Independence can take a lot of forms, not just the kind we recently experienced with fireworks, patriotic tunes, and similar Fourth of July fun. To residents of El Cajon and elsewhere, celebrating independence can also mean that your health, your finances, your living situations, and other resources such as caregivers are all available and in a good place.
The team at Accredited Home Care is always happy to assist clients who are looking for various ways to seek more independence in different aspects of their life. They also are able to offer help to family members who also may be trying to balance proper care of a loved one with an interest in helping them do as much as they are able to and provide good quality of life.
For instance, many seniors, if given the choice, would prefer to stay in their home vs. needing to relocate to a rehabilitation facility or an assisted living facility. Although these places are able to offer a high level of care and supervision and might be appropriate for someone’s health condition or safety needs at some point, the idea of staying at home as long as possible also has some appeal.
In this case, staying independent in one’s own home could work well especially if a caregiver is always on-site or at least visits regularly. Our home health care aides, for instance, can offer basic care plus other services such as light housework, meal prep, errands, and more. These all can reduce the need for the client to try and perform all of these tasks himself or herself and possibly hurt themselves or losing their balance.
We also can connect our clients with other services, including regular massage therapy which can relax stressed muscles and boost mental relaxation; physical therapy, which helps heal injured muscles or motion; and occupational therapy, which helps people learn or relearn skills that may have been lost or reduced. Occupational therapy can also include an inspection of your home to highlight possible safety concerns and potential hazards.
All of these options can make it easier to help a client with their current needs as well as anticipate what might be coming ahead.
Our staff is also aware of the challenges that clients might be feeling so we’ll do our best to help them feel comfortable what’s happening now and what could be happening in the future.
We also encourage people to look into these options earlier in life, rather than at the last minute when they’re in poor health and have to make many difficult decisions quickly.
Other forms of independence
Each client’s situation is slightly different but there some similarities that many families and caregivers may have in common.
Plus the art of trying to be independent is laying the foundation for future needs. These can include:
- Saving money, starting at an early age. Setting even a small amount of money over a long period of time is a smart way to build equity. You can continue investing in retirement plans, and many plans allow you to add more to “catch up” if you’ve been behind. Or if you’re already at the point where you’re withdrawing from your retirement accounts, find ways to use the money responsibly or look for ways to keep it growing.
- Meet regularly with a financial representative. Even though you may be done saving for your retirement, expert advice goes a long way in preparing for the future and hopefully some degree of financial independence. He or she can help you not only estimate what you and your family need for basic needs and some luxuries but put plans together so your heirs can also continue to use your funds without any restrictions or tax penalties.
- Plan ahead. Like planning for future care, it’s a smart idea to look ahead for future needs and costs rather than waiting until everything hits at once. Before things are critical, evaluate what the different costs could be for different care situations and what funds are available. Residential communities may offer medical care and social activities but they also may be more costly than staying at home. Available funds and your health also might determine whether you can afford round-the-clock care or occasional visits.
Keep on planning
Although it’s useful to plan ahead before you hit retirement age and need regular care, seniors can also continue to look for ways to be as independent as possible.
For instance, they may need a caregiver for some aspects of their life but there’s a lot they can try themselves. They’ll feel like they can accomplish something, even if it’s relatively small, and enough small victories can add up over time.
For instance, someone with mobility problems may find it difficult to walk around the block unassisted following a surgery or injury. But rather than sitting and not moving in a chair or bed, they can put in the effort to walk around the house a few times and slowly build up their endurance and flexibility.
This type of effort can go a long way in helping someone feel more useful.