A senior’s greatest fear- Losing their Independence

Posted byJamie Posted in
Posted on Jan 22, 2021

Starting at an early age of 2, babies try to be independent and do things on their own. Teenagers explore boundaries and become more independent when they begin to drive at 16. As you enter adulthood at 18 you can vote, join the military, and are responsible for your debts, and any decisions you make.

Then you enter your twilight years of 65 and beyond. Everything you have grown to love about being an adult suddenly starts changing. Adults have made decisions for nearly 50 years on their own for finances, what they eat, where they call home, and how they will spend the day with activities. Their independence promotes self-worth, confidence, and a sense of achievement even if small decisions. When control of daily activities starts to change if affects both physical and emotional well-being.

Diminished independence can lead to senior depression. Anger, fear, or loneliness start to accelerate with heightened combative behavior. The symptoms of depression can trigger heart disease, a stroke, or diabetes.

Family members often take over control of their seniors when they witness forgetfulness, falling, chronic pain, or loneliness from living by themselves. Homebound seniors without a continual support system can be so isolated they feel depressed.

To increase independence and maintain self-worth a caregiver may offer to do supportive activities alongside the senior. Make meals together, sort laundry, make a grocery list, or participate in games and hobbies with aging adults. Teaching seniors how to use the computer, online resources for reading or recipes, and even studying genealogy may be options to consider allowing them to make choices affecting their daily life.

If a senior adult begins to have vision issues and cannot drive, offer to escort them to medical appointments as a companion instead of demanding the keys. Seniors will feel in control if allowed to make healthy choices from one or the other options instead of ultimatums. Encourage community activities with their choice of social interactions. Encourage exercise on their abilities- moving is important daily. Give them cognitive activities to help the stimulate the brain.

Loss of independence is isolating and scary. Independence provides purpose to life. Without some independence to make choices you may lose your loved one. Comforts of Home can offer solutions and assurance to help maintain independence for your loved one.