Empowering your loved one or client to achieve his or her highest level of functioning can promote independence and longevity. In fact, seemingly small steps can positively impact both of your lives and enhance your relationship. The following are some ideas that you can use to encourage independence when caring for a loved one or client.
Adapt the Home Fixtures and Furnishings
Some health conditions result in physical limitations, increasing the chance that your loved one or client may need your assistance with activities of daily living (ADL’s). However, there are a number of tasks that your loved one might accomplish independently if the home is more suited to their needs. For example, dropping the kitchen counters or changing the flooring type can improve your loved one or client’s independence with preparing meals.
Alternatively, moving to a ground-floor property without stairs can make it easier for your loved one or client’s mobility. Even if they take a little longer than the average person, their ability to regain control of their daily life is a wonderful thing.
Invest in Home Accessories
While putting the right surroundings in place is a great start, it is equally important for users to have tools in place. Bathroom safety products are perhaps the most important to encouraging independence and enhance safety. You might also consider installing an emergency cord in the bathroom so that your loved one or client can alert you when assistance is needed. After all, accessing the bathroom without assistance is something most individuals want to do when possible.
Whether your loved one or client invests in home accessories like stairlifts or reach grabbers that help with dexterity moving around the home with greater ease or completing tasks without assistance can be empowering for your loved one or client.
Teach Tech Skills
Independence is not solely about what the person you care for can do at home. Independence also means taking greater control of all aspects of life. Although, a lack of mobility may prevent your loved one or client from running errands, tasks like grocery shopping or filling a prescription can be completed from home. For example, your loved one or client might use online banking to pay household bills and track other expenses.
In addition to online grocery shopping and managing utility bills tech may also be used so that your loved one or client can connect with family and friends. Showing your loved one or client how to use FaceTime or Zoom can provide an option for socialization without having to travel.
Acknowledge your Loved One or Client’s Daily Needs
It is vital to remember that your loved one or client may become frustrated by changes in his or her physical, medical, and social conditions. Understanding that your loved one or client still needs intimacy, emotional connections, and social connections is important.
Should your client or loved one become frustrated because of changing conditions, the best thing you can do is to listen. Work together to find solutions that empower your loved one or client and encourage independence.