Adjusting to Lessened Independence at Home

Feb 2nd, 2014

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Category: Blog

Adjusting to Lessened Independence at Home

One of the hardest challenges seniors face is adjusting to lessening independence in their daily lives. Whether it’s a loss of a driver’s license, the need to use a walker or a cane, or just learning to ask for help while doing simple tasks around the home, seniors who have been living independently for decades often resist and even resent assistance regardless of whether it is offered out of kindness or forced upon them out of necessity.

One simple step to prevent future frustration that everyone can take is to set thresholds for safety when they are younger and then stick to them. Commit to children or other loved ones that you will give up the keys when you can no longer safely handle a car, and then be honest with yourself when the time comes. If you can no longer back out of the garage without scraping the side of the car, it may be time to call it a day. Buy a cane or walker now and tuck it away in a closet until you need it. You won’t want to admit to needing it later, so get it now and keep it around “just in case”. That way when you can no longer walk to the mailbox without feeling a little unsteady, you’ll already have a backup in place.

The biggest issue that many seniors face when they begin to lose their ability to do everyday tasks is a lack of communication. Many people feel embarrassed that they can no longer do simple things like mowing the lawn or carrying the groceries, but instead of asking for help, they try to hide the problem. They don’t want to admit that they can no longer do things that were once easy for them.

On the other hand, some children refuse to recognize that their parents are getting older and simply cannot remain completely independent. The key is constant and candid communication. Sometimes the situation changes on a daily basis. If no one is there to talk or to listen, the problem can go unnoticed for far too long, and that is when accidents happen.

The worst thing that anyone can do is ignore a problem when it is staring them right in the face. With a little forethought and a lot of communication, you can make sure that you are prepared to tackle every difficult situation as you get older whether that is a loss of mobility or other loss of independence like losing the ability to drive. And when problems get too difficult to handle on your own, a variety of in-home care options are available from True Freedom Plans.

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