Advice Assisted Living

5 Ways to Support Senior Independence

an older woman sitting on a bench with her dog, smiling

According to a number of psychologists, having a sense of autonomy is a fundamental human need, and we can start to gain independence as early as 18 months old. This need for independence doesn’t go away as we age.

At Benchmark Senior Living, we’ve seen firsthand how independence can positively impact our residents across all of our communities, such as a heightened sense of purpose, confidence, and achievement. In fact, promoting independence among seniors and older adults can have a number of benefits that can contribute to overall health, happiness, and wellbeing. For instance, giving seniors the opportunities to complete goals and tasks independently also supports cognitive thinking. Making choices, like deciding which activities to participate in each day, can also help support memory retention. Daily tasks that require independent movement like getting dressed or even going for a walk can also support aspects of physical health, including strength, circulation, balance, and even heart health. Independence also provides a sense of self-worth and can even stave off depression. And at Benchmark, we ensure moving to one of our communities isn’t the end of a person’s autonomy.

It’s no secret that certain age-related health conditions like changes in eyesight or mobility challenges can impact certain tasks that we tend to associate with autonomy like driving or living alone. However, there are still a number of ways to maintain our independence as we age. In fact, we make that a priority. Here are some ways that we empower the independence of our residents here at Benchmark:

1. Keeping up with hobbies and interests.
Each Benchmark community offers award-winning programming options that are curated and tailored to the individual preferences and abilities of each of our residents. Every week, we offer over 21 programs residents can choose to participate in, from book clubs and literary discussion groups to community choirs, DIY crafting and group outings. We also empower residents to give back. Each community offers monthly volunteering opportunities, including projects that residents may have participated in prior to moving to Benchmark.

2. Celebrating individuality.
Having a strong sense of self also contributes to a person’s feeling of independence. Not only do we encourage residents to decorate their own apartments with furniture, artwork and family pictures, we customize a living experience according to each of their unique personal preferences. We record, document, and analyze our residents’ individual preferences using a platform called TSOLife. From food allergies and special dining preferences to personality traits and interests, TSOLife helps us offer personalized programming options, meals, and more at each of our communities.

3. Cultivating strong social connections.
Research has shown that older adults who have quality relationships with friends and family are more likely to keep a sense of independence. To help create and foster connections and friendships between residents and associates, we also use the TSOLife platform and our Something in Common program in order to uncover common interests across everyone in our communities. This makes for more meaningful introductions and connections, especially between residents and their new neighbors when they first move in.

4. Speaking up is encouraged.
Residents can make their voices heard by joining their local community resident council groups to make an impact on their lives and surroundings. We know it is vital for seniors to be involved in the care they receive and to keep the conversation open as their needs shift over time, so we find ample ways to get them involved. For instance, our communities regularly partner with local physicians and healthcare experts to host health seminars on topics like heart health, diabetes, flu vaccines, and more – all of which affect the lives of many seniors. These opportunities allow residents to ask questions about their own conditions and any preventative measures they can take.

5. Providing opportunities to make choices.
We tend to take our ability to make choices throughout the day for granted. But having autonomy in everyday options can really make an impact. From our wide range of activities to our full menu and daily specials, we’re big on giving residents the ability to decide what appeals most to them, every day.

Whether it’s through our programming and events or our overall approach to care, all of us at Benchmark Senior Living are wholly committed to helping our residents stay independent. For a closer look at how each of our communities help make that happen, learn more below.

Learn more about programming, events & more

Assisted Living, Independent Living, Mind & Memory Care
Creating a Plan, Finances, Having the Conversation, Making the Move, Understanding Options