Happiness, success, and other important life milestones are often achieved through our independence. Our parents have taught us to stand on our own, walk without help, and care for ourselves – and this lesson has been etched with us throughout life.
From braving school without our parent’s shadow to taking risks and making direct choices, the desire to be independent does not diminish with age. In fact, its importance becomes twofold to older adults in their golden years.
Control. Aging comes with many life changes. Being independent gives them the illusion they are still in control of life amidst the inevitable aging process.
Self-esteem. Doing things on your own is an achievement, boosting a senior’s confidence, lifting their mood and attitude, whether they are less able or not. This gives positive impacts on their overall health and well-being.
Dignity. Privacy, choice and control, social inclusion, and well-managed health account to a person’s dignity. Many families and caregivers overlook their loved one’s dignity, but these small, seemingly inconsequential things can mean the world to your seniors.
Fulfillment. When seniors get to perform individual activities and maintain their responsibilities, they get a sense of accomplishment. It renews their sense of purpose each day and gets rid of the feeling of dependency on others.
What Happens to a Life Without Independence?
When independence is taken away from an individual, the person may feel or experience the following:
- Inability to look after themselves
- Reduced capabilities
- Reduced self-worth
- Cognitive decline
- Health deterioration
And even worse, a person who becomes too dependent in their day-to-day living may lose their will to live.
It is, therefore, necessary to encourage and maintain independence in all aspects of your senior’s life and daily activities. This means supporting them to sustain their overall health and safety while ensuring they get to exercise their abilities. Depending on their needs, you can extend your help in little activities like doing errands or helping them in preparing meals.
When Seniors Shy Away from Asking Help
Not all seniors welcome help. Some worry about being a burden to their loved ones, while others feel anxious about cutting back on their freedom. However, these bouts of reluctance can be eased with an accommodating, compassionate, and consistent support. Even those with limited mobility can benefit from improved independence and decision-making skills.
While keeping our independence is important, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to avoid and ignore seeking help whenever needed.
Are You Looking for a Home Care Service Provider in Hawaii?
If your senior has been living independently at home, Helping Hands Healthcare can help secure their safety and comfort at home. As an In-Home Care Service Provider in Hilo, Hawaii, your loved ones don’t need to go through a difficult transition by moving into a care facility that may limit their individuality. Allow them to thrive in place, maximize their comfort, and maintain their independence as we will provide their necessary support so they can age gracefully at home.