A part of helping a loved one maintain independence is encouraging them to do the things that they can still do. As caregivers, we are all guilty of doing too much for someone out of either love or convenience. Often times, we find ourselves wanting to wait on someone hand and foot. Other times, it’s much quicker and easier for caregivers to do certain tasks. By allowing them to continue to do what they can do, they can stay independent and live longer. Small tasks help maintain strength. Bathing themselves, dressing and undressing, preparing food, and short walks to different areas of the home throughout the day all help to keep our loved ones strong and prevent illness caused by inactivity. Doing things for themselves can also help them keep a positive attitude. Not only can they feel confident in knowing that they are able to continue to do chores, bathe, etc, they may also feel a sense of purpose.
Tip for caregivers:
Plan and allow extra time to get tasks done. Being in a rush may force you to take over. Whether from weakness or cognitive issues, it will likely take a senior twice as much time as you to do most things.