Why independence still matters as you age and how home care can help

It is understandable that when a loved one starts to need care, they worry about losing their independence.

Independence has such positive impacts on an individual, so it is really important that a loved one remains independent for as long as possible. It can be helpful to understand the reasons why independence is so important for those ageing, so that you can assist your loved one with their independent living.

Feeling Like An Individual

The ability to make your own choices is a key part of being and feeling independent. Making decisions for yourself throughout the day can have a big difference on how you see yourself. They allow you to feel a sense of control in your life. Decision making is also part of what makes an individual exactly that, individual. So if that was removed, there can be a feeling of being less of an individual and having a lack of control.

If your loved one is struggling with certain things and is in need of a bit of care, having a home carer is ideal as they are able to get help for the specific tasks they have trouble with. This means that in the majority of their day to day lives, they will still be the main decision maker.

Burley’s home care provides bespoke care plans that are created to fit around the individual. They fit in to where your loved one needs help and doesn’t intrude on any other part of their life, meaning they really are in control of their lives and decisions so they can feel like an individual.

Helps Maintain Balance And Strength

To remain independent, your loved one must be strong and have good balance. If they start losing balance then accidents could become more likely and if they don’t have much strength then getting themselves back up from falling will be difficult. A serious fall might result in your loved one staying in hospital or assisted living for a long time, or if smaller slips happen frequently there may be a need for a live in carer to move in so that there is someone around to help when they happen.

The motivation to remain independent can often be used to encourage your loved one to stay active which will also have other health benefits. The moment someone thinks they are no longer independent it is easy for them to stop being active, which will then have negative impacts on their mental and physical health.

Aids Memory Skills

Living independently can reduce the risk of memory loss. Having to think for oneself, means the brain is engaged and active. The brain is a muscle and just like any other muscle, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

The need to be active that comes with being independent increases blood flow to the brain which, when paired with having to look after yourself can often preserve memory.

Our home care packages will encourage your loved one to maintain the routine of thinking for themselves, so their brains are active, just like their physical bodies. Our role is to assist not to take over, and that is exactly what our carers do, allowing your loved one to remain independent and exercise their memory.

Gives Them A Sense Of Purpose

If someone is relying on another person, they can often lose their sense of purpose. Independence allows your loved one to go where they please and do as they please, enabling them to take opportunities, achieve things and contribute to their family or community.

Being able to be part of the community, set and reach goals will have a massive impact on your loved ones mental health. If they start feeling like they are unable to partake in their activities, your loved one can start isolating themselves which can lead to depression and a feeling of hopelessness and loneliness.

Our befriending service is built around this. Whether your loved one would like a companion to go out with to complete various activities such as the weekly shop or a trip to the hairdressers, or someone to come over to play a board game with, our carers are there to help your loved one find and keep their sense of purpose.

Gives A Sense Of Control

As we mentioned above, independence is vital for giving someone a sense of control, and a sense of control can have a real impact on their mental health.

For elderly individuals, sometimes their independence can feel like it is the only thing they can control. Remaining as independent as possible reminds them that while barriers, either physical or financial, may crop up as they age they still have a hold of other aspects of their life.

Control is something that we will work with our home care clients to maintain. Our tailor made care plans will be built with you and your loved one, so they have a say in what they get help with and when they get that assistance.

Builds Positive Relationships

No one likes to feel like a burden, especially as we age. Independence can enable your loved one to build and hold strong relationships with those around them. Nothing will be forced, meaning that relationships will grow and strengthen naturally.

Independence can avoid your loved one feeling resentful towards ageing, or towards those helping them out. We take care when pairing our carers with clients, so that your loved one gets the exact help they need, when they need it. This means that trust is built because your loved one knows they still have their independence while receiving the care they need.

How Does Home Care Fit In With Independence?

Burley’s home care creates bespoke care plans that provide assistance with the exact tasks your loved ones need. We don’t go in to take control, we value your loved ones independence and encourage them to maintain that, even within the tasks we are there to help with, whether that be through giving them choice of clothing before helping them put it on, having them help cook their dinner, or just joining them at their activities.

If you would like to find out more about how our home care or befriending services can help your loved one stay independent, call your local team today:

If you prefer, send us a message online by completing and submitting our online contact form and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.

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