Why Do the Elderly Fear Loss of Independence?

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The elderly experience various changes associated with aging, both in their minds and their bodies. This can sometimes result in an increased need for at-home care in Mississauga. Because of this, your senior loved one may fear the loss of independence in many aspects of his or her life. This is a normal reaction with more than just one simple explanation.

As the body ages, it does not perform at the same level it once did. Your loved one might be less flexible and have difficulty climbing stairs, getting in and out of the bathtub, or walking long distances. He or she might also have impaired vision and hearing. A loss of physical abilities often indicates the need for outside assistance, which can be frightening to seniors who want to keep their independence.

Many elderly people also experience forgetfulness and have less control over their emotions. For instance, your loved one may become frustrated when trying to recall the date for an upcoming doctor’s appointment or remembering when he or she last took a particular medication. Situations such as these can require daily reminders, which may upset your loved one simply because he or she cannot remember things as easily as in the past.

If your loved one has developed a physical condition that makes it difficult to leave the house, he or she may have fewer opportunities to socialize. Going out to eat, going to birthday parties or other social events, playing a favorite sport, or visiting a museum can be physically taxing. Your loved one may feel more isolated and emotionally stressed as a result.

Even the thought of losing independence can make a senior feel frustrated, sad, and inadequate. Your loved one may be uncomfortable with asking for help because he or she does not want to be a burden on family and friends. However, you can help your loved one face these feelings by:

  • Being patient when listening to his or her fears

  • Reminding him or her losing independence is not personal failure, but rather a natural part of aging

  • Letting him or her know it is fine to be sad and frustrated

  • Giving him or her suggestions on how to make things easier

  • Trying to help him or her maintain relationships with family and friends

At Home Care Assistance, one of our primary directives is promoting a senior’s independence. To ensure your loved one remains safe, happy, and comfortable while aging in place, we offer flexible hourly and live-in care plans tailored to meet his or her individual needs, and our caregivers can help him or her accomplish a wide variety of daily tasks like exercise, cooking, and bathing. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care for Mississauga seniors who need more extensive assistance. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our friendly Care Managers at (905) 337-1200 to schedule a complimentary consultation.