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Maintaining the independence of residents in care homes is essential to their wellbeing. You have people living in your care home for a variety of reasons, such as needing some assis-tance as a result of physical disabilities or general old age. Re-gardless of the reason, promoting independence can help them lead a healthy and enlivening life. Although we often think of independence as being able to take care of yourself at home, many times it can also be about doing fulfilling things, such as engaging in physical activity or social interactions. Today we will share some of the best ways to encourage independence in care homes.

PROMOTE SOCIAL INDEPENDENCE
Residents should be able to interact with each other in a variety of ways. For example, meal times can offer the perfect opportunity for a resident to meet others and form independent relationships with them. In addition, it is recommended to include areas in your facility where people can watch TV, read, relax, and sit together, which can give them an opening for social interaction. When someone new moves into your care home, ensure they have a chance to get to know other residents and make maintaining relationships as easy as possible.

LOOK FOR ADAPTIVE TOOLS
One of the best ways to encourage independence is to provide residents with tools and equipment to complete simple movements or tasks. For example, a mobile shower chair can be of great help for everyday activities like taking a shower, as it can reduce the risk of falling and injury. NHC Group is a leading distributor of shower chairs in the UK, who can help you explore the different types available and make the right choice. Mobile shower chairs can be particularly useful for residents who have experienced mobility issues or prolonged weakness in the lower part of the body.

ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Daily physical activity and exercise will allow residents to move more independently. It will provide them with a boost to their physical health and can also be a great social activity. Moreover, even people with physical limitations should still get some level of physical activity every day. This may range from simple small movements and taking short walks to a wide range of activities, such as yoga and water exercises. To ensure residents have physical and mental stimulation, you should provide access to a variety of activities, including gardening, dancing, and weekly outings.

CONSIDER THEIR PERSONAL SPACE
Although you are in charge of their care, this doesn’t mean that you can walk into residents personal space without asking for permission first. Respecting their privacy is of utmost importance to ensuring their comfort. Therefore, unless they are incapable of giving permission or it’s an emergency, you should always knock and ask to come in someone’s room. Additionally,
Caregiving even when cleaning, it is still crucial to respect their personal belongings and always ask them if it’s okay to move their items around. The simple act of asking will make them feel respected, which will instil trust and promote independence.

RESPECT INDIVIDUAL CHOICES
Individual choices are an important aspect, that family caregivers or health care professionals should be careful not to take over. It is crucial to continue to respect the individual, along with their lifetime of experience and knowledge. This can be a challenging balance to strike, as you will want to support and assist them in the best way possible. For example, ensure that you let residents choose their own clothing, as denying them the ability to choose can harm their dignity and independence. With their approval, you may help them dress, but you should always let them pick what they want to wear.

INVOLVE THEM IN KEY DECISIONS
It’s also important to involve residents in key decisions relating to their care. Although you may think it’s more straightforward to go ahead with changes to the way people receive care, it’s always better to keep them involved. Otherwise, this can make them feel disconnected and undervalued, making them believe that they don’t have control over the situation. Residents will appreciate being included in these decisions, as it will qive them a sense that their
opinions and preferences are respected. Remember to involve them in all discussions related to their care, such as changes to their medication or meal times

PROVIDE ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY
Providing residents with access to technology will enable interaction in many situations. For example, if a resident is bedridden or unable to leave their room they will still have the opportunity to interact with others. Therefore, it’s important to research different types of technology, that can be useful to them, such as a computer or tablet with connection to the internet. Keep in mind that residents will need to know how to use different devices confidently. Ensure that they are aware of the different functions so that they can use them even when you are not around.

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