How to Help Older Adults Remain Independent

Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

Specially written for Inter Valley Health Plan
By: Riann Jahnel

As your loved ones start to slow down, it doesn’t mean that life stops for them. They still need to live independently, and maintain their dignity, respect, and a sense of self. In fact, older adults in the US are more likely to live alone than elsewhere in the world. A study found that “in the U.S., 27% of adults ages 60+ live alone, compared with 16% of adults in the 130 countries and territories studied”.

Here are a few ways you can help your loved ones remain independent:

Encourage them to stay productive

Humans, no matter the age, need to have a sense of purpose and be involved in daily activities. If you’re caring for an older adult, see if they would like to help you with your daily tasks such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or cooking dinner They don’t have to do everything on their own. Remind them that it’s okay to have assistance while doing these everyday activities.

Tasks that keep them physically or mentally active can also help a great deal. Planting flowers around the block, participating in classes at the local senior center, or dedicate their time to reading, writing, and solving puzzles are all great ways to stay active.

Support their social life

Socializing is especially crucial for older adults. Studies suggest that people have been negatively affected by social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without consistent social interactions, older adults are more likely to suffer from mental and physical conditions like anxiety, depression, and poor sleep quality.

You can help your loved one develop meaningful, positive relationships by keeping them connected with families and friends, encouraging them to sign-up for volunteer work, or getting them involved in community activities.

Ensure they have regular check-ups

Aging comes with unique health challenges and as we age risk factors like muscle weakness, balance or gait problems may lead to falls and other injuries.; Yearly preventative screenings can aid in spotting signs of serious health issues. This type of preventative care allows older adults to maintain a baseline level of health so they can enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

Preventative health screenings, cancer screenings, and wellness exams should be a priority. Especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, physical and mental health checks with your primary care physician are key to long-term good health.

Inter Valley Health Plan members, if you need help in scheduling an appointment, call our Member Care Team. We are here to help.

Specially written for Inter Valley Health Plan
By: Riann Jahnel

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