Despite the hardships of aging, many elderly people confess that they prefer to maintain their independence for as long as possible rather than accept assistance from a caregiver. In many ways, it makes perfect sense; they are individuals with unique personalities who perhaps were used, for a large part of their lives, to be in a position of authority or control. Losing independence can feel thus demoralizing.
In this article, we’ll cover three reasons why it’s important for elderly people to maintain independence.
It Provides A Sense of Accomplishment
Seniors who have to rely on others for the most basic activities can develop feelings of hopelessness and even depression, especially if they were very active as younger adults. When they lose the rewarding feeling of accomplishing a task, their mental health suffers.
Conversely, elderly people who retain some form of independence have many opportunities for finding a sense of purpose or achievement. They can enjoy daily activities and hobbies and participate in the lives of their family and friends. If you have an elderly loved one with mobility challenges or disabilities, consider ez walker rollators. They can make a world of difference.
It Promotes Cognitive Health
Being independent is correlated with ample opportunities for decision-making. Independent living forces seniors to exercise their memory skills and make decisions, which leads to better cognitive health. Aging determines gradual memory loss, but this process can be slowed down by being active because activity increases blood flow to the brain.
Seniors living independently have more occasions to be active, and this boosts their memory skills. This means it’s easier for them to engage with daily routines and tasks, which further fosters their sense of accomplishment. Elders who struggle with remembering basic things can get frustrated and easily annoyed. Cognitive health is thus also related to mood.
It Promotes Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem
One of the key things that sustain our sense of self is the freedom to choose. It’s crucial for elderly people to feel that they have choices to make in their lives. By maintaining their independence, they have a chance to boost or rebuild their self-esteem, which is usually affected by aging, retirement, or physical disability.
When responsible for certain tasks like choosing clothes to wear or choosing their meal for the day, seniors gain more confidence in their ability to meet daily challenges and are thus in less danger of falling into depression. When the freedom to choose is limited or taken from them, some elderly people declare feeling as if they lost control over their lives. Preserving a sense of self-worth is difficult in such a case.
After years of working in a professional context, raising children, and dealing with so many challenges over multiple decades, it can be devasting to become dependent on other people for basic activities. Whenever there’s the possibility to give seniors more independence, family, health professionals, and caregivers should strive to do it. It can lead to better mental health and a higher quality of life for our elderly loved ones.