5 Ways to Encourage Independence While Protecting Against Elder Abuse

Most seniors want to maintain their independence as long as possible. As a caregiver, it’s important that you protect elderly family members while also empowering them to maintain independence whenever feasible. Even if the person needs extra support, it helps if they can stay active and autonomous in other areas of their life.

If you are looking for the right balance between support and protection, consider using a few of these strategies:

  1. Make it Easy to Access Personal Items: Clothing, hygiene products, and other personal care items should be easy for the person to retrieve. On the other hand, be selective about ready access to sensitive or valuable items such as bank statements, credit cards, jewelry, and more.
  2. Install Adaptive Equipment: Certain tools can enable independence in older adults, such as grab bars in the bathroom, elevated toilet seats, weighted utensils, and other adaptations. Help minimize the person’s need to reach or bend.
  3. Deploy Voice Technology: Devices can be placed in the home that allow a person to voice-activate needed features. If someone has a disability, they can use vocal commands to open doors, change the thermostat, make phone calls and more.
  4. Install Security Cameras: A few cameras in the home can allow the person to spend time alone while enabling the family to monitor from a distance. These cameras are important if caregivers are frequently in the home and allow you to watch for signs of abuse or fraudulent activity.
  5. Encourage Choices: It can be tempting for the family to step in with the guidance and direction about the way the older adult should be cared for. At the same time, you should give the person a voice in their caregiving. Provide the person choices over their schedule and other aspects of their daily life. Help them feel like they have control.

Keeping an open dialogue about the person’s care is essential. It helps your loved one maintain independence and reduce exposure to potentially harmful situations. If you are looking for suggestions about reducing the risk of fraud and elder abuse, we are here to help. Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.

This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.

By |2019-05-16T07:13:16-07:00May 15th, 2019|