Ways to Encourage Your Parent to Maintain Greater Independence in Personal Care

Ways to Encourage Your Parent to Maintain Greater Independence in Personal Care

Elder Care in Draper UT

Independence is something that people treasure highly. From the time that people are babies they are looking for ways that they are able to handle things on their own rather than having to rely completely on the help of others. This need for independence does not end when your parent gets older.

In fact, one of the greatest challenges that many older people face is the feeling of losing their independence and no longer being able to live the lifestyle or quality of life that they desire and deserve. Supporting independence as much as possible in your care efforts is a great way to ensure that your aging parent feels good about themselves, stays mentally and emotionally healthy, and maintains as much of their cognitive functioning as possible throughout their later years. 

Try some of these ways to encourage your parent to maintain greater independence in personal care as they age in place:

  • Share bathing tasks. Help with bathing is one of the first things that many older adults need as they are aging. The task of bathing can be difficult for a wide variety of reasons, including balance and strength challenges, lack of flexibility and range of motion, or cognitive troubles. This does not mean, however, that you or an elder care provider needs to take on all of the tasks of bathing for your parent. Instead, work on making bathing a cooperative event. Prepare the bathroom for your parent and ensure that all of the products are easily accessible. Provide soap or body gel and a washcloth, and encourage your parent to wash each part of their body individually. Help only when necessary and cannot guide your parent through with instructions.
  • Make decisions easy. Do not let your parent set themselves up for failure in decision-making situations by getting overwhelmed. Instead, make these decisions easier for them by only offering two options and by streamlining options. For example, consider packing complete outfits in large zipper bags and hanging them in the closet so all your parent has to do is select the outfit that they want and everything that they need is already there.
  • Lead by example. If your senior is dealing with cognitive issues that make it so that they do not understand the care tasks or how to complete them, imitation can be a technique that is extremely beneficial. For example, stand beside your parent and put toothpaste on your toothbrush, then encourage your parent to do the same. Once they have, demonstrate brushing your teeth and encourage them to do the same. This helps them to do the tasks themselves even if they are not sure how. 
If your parent is dealing with challenges and limitations that keep them from being able to handle their own personal care needs, now may be the ideal time for you to consider elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can create a personalized approach to their care that is tailored to their needs but that promotes independence so that they can stay physically healthy, safe, and well, but also mentally and emotionally strong. This supports a higher quality of life as they age in place. 

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Draper, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515. 

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility.  Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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