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The Importance of Independence for Seniors

No matter our age, we all strive for and enjoy independence. From the time we are born, our parents teach us how to care for ourselves until we reach adulthood. Then we begin the process of teaching our own children the value of doing things for themselves. Success, happiness and other life achievements are often the result of doing things on our own. Independence is instilled in us throughout life -- and the desire to be independent does not diminish with age. If anything, it becomes more important to seniors.

The importance of being independent is twofold for seniors. Independence is sometimes the only thing seniors may feel they can control as certain aspects of their life change with age. Additionally, maintaining independence promotes a sense of achievement that for many seniors generates a great sense of self-worth and well-being.

Often, seniors are able to live independently with little or no help at all. However, some need assistance due to physical or mental limitations that come with aging. In these cases, living home alone does not become a lost cause. Home health care companies help seniors maintain independence for as long as possible. Caregivers assist clients in activities of daily living, such as grocery shopping, light cleaning, cooking and other activities that enable seniors to live at home independently.

We understand that in order to maintain true levels of independence, it is important for seniors to be involved in their own care. When assisting seniors, don't come in and perform all their duties. Instead, we recommend a technique called interactive caregiving. This means involving seniors in daily activities and duties, dependent on the senior's capabilities.

Some seniors are able to help with house cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and other duties. And you should encourage them to do so. Above and beyond performing household tasks together, you should engage in other activities with senior loved ones, such as playing games, going for walks, eating meals together or simply engaging seniors in lively conversations.

Seniors living alone should be involved in their own care, because it fosters a sense of purpose. This facilitates feelings of accomplishment and maintains the very essence of independence for which seniors strive. For many seniors, the goal of independence -- with a little help -- can be achieved.

References
Comfort Keepers. Encouraging independence in seniors - maintaining quality of life. Retrieved on May 27, 2012, from comfortkeepers.com/information-center/news-and-highlights/encouraging-independence-quality-of-life

Melchior, Deon. Promoting and maintaining independence whilst caring for the elderly. Retrieved on May 27, 2012, from articleclick.com/Article/Promoting-And-Maintaining-Independence-Whilst-Caring-For-The-Elderly/929736

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