Empower Your Loved One: Encourage Independence

Regardless of age, we all value our independence. We like to come and go as we please, running errands, going grocery shopping, and driving to appointments. But what happens when an aging parent, spouse, or relative is no longer physically able to drive or shop for everyday items? What if cognitive impairment creates an unsafe situation? Although none of us want to think about a parent or loved one’s declining health, it is important to plan for the future while encouraging your loved one to remain independent for as long as possible.


Here are a few strategies to help family caregivers support their loved ones amid changing circumstances:


Explore adaptive equipment options. An increasing number of devices are available to help older individuals perform the activities of daily living. For example, a simple tool may allow your loved one to continue cooking independently and safely, a computerized medication reminder could help with managing medications, and grab bars and a shower chair could help with independent bathing. When you are considering an aid or device, be sure to consult with a health care provider for proper use and safety precautions.


Consider a medical alert bracelet. Medical alert bracelets provide vital medical information to emergency responders about an individual’s medical conditions, allergies, medications, and dosages, allowing health care providers to deliver faster, safer treatment. Also available are 24-hour emergency response services that notify emergency responders and caregivers in the event of an emergency.


Encourage decision-making. Offer an older individual the opportunity to make decisions about routine tasks, like planning meals or choosing outfits to wear. This can help cultivate a feeling of independence.


Help your loved one maintain hobbies and social activities. Whether it is baking cookies for the grandkids, ballroom dancing, or playing bingo on Friday nights, hobbies provide physical, cognitive, and social benefits, and can also enhance quality of life. Offer to pick up supplies or drive your loved one to a class, if necessary. You may even decide to join in the fun.


Finally, start developing a plan with your loved one to meet the potential need for long-term care. Advance planning can allow you to investigate services in your community, learn about eligibility requirements for receiving services, and understand what services cost, as well as what payment options are available. Planning today for an uncertain tomorrow may help preserve family assets, provide more options for care, promote independence, and perhaps most importantly, help you and your family prepare for the future.



Important Disclosures


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


This article was prepared by Liberty Publishing, Inc.


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Keri Pugh
Author: Keri Pugh
Keri Pugh is a Wealth Advisor with Fusion Financial Group, an independent financial planning firm and fiduciary based in Denver, CO. Keri has over 20 years of experience in the industry, as both a financial advisor and Principal. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Northern Colorado and is an alumna with national sorority Delta Zeta. Keri holds a variety professional licenses, carries the esteemed mark of Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), meeting rigorous education and experience requirements in key areas of financial planning, as well as the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), a symbol of her dedication to upholding the fiduciary standard for clients. As a wife and mother to two young children, Keri is particularly drawn to working with thriving families and women. This is not only reflected within her practice but also in her regular sponsorship of the local PTA and volunteer work with the elementary school. Outside of the office, Keri enjoys traveling, skiing, and the Colorado great outdoors with her family. She often lines up movie marathons for the family and, in line with many clients, is a beginner golfer and a wine enthusiast. To learn more about Keri, connect with her on LinkedIn.