From a caregiver’s perspective, just doing the work that a senior can no longer do may seem like the biggest aid in helping the senior stay independent in their own home. However, the manner in which we offer that help is also very important. Many seniors feel awkward when accepting help from a caregiver, as if they are an invalid or imposing on the caregiver. One of the best ways a caregiver can help a senior truly feel more independent is to involve them in their own care and treat them as you would like to be treated if you needed help!

Seniors often have set routines that they follow daily. Wake up, get dressed, watching a particular program on TV while having breakfast and so on. Respect that routine rather than imposing a new schedule on them or adding activities you think would benefit them. They may be open to new things but introduce change slowly and always discuss it with them first.

When using items in their home to complete tasks, ask permission before using them, especially when your relationship is new. This is polite and an acknowledgment that they are still in charge of their home. If they decide they don’t want a particular item to be used, defer to their authority. This may seem like a small courtesy but can go a long way towards maintaining their feeling of independence.

Lastly, always state what you are going to do to help them. Seniors like to know what to expect and what you plan to do during your time with them. Telling them exactly what you are going to help with eliminates any surprises and gives them time to discuss changes if necessary. Again, this goes back to them continuing to be the authority in their home, even though they have a helper.

With these points in mind, caregivers can deliver the assistance the senior needs, while respecting their autonomy and helping them maintain their independence.

If you would like to learn more about dependable in-home help for the elderly and the many benefits of professional senior care at home or dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County to speak to a senior care specialist today 805-461-5892!   The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran.   In-home senior care and in-home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Cambria, and surrounding areas. Visit for more information.


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