How to Encourage Independence in Clients in Residential Care

How to Encourage Independence in Clients in Residential Care

People may reside in residential care for a variety of reasons, such as the need for assistance due to physical disabilities or general old age. Whatever the reason for their need for care, encouraging independence is an important part of providing a healthy and enjoyable home life. While we often think of independence as simply being able to care for yourself at home, it also includes doing things that make life more enjoyable, such as physical activity and social interaction.

Method 1 Providing Tools and Support For Independence

1. Provide adaptable tools for day-to-day tasks. Giving people the equipment they need to complete simple movements or tasks is one of the simplest ways to promote independence. For example, providing residents with reaching tools allows them to grab items that they would otherwise be unable to reach on their own.

Giving a person with limited stretching and bending ability, for example, a dressing stick or grabber can assist them in dressing themselves.

2. Install assistive technology in the resident’s room. Aside from simple tools, some equipment that will assist a person in becoming self-sufficient can be installed. Installing handrails in a shower and next to a toilet, for example, may allow a resident to shower and use the restroom without risk of injury.

Toilet seat lifts, shower benches, ramps, and electric hospital beds are some other examples of adaptive equipment that can be installed.

3. Provide mobility aids. Residents in care may benefit from mobility equipment that allows them to move on their own in some cases, such as walkers and motorised wheelchairs. Residents who can walk may be able to be more self-sufficient if they have access to a scooter or other mobility aid.

4. Encourage residents to use adaptive equipment and tools. People in residential care can and should perform a variety of daily tasks on their own. While you cannot force someone to use the tools you provide to help them with these tasks, you can gently encourage them to do so. This can give the resident the confidence they need to complete the tasks themselves.

While it is important to allow residents to choose what they will and will not do, it can also be very beneficial to provide support and encouragement. You must tread a fine line between being overbearing and providing the person with the encouragement and self-esteem they require to become more independent.

Method 2 Encouraging Physical Activity

1. Encourage physical activity and exercise on a daily basis. Daily activity can help to strengthen a person’s body and allow them to move more independently. Even if a person has physical limitations, he or she should engage in some form of physical activity every day. This can range from small movements or short walks to a variety of exercises such as yoga and water exercise.

Daily exercise improves people’s physical strength and can also be a fun social activity. Encourage exercise options that are both social and physical.

2. Make available a variety of physical activities. Giving people the ability to do a wide range of fun activities should be part of encouraging independence. Providing a wide range of activities, such as gardening, walks, and dancing, can provide a resident with both physical and mental stimulation, as well as encourage independence.

This could include activities at the care centre as well as transportation and assistance to activities outside of the facility.

Group outings on a weekly (or more frequent) basis are an excellent way to provide access to physical activities outside of the facility. These excursions can take place in a variety of settings, such as shopping malls, nature preserves, historical sites, or other nearby locations.

3. Make certain that physical activities are permitted. While encouraging independent physical activity is important, it is also critical to ensure that the activities you promote do not cause physical harm. When planning activities, keep the resident’s physical limitations in mind.

In general, low-impact exercise, such as gardening or walking, should be prioritised over high-impact exercise, such as running.

Method 3 Improving Social Independence

1. Encourage people to interact socially. Residents in a residential care facility should be able to interact with one another in a variety of ways. Meals, for example, are an important time for a resident to interact with others and form independent relationships with others. Furthermore, having areas in the facility where people can watch TV, read, or simply sit together can provide opportunities for social interaction.

Some people in residential care may require assistance getting to a location where they can interact with others. However, if they have the opportunity to interact with others, it is usually worth the effort to get them there.

2. Make it as simple as possible to maintain relationships. When someone enters a residential care facility, it can be difficult for them to maintain long-standing relationships. However, providing transportation to visits with old friends and encouraging guests in the facility can help residents maintain their relationships with others.

3. Give people access to technology that allows them to interact. Even if a resident is bedridden or unable to leave their room, they can interact with others outside of their room. Investigate different types of technology that can assist them in interacting with others, such as a computer or tablet with an internet connection.

It may be necessary to train the resident on the technology you are providing. Make certain they understand how to use it effectively so that they can use it even when you are not present.

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