How to Promote Independence in Elderly Populations

Senior man holding box of possessions and smiling

Elderly adults make up close to 20% of the population, with some areas having a much higher concentration. With this wonderful group making up such a large part of the world, it is important to help them maintain their independence for as long as possible.

Let’s explore how aging adults and their loved ones can promote elderly independence now, tomorrow, and the next day.

What Age is Considered Elderly?

Elderly populations consist of some of the wisest and most interesting people on the planet. This elite group is surprisingly elusive—while you might expect a single cutoff for what constitutes as “elderly” in the modern world, there really isn’t one. Opinions may vary, but most agree that you must at least be over the age of 65.

Whether you’re 65 or 80, it is important to know how to remain independent!

Learning How to Promote Independence in Elderly Populations: An All-Ages Guide

Encouraging independence among the elderly benefits society. These are some of the ways that seniors can maintain their independence a little longer.

Know Which Factors Determine Long-Term Elderly Independence

If we truly want to support elderly independence, we must understand what factors can threaten that independence as the years tick by. Aging doesn’t happen overnight, and not all parts of us age at the same rate. Our minds, our organs, and the systems in the body can all impact independence for the elderly. This is often determined by a combination of genetics and lifestyle.

Determining Factors for Independence in the Elderly Include:
● Overall health
● Mobility
● Muscular strength
● Diseases and medical conditions
● Side effects of medications
● Mental health
● Mental acuity
● Happiness

That’s right—when you’re happy, you’re young at heart, and that can keep you independent longer!

Group of seniors outside laughing and smiling together

Bring the Right Attitude

Happiness can go a long way, but attitude can play a big part. This isn’t just true for the elderly—it is also true for those in their support system!

Let’s break it down.

For the elderly, independence requires the right state of mind. If you’re constantly feeling displeased and like age is wearing you down, it will absolutely impact your independence. It is always harder to thrive with a negative attitude, so remember that age is a gift, not a curse.

The attitude of loved ones can have a significant impact on elderly independence too. It is a known fact that, more often than not, people who are ‘babied’ are more likely to become less independent. It is nice to cherish and dote on an elderly loved one, but avoid treating them like they can’t do anything for themselves. Let them maintain their dignity and independence!

Don’t Shy Away From Medications and Supplements

Managing health is one of the easiest ways to support elderly independence. The miracles of modern medicine can do quite a bit of work, keeping us more comfortable and safe while we age. If the elderly person in your life is weary of medications that the doctor wants to see them on, it is best to talk with them about it. Remind them that managing their health now can help them to maintain their independence later.

Avoid pushing them—at the end of the day, supporting their independence means supporting their decisions. Encouraging is the way to go!

Support Graceful Aging in Adults of All Ages

Our bodies don’t age all on their own—lifestyle matters. You are never too old to pick up healthy habits. While some may be better suited for younger bones and joints, you might be surprised by just how spry a person can be in their old age!

Remember the grandfather in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Sometimes, the elderly among us just need a little inspiration to get moving!

There are many ways to support graceful aging in adults. In fact, it can be a really wonderful opportunity for families. Lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on relatives of all ages, so encourage healthy eating, joyful movement, and plenty of fresh air.

When it comes to positive lifestyle changes, what is good for independent elders is generally good for all!

Make Accommodations

If there is one thing you can expect in life, it is a constant flow of change. As we enter our later stages in life, change should always be expected and accommodated. Little accommodations can make life more comfortable and make it easier for the elderly to remain independent for as long as possible.

Since needs vary, accommodations should be centered around the individual. From simplifying mobile phones to adding a step stool in the kitchen, there are so many ways to make life easier.

If you’re not sure where to start, decluttering the home can be a tremendous help and minimize weekly chores!

Female Neighbor Helping Senior Woman With Shopping

Leverage Support Systems to Fill in the Gaps

Elderly needs change in response to preference and necessity. You won’t always be able to do things that used to be easy for you, and leveraging a good support system can really help. Whether it is getting help with mowing the lawn or weekly grocery trips, support systems can keep seniors independent from a distance.

These moments can be wonderful bonding opportunities too!

Have ‘The Talk’ About Elderly Independence

There is no denying that the elderly can remain independent well into their later years, but it is always important to be realistic. Sometimes, independent senior living isn’t the best option for an individual or couple. Remaining open to alternate solutions when the time comes is equally as important as supporting independence along the way.

Have a Check-In System

Connection is a core part of anyone’s life, but it becomes even more important for us as we age. Growing older can sometimes bring the unexpected, and having a lifeline outside of the home can save your life. Regular check-ins are one of the best ways to maintain a connection that alerts someone if something unexpected occurs.

Having a dedicated check-in system with you and your loved ones is a simple and clear way to make sure that everyone knows that you’re doing fine. A weekly check-in may be fine for a time, but as you get older, it helps to make sure you check in with someone every day.

Remember, a check-in does not need to be a full-blown phone call or home visit—check-in services allow you to confirm your well-being with a couple of taps on your phone. It’s easy, convenient, and can keep you safe.

Celebrate Each New Year of Elderly Independence With CheckinBee

Independent senior living is a gift that should be embraced and encouraged. With a little care and consideration, we believe that the elderly can maintain their independence and continue to enjoy each new moment.

At CheckinBee, we know that elderly independence is a complex topic, and it looks a little different for everyone. We help give seniors and their loved ones peace of mind through dedicated check-in services that keep you in touch no matter where your retirement days take you.

To learn more about how you can check in without always needing to pause for a call, sign up for our free trial today!

Get started with our 14 day free trial. No credit card needed.