February may bring many hearts and chocolates, but it’s more than that for many people. It’s National Senior Independence Month. And with more than 56 million seniors currently living in the country, there are a lot of people to support and celebrate. It doesn’t matter if it’s your mom, dad, grandparent, or favorite elderly neighbor down the street. This month is a chance for us to unite as a community to promote independence among seniors. How can you support, celebrate, and care for a senior this month? Here’s what to know about this special month and how to get involved. We’ll guide you through some tips on supporting those who have contributed much throughout their lives.
What Is National Senior Independence Month?
National Senior Independence Month aims to promote dignity and respect for seniors. It encourages them to lead an active lifestyle and life of independence. It’s a time to recognize both the accomplishments of older citizens and the challenges they face, helping support all those who are aging independently. The month is usually marked by events across the country that give seniors resources, information, and entertainment that help create an environment where they can remain independent and active.
The History of Senior Independence
As part of celebrating Senior Independence Month, it’s helpful to understand how far we’ve come in helping seniors live active, independent lives. We’re not where we need to be in helping accommodate seniors regarding mobility and accessibility. However, we have come quite a way.
The 1800s: Homes for the Elderly
During the 1800s, nursing homes found their roots as women’s and church groups began to create homes for elderly community members. This was a giant step forward in ensuring that aging seniors could live safely and independently outside the traditional nuclear family unit. Before the nursing home model, elderly individuals were often forced to move in with relatives or attempt to care for themselves, creating difficult situations all around. Nursing homes allowed seniors to age gracefully while knowing they had a safe place to call home. They still do to this day.
In 1875, the American Express Company made history when it established the first private pension plan in the US. This was a momentous milestone in economic security and ensuring financial independence for seniors as they age. The company’s private pensions allow senior citizens to retire confidently without worrying about how to get by during their retirement years financially. It was a part of ensuring seniors could enjoy stress-free lifestyles during their golden years.
The 1950s: Motorized Wheelchair
It’s mindboggling to consider that the motorized wheelchair has been around for less than 100 years. In the 1950s, Canadian inventor George Klein developed motorized wheelchairs to help veterans of World War II regain their mobility and independence. His motorized wheelchair was designed to assist those with physical disabilities to live fuller and more independent lives.
Why Is Independence Important for Seniors?
For senior citizens, independence represents something truly special. Freedom allows them to control their own lives and make decisions for themselves. Moreover, independence fosters self-satisfaction, accomplishment, and pride. That’s not all, though. There are several benefits of promoting senior independence.
Having a sense of home and connection to their community enables seniors to feel:
We all deserve to feel this way despite the age-related physical and mental challenges we may encounter. Overall, financial and mental autonomy can give seniors a great sense of identity that keeps them connected while supporting a longer life experience.
How to Celebrate Senior Independence Month
Are you ready to give back this February? There are several ways you can celebrate National Senior Independence Month. Whether you’re helping a neighbor or plan on visiting your local community center, it doesn’t matter. Here are four ways to give help.
National Senior Independence Month is the perfect opportunity to volunteer with seniors and improve their quality of life. Offering your time and energy to socialize with seniors enables them to:
- Take advantage of more opportunities
- Make more meaningful connections
- Feel supported
Socializing helps prevent isolation, too. It’s been shown to have tremendous health benefits. As such, volunteer work brings great joy and happiness to the volunteer and the person they’re helping. It can also encourage communication between generations.
You don’t have to volunteer to give back. Getting active with a senior is a great way to promote their independence. Exercise brings mental and physical health benefits. And according to the CDC, it has been proven to reduce the risk of falls and improve cognitive function in seniors.
How can you help here? Provide companionship and moral support during walks. Or contribute to their education about how to get active. Either way, you can foster an environment where seniors feel empowered and independent.
Get vocal about improving accessibility in your local area. If you notice that areas aren’t accessible for those with reduced mobility, speak up. Visit your city hall and chat about how you can help improve accessibility.
Several organizations help build ramps and other accessible features. You can volunteer for one of those organizations if you have the time and skills.
What Is Senior Independent Living?
Finally, consider senior independent living. If you or a loved one needs additional care, senior independent living is a great balance between consistent care and freedom.
These senior-focused retirement communities provide a safe environment for seniors to live independently without worrying about everyday tasks. Imagine not having to worry about landscaping and maintenance. Seniors also experience an enriched lifestyle in these communities. They can engage in numerous social, entertainment, educational, and recreational activities.
Independent Senior Living Monthly Cost
What’s the senior independent living cost per month? It varies. The monthly independent living for seniors cost will depend on the following:
- Floor plan
It will also depend on the level of care needed. For example, some communities offer assisted living and memory care. These are great services to consider. However, they do add to the cost of senior living.
Tour Inspired Living
We encourage you to celebrate National Senior Independence month every year. This year, you can do so by booking a tour at one of our Inspired Living properties. We have locations in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida.
We welcome you to experience how “inspired” we are to help you and your loved ones live a fulfilling, independent life. Contact us today to learn more about our communities.