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Aging and the Importance of Independence

By Marius Butas, 8:00 am on

Family caregivers face the challenge of balancing necessary quality care with the preservation of their loved one’s sense of autonomy. The loss of independence is one of the most difficult consequences of aging that an elderly person may succumb to. As independence shifts, Mesa senior caregivers must learn how to continue to empower aging adults to adapt to these changes while embracing a new kind of independence, dignity and purpose.

Quality care giving involves providing assistance to a loved one who can no longer effectively manage self-care tasks independently, such as remembering to take medications or getting in and out of a bathtub. Assistance with this kind of care can negatively impact a loved one’s sense of autonomy and dignity. Thus, a dignified and respectful approach to care helps ease the process of adapting to a more dependent lifestyle. It’s also very common for family members to enlist the help of an hourly caregiver in Mesa who is able to take on the sensitive task of providing personal care.

An assessment of what types of activities a loved one needs assistance with versus ones that can still be done independently should guide the care giving. Caregivers need to encourage a loved one to perform activities unassisted whenever possible in order to avoid possible depression or apathy. An ideal balance would involve accommodations that make the environment safe enough to naturally promote independent activities without limiting the senior’s ability to perform tasks on their own.

An overbearing caregiver may exacerbate the feelings of loss if all forms of autonomy are taken from the elderly person. For example, your aging loved one should be involved in care planning unless doing so would result in harm or unsafe circumstances. Ultimately, the complementary relationship between caregiver and aging adult revolves around that one invaluable attribute of life: independence.

The experienced, trained and reliable caregivers from Home Care Assistance of Mesa know how important independence is for overall well-being and quality of life. This is why our in-home caregivers encourage seniors to perform tasks on their own if they’re able, while providing the support and monitoring that is needed to ensure safety.

If you would like more information on how an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance could help your aging loved one, call (480) 699-4899 to set up a complementary consultation.