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Giving Loved Ones Independence by Stepping Back

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

CookingAn increased number of seniors are choosing to remain at home during their elder years, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions. For adult children, caring for aging parents 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.

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 help is needed, 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 independence was a key factor in their decision to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope—it’s easy to go from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parent. 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 one, 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 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 allowed 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. Bringing in professional assistance from a home care agency such as At Home Solutions also increases your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home.

At Home Solutions provides a broad range of companion home care services  across the greater Mesa and Casa Grande area, from light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. Many times through this outside intervention, both elderly parents and their adult children can learn to work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

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