Stepping Back Can Help Foster a Sense of Senior Independence

senior independenceAs you pass through the various stages of your life, your stages of independence can take on different meanings. They can be big stages, such as leaving your parents’ home or getting married, or smaller stages, like accomplishing tasks you thought you couldn’t do. Then as you age, independence takes on yet another form – being able to remain in your own home safely and securely. This desire to be at home can remain the strongest wish of many seniors, regardless of their state of health or ability to function on their own, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions.

For adult children, providing care for seniors at home can prove rife with physical, emotional and social challenges, as they increase their capacity as caregiver and become more and more involved in the day-to-day tasks this critical role requires, all while maintaining that balance of independence.

It’s easy to get caught up in the role of caregiver when the situation arises—your parents have done so much for you that, when they reach a point in their lives when they need help, it’s natural for you to want to do everything you can to make sure they are taken care of. However, it’s important to remember that, for the majority of seniors, maintaining that independence was a key factor in their desire to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parents. And often, this well-meaning hands-on caregiving can have an adverse effect on inspiring self-sufficiency and overall day-to-day freedom. As a caregiver, you should strive to promote the independence of your loved ones, not take over everything.

Why is promoting independence in seniors so important?

  • Independence enables aging family members to continue making contributions to society, and feel good about that influence
  • Self-sufficiency gives seniors a sense of achievement and self-worth, critical during their later years
  • Being able to tackle some tasks independently promotes future and continuing self-reliance—if they can do this, they can probably handle that!
  • Independence fights frustration and feelings of futility, even in the wake of illness, injury and general aging

In these situations it’s important to put yourself in your aging parents’ shoes. How would you feel if there were things you could do, but weren’t able to because someone else had taken over? Allowing your loved ones to do things for themselves provides a sense of purpose and can make them feel self-assured. By bringing in professional assistance from people who specialize in home care for seniors, you can help increase your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home. A-Abiding Care, a Chicago home care company, can help you and your loved one when this need arises.

Our skilled staff provides a broad range of senior home health care services in Park Ridge and the surrounding area, allowing your loved ones to focus on what they can do, and helping them with tasks they would rather not do or now have a hard time accomplishing. Our in-home care services include light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. By allowing our staff to provide this type of care, both you and your parents can work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact A-Abiding Care online or by phone (847-698-1400) today to learn more.

Michael Kernan. Administrator
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