The growing realisation that your elderly family member or friend needs extra support to continue to live independently can be an emotional process to work through, particularly when the elderly person in question is struggling to acknowledge and come to terms with their gradual loss of independence.
There are however a number of options for eldercare, from the more traditional choices like day care and residential care to the increasingly popular option of home care, a type of care that enables your loved one to access all of the support they need to remain safe and comfortable in their own home environment.
Loss Of Independence
Some people find it easier than others to adjust to a loss of independence as they age and find it easier to ask for and accept help. Others are less comfortable and it is common for people to experience a broad range of emotions including fear, anger and guilt, as they work through this emotionally complex transition.
Losing your independence can be very a very frightening and overwhelming time and the thought of becoming reliant on others for help can make some people feel incredibly vulnerable and defensive. Feeling guilty and fearful of being a burden on friends and loved ones can stir up tremendous frustration and negativity and these difficult feelings can make many elderly people reluctant to accept help from others.
Recognising When It Is Time For Change
Loss of independence can affect all areas of an elderly person’s life. Sometimes the loss is very sudden after an accident or illness, but more often, it is a long process that builds gradually. Recognising when it is no longer possible for an individual to remain independently in own space, without additional support is tricky, but often a culmination of issues will dictate the need for change.
Physical losses of independence could include:
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Unable to maintain personal hygiene due to difficulty accessing the bath or shower safely
- Unable to open jars
- Difficulty reaching into cupboards and accessing items around the home
- Poor vision
- Loss of hearing
Mental losses of independence may include:
- Poor memory, forgetting medications and appointments
- Difficulty maintaining control of emotions
- Social isolation
Making Decisions Together
It is important to be very patient with your elderly loved one, to help them to realise that the loss of independence is a common experience and in no way a sign of their own personal failure.
Talk together to establish which changes need to be implemented and discuss what kind of help is going to be required to make life easier. For many elderly people, home care is the most attractive of the available options as it is the one option that enables them to continue to live independently in their own familiar home environment for as long as possible.
An Excellent & Affordable Alternative
Personalised live-in home care for aging individuals is an excellent and surprisingly affordable alternative for elderly people. Through a tailored package, every aspect of the care received is based on your own wishes and requirements, enabling elderly people to access the type of help they desire around the home with cooking, cleaning and other domestic chores.
Perhaps the most striking difference between this type of elder care and some of the alternatives is that the care is one to one and independent living is positively encouraged by a carer who does things ‘with’ the elderly person they are looking after, rather than ‘for’ them.
At Heritage Independent Living, we take great pride in our ability to match clients with experienced and attentive carers who are compatible and share common interests with them.
This compatibility is crucial because it means that on top of the quality care that our clients are able to access through their tailored care package, our clients and carers are able to build lasting relationships, resulting in a solution that merges a high level of personalised care and support with companionship.