5 Skills Necessary For Independent Living

7 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog

If you have an elderly loved one who can no longer live at home, you may be wondering what type of facility is best for them. Can they live in an independent living facility? What skills and requirements are necessary so your loved one can be independent? Here are five skills, as well as tips on recognizing skill deficiency:

1. Financial Management

The most important skill with independent living is good financial management. Your loved one must be able to pay bills on time, live within their means, and not overspend. Here are warning signs of financial mismanagement:

  • Overdue bills
  • Credit card statements with balances
  • Overdrafts on bank accounts
  • Utility shutoff
  • Buying more new things than necessary
  • Falling prey to financial scams

2. Maintenance of home

Your loved one needs to be able to maintain their home, especially in an independent living facility. If a maintenance problem arises, they need to be able to let their aid or the manager of the facility know. Here are signs that your loved one may not recognize maintenance issues:

  • Overgrown lawn and weeds
  • Burned out lightbulbs
  • Malfunctioning or broken appliances
  • Clogged sinks, toilets, showers, or tubs
  • Dirty or unsanitary living conditions

3. Self-care

The elderly need to be able to care for themselves while living independently. While facilities offer help with certain tasks, personal hygiene and grooming is not one of them. Here's how to recognize a lack of proper self-care:

  • Dirty or tangled hair
  • Not brushing teeth
  • Not showering
  • Stained or unwashed clothing
  • Long fingernails
  • Not using makeup or styling hair
  • Not shaving

4. Social Relationships

Independent living facilities are great because they offer your loved one a chance to interact and make friends with other seniors. However, this is not beneficial if your loved one struggles with being social. How do you know if they lack social skills that requires an assisted living arrangement? Here is a short list of what to look for:

  • Not returning phone calls
  • Not going out
  • Friends or family members not visiting
  • Lack of interaction with new people in a new environment

5. Personal Transport

An independent living facility may not be the right choice for your relative if he or she can't get around on their own. Even if your loved one can't drive, he or she should still be able to use public transport to get to where they need to go. Here are some red flags that your loved one may need assistance with transport:

  • Frequent car accidents
  • Getting lost in the neighborhood while driving or walking
  • Getting off at the wrong stops while riding a bus
  • Not fueling the car
  • Not getting necessary maintenance or repairs for the car

These are five skills that are necessary for an independent living facility. If your loved one needs extra help, you should consider an assisted living facility like Mayfair Village Retirement Community.