When you were a kid, your parents were most likely the first people you went to when you needed anything. You depended on them for food, for a place to live, for band-aids when you got hurt, and for unconditional love when you had a bad day. It’s a big change for everyone in your family when your aging parents now need the same kind of support from you.
Staying independent in elder age is important for your parents, for you, and for your children. Whether your aging loved one needs help around the house, transportation while they do errands or other kinds of assistance, there are always ways to promote their independence and help the whole family love their senior years.
For many seniors who have lived long and independent lifestyles, needing help with seemingly simply tasks is a hard pill to swallow. Independence is extremely important to people in the 55 and older age bracket; losing even a small amount of it can be devastating. For seniors who have the support of their children and their community, the loss of ability or freedom eases the blow. Sometimes all it takes to help a senior be independent is a little bit of companionship each day and a lot of conscientious planning for the years to come. Talk with your parent and find out what would make them feel more independent, then carry out a strategy that will help them maintain their freedom of lifestyle.
Independent Family Caregivers
One of the first things a family caregiver gives up is their independence. Many family caregivers feel trapped in their caregiving schedule; and they feel guilty by feeling trapped. As a family caregiver, you may also feel guilty when you are not able to give as much as your parent needs. You may feel that you no longer have your own life, and that can be discouraging.
It is important that you have independence as a family caregiver. You can still help your parent while you work, take care of your children, and pursue your own interests and goals. Different types of respite can help your entire family by giving you time, advice and assistance with your parent. Likewise, respite care your parent someone to socialize with and trust, which makes them feel more independent.
The Family Independence Factor
You want each member of your family to be happy, to have high self-esteem, and to feel loved. It’s important for the whole family that each member feels safe, cared for, and free to be themselves. Ensuring independence for your aging parent, and for yourself as their caregiver can make all the difference.