How Speech Therapy Helps Seniors Remain More Independent
Staying independent means finding ways that seniors can remain healthy and adapt in their homes as they get older to accommodate their physical and mental health needs. It’s no secret that most seniors would rather age in place, and for most, living at home independently is typically a good option. With the help of home care assistance, they can have the in home support they need while still maintaining that feeling.
According to doctors and aging experts, the best thing that seniors can do if they want to stay independent is to exercise. Exercising helps improve mobility and helps seniors stay strong so that they can live on their own safely. Just 30 minutes of walking or other light exercise most days of the week is enough to keep most seniors independent. Golfing, walking, swimming, and other forms of exercise are all great for seniors. Home care assistance can help your senior parent find an activity they like to do and encourage them to exercise daily.
One of the things that seniors must have in order to stay independent is the ability to communicate. But when seniors live alone and don’t spend a lot of time socializing their ability to communicate verbally can diminish. And seniors that have had a stroke or a TIA may find that their speech isn’t as clear as it was before their medical event which can make it difficult to communicate. Speech therapy will help seniors keep their ability to communicate strong by helping strengthen the muscles in the throat and the diaphragm so that seniors can speak clearly and loudly. Speech therapy can also help seniors maintain their ability to swallow.
Create A Social Network
Mental health is just as important as physical health for seniors that want to age in place. Seniors should create a social network of family, friends, and neighbors that they can rely on. When seniors get out and socialize they are much more likely to avoid mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Finding friends can be a little difficult for some seniors but there are always new friends to meet the local senior center and seniors can make friends at the gym, church, or even just walking around the neighborhood. Seniors can also go online and make friends on social media or playing video games to boost their social network.
Although your senior parent may not yet need to adapt their home because of their medical needs, they may need to do so in the future and should prepare for that now. It’s a great idea to do some home renovation like turn a half bath on the main floor into a full bath in case someday your senior parent needs a bedroom and a full bathroom on the first floor. Or they may want to have wall to wall carpeting installed now so that as they get older they have a soft surface to land on if they fall.