Reaching your silver years is an exciting time, but many seniors welcome their latter years with some apprehension as well, especially if they are faced with a life-changing disability. Whether you are a disability support worker or if you are simply a loved one who wants to empower and encourage them to keep on living life with positivity and zeal, you know just how difficult this task can be depending on the disability.
If you’re trying to help a family member with mobility issues, then the problem is manageable and you can achieve good results with consistent physical therapy. However, if the disability is more severe and is impacting their quality of life in a big way, then you need a more structured approach. Let’s talk about the physical, mental, and social considerations you should take into account if your goal is to empower a senior with a disability and elevate their quality of life.
Help them socialize online
The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us, but one of the demographics that has been impacted the most is the senior demographic as well as seniors with disabilities. Even without the pandemic, this demographic has a limited ability to connect with their peers, or stay connected with their family and friends. However, during the pandemic, this becomes a much more difficult task, because seniors need to stay in social isolation more than any other group of people.
This can have many negative consequences on their psychological and emotional well-being, which means that you need to find ways to empower them to nurture their social contacts online. While seniors with disabilities may have a difficult time using the tech necessary to communicate and socialize with others in the online world, you can be their guide and either teach them how to use the technology or simply use it for them.
Come up with some fun activities
Aging adults that have certain disabilities might not even know what kind of activities they can partake in, and they might not be aware of the fact that they can do some fun things with the proper assistance and guidance on your part. If you are a professional caregiver or if you’re a family member who has done their research, then you can actively suggest and come up with some exciting activities that both of you can partake in from time to time.
The more activities you come up with, the more choices you have to enrich their lives and empower them to be as active as possible on a daily basis no matter where they may be spending their golden years. Some of the activities that may be suitable for seniors include some gentle yoga, cooking, walking, low-impact weightlifting to build functional muscle mass, dancing, reading, painting, and more. This will, of course, depend on the nature of their disability.
Assist them in living independently
Seniors with disabilities want to feel independent, and they want to live their lives on their own terms as much as possible. However, to do that, they need your help and guidance, which is why many choose assisted independent living, especially in countries with well-developed support systems for seniors with disabilities such as Australia.
The Land Down Under is a good example of how seniors with disabilities can live independently, but with the care and support from their supported independent living (SIL) provider that can provide the necessary care and assistance when need be. This allows them to retain their freedom and independence, but it provides a strong support system to ensure a high quality of life.
Use this approach yourself whether you are a family member or a support worker, and consider inspiring them to join an assisted living community where they will get all the help and support they need.
Develop a positive daily routine
Nothing can help empower a senior with a disability to live their best life like a well-structured routine that revolves around healthy habits and activities. This is something you need to work on with them, and you need to listen to their needs, know their desires and aspirations, and understand who they truly are in order to develop a routine that will accommodate their unique requirements. This is also a tricky task, because you have to factor in their disability and come up with ways to circumvent the challenges they pose in a healthy way.
Help them give back to the community
One of the best ways to empower seniors to enjoy their daily life is to help them give back to their community. Seniors want and need to feel useful, and they have plenty to offer in their senior years, but they need your help to do it.
As long as they are adhering to the essential health and safety tips and are not exposing themselves to any risks, you can help them with finding volunteering opportunities, organize charitable events, and even start their own business from home if that is something they aspire to achieve. The possibilities are endless here, but they need the right support system at their side.
Over to you
The senior years are just another chapter in life that allow you to achieve great things, but seniors with disabilities require the right support in reaching their goals. You can use these tips to empower seniors to live their best life and achieve great things in their golden years.
About the author: Robert Clayton is a seasoned and experienced freelance blogger, copywriter, and editor. His interests and passions include home decor, DIY, family life, and sustainable living. He also travels a lot, enjoys good food and music, and likes to have long walks by the ocean with his dog.