. Taking the time to focus on activities like coloring, playing a memory or card game, or doing puzzles – where appropriate – can be extremely beneficial.
Beyond the obvious engagement, these activities promote brain functionality, and fine and gross motor skills.
Patients who are recovering from a stroke or orthopedic procedure or those living with Parkinson’s, typically find physical activities to be the most challenging.
A caregiver is usually needed to help them get dressed, get around their home, and in some instances even just to get out of bed. An experienced caregiver is needed to promote your loved ones sense of physical autonomy, even in small ways.
One example: a stroke recovery patient is typically asked not to stretch to reach for the top of the kitchen cupboards and for their safety and stable post recovery should not do so – but for the same person, it may be advisable and a lot more engaging to walk for about 200 meters in their backyard two or three times a day. That may actually help rebuild muscle strength and engage them both physically and mentally. While it sounds like a small step, this may be a giant leap in their sustained recovery and path to greater independence
The common factor in promoting independence in the live-in care setting is the quality and expertise of the caregiver. An experienced caregiver has the patience, expertise, and knowledge to support their patients maintain their sense of self, mental acuity and physical autonomy to help them live with dignity and agency.
When you work with Care Mountain to manage your in-home care needs, our commitment to ensuring continuous care, and executing a personalized care plan for your loved one is an invaluable service.
Our quality caregivers undergo national background checks, extensive reference checks, and in-person interviews to ensure that they can provide the expert and personalized care necessary for a successful live-in care plan.
With over 16 years of experience providing live-in and in-home care to families across Dallas and Ft. Worth and ranging from Arlington, South Lake, Preston Hollow, Highland Park, Plano, McKinney, and Friso – Care Mountain is well-versed in understanding the nuances and specifics of every family needing caregivers to support their loved ones.