How to Help Seniors Feel a Sense of Security

Senior spending time with family

According to gerontologists and other senior care experts, how senior adults feel about their safety and security has a significant impact on their self-confidence and overall outlook on life. Given the importance of how older adults’ view their quality of life, it is essential to understand the factors that affect their sense of security and well-being.

What Affects Seniors’ Sense of Security?

Older adults’ sense of security can be affected by a variety of factors, experts say, including:

  • The sense of control they have over their lives
  • Support from family and friends
  • A safe environment
  • Current health status, including mood, stress and sleep

The article “What Makes Seniors Feel in Control?” addresses the question of what determines how much control seniors believe they have over their lives – and with it, the level of security they feel. Recent university research into the degree of control and sense of security that seniors experience provides some answers. 

Says Shevaun Neupert, professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, "We found that sleep, mood and stress are all important factors in determining a sense of control, and in whether older adults feel they can do the things they want to do.” 

"This finding is important,” she adds, “Because when older adults begin to lose their sense of autonomy, it can lead to changes in behavior that adversely affect their health and well-being." 

The research findings could help guide efforts to improve older adults’ sense of control, as well as their feelings of safety and security.

Susan Irrgang, RN, NHA, MBA, Administrator at Saunders House in Wynnewood, PA, says,” A senior adult’s sense of control, security and self-confidence is also closely correlated to how they perceive their quality of life – a concept that we emphasize in the care of our residents here at Saunders House.

“Likewise, it is important for at-home caregivers and other family members to create an environment that enhances the confidence and sense of security of the older loved ones in their lives. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to accomplish this goal.”

Tips to Boost Your Older Loved One’s Sense of Security 

Senior care experts offer valuable tips to increase your older loved one’s sense of control and security. These include: 

  • A daily routine –Research has shown that a regular dailyroutine, which provides structure, stability and familiarity in seniors’ lives, can also improve their self-confidence and sense of security. Seniors can be uncomfortable with change, and a normal routine can reduce their levels of stress while also helping them to sleep better.
  • Regular visits by friends and family – Seeing family and friendsregularlyalso helps senior adults to feel more secure. Socialization is especially important for seniors. It keeps them connected with others and combats feelings of loneliness and isolation that can lead to serious psychological and physical problems. 
  • Home safety measures – Making sure your senior loved one’s living environment is safe and secure is also very important. Fall prevention is particularly vital as falls are the number one cause of injury for older Americans. 

The article Home Safety Tips for Older Adults” provides an excellent summary of senior safety issues and recommendations for keeping the home as safe as possible. Topics include fall prevention, bathroom hazards, safety proofing the home, fire prevention, and crime and senior fraud. 

  • Home and personal security systems­­­­­­­­ – A home security system could be especially helpful if your older loved one lives alone. It is also worth considering a personal security alarm in case your loved one should fall or become ill and not be able to reach the phone. 
  • Regular physician checkups and medication management – Be sure your older loved one has regular medical checkups with their family physician. These visits should also address their mood, stress level and the adequacy of their sleep. Also, make sure their medications are up to date, refilled promptly and taken as directed.

Susan adds, “Taking these steps can increase your older loved one’s sense of safety and security, and with it, a more positive outlook on life. Most caregivers and adult children find it is well worth the effort.”

We encourage you to contact us with any questions you might have and to stay current on a variety of senior health and caregiver topics by viewing our latest articles on our website. 

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, “How to Help Seniors Feel a Sense of Security,” we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us in our comments section.

Discover Our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Medical Center, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services – including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing care,restorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our short-term rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at 610.658.5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.

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