Wednesday, February 12, 2014 by jhblogger
How could caregivers maximize an older adult’s strengths and foster independence? When we think about aging, we focus on decline; decline in health, memory, and losses. What about focusing on what someone can do for themselves? There are so many ways to modify activities of daily living or pleasurable events so that your older adult can still participate. This is the mind set we hope that our caregivers and families can begin to think toward. As a caregiver, you may want to “do” for the person because it is easier than, for example, watching them struggle to dress. The important thing is to allow the senior to do as much for themselves as they can, safely and within reason. By doing this, skills, such as zipping a zipper or peeling a carrot, are not lost. Modifying the activity may be as simple as the caregiver assisting with buttons, but still allowing the loved one to pick out their clothing for the day. Continuing to encourage the person to do things for themselves will help to maintain independence and improve self-esteem. Challenge yourself to be patient, and see what your loved one is still capable of doing for themselves!