Many elder Americans are in a paradoxical situation. They worked hard throughout life, raised a family and created a plan to protect their estate. Unfortunately, when they finally retire and prepare to enjoy the fruits of their labor, the side effects of aging begin to take their toll.
Older citizens want to enjoy their golden years with as little help as possible. To live independently with the freedom to do as you like is something most people look forward to their whole lives. As such, your well-meant attempts to help them through their elder years might not be as welcome as you think.
What can you do to help without harming their independence?
Like most Michigan residents, you may feel that preserving the independence of your elders is a critical goal. However, you also have safety and health concerns to consider. Finding a way to balance support for elders with the preservation of their autonomy often seems out of reach. We believe the tips below can help.
- Make their living environment safe (and worry-free) by installing railings and grab bars. Enrolling your elders in emergency response programs like Life Alert can also help.
- Equip their homes with voice-enabled technology, empowering your seniors to control household functions, make calls and even lock doors. Google and Amazon offer smart home technology at affordable prices.
- Offer suggestions about storing items like estate planning documents, retirement accounts and insurance policies nearby. If you or your senior loved one need these documents, they will be easily accessible.
- Promote brain activity and social skills by inviting your elders to participate in art classes or educational courses. You can promote their physical health and independence by enjoying a walk with your senior a few times per week.
Remember to preserve their legal independence, too. Encourage your older relatives to learn about elder law and life care planning, including how it can improve their life enjoyment.