The Importance of Maintaining Independence for Seniors

Independence is often celebrated at a young age, but as we get older, common symptoms of aging can make it challenging to maintain that independence. Limited mobility, aching muscles and bones, and memory lapses can make tasks that used to be easy now require assistance from others. 

This loss of independence can feel scary and invasive and can even have adverse effects on one’s mental and physical health. Accessing home care in Mississauga, Toronto, or wherever you or your loved one lives is an excellent way of promoting independence in seniors, even when health starts to decline. 

If you have a loved one that is experiencing limitations due to their age or an illness, you may be tempted to do as much as you can for them. While your intentions are certainly coming from a place of love and a desire to help, allowing your loved one to maintain as much independence as possible is essential for their mental and physical health. Here are a few reasons why. 

Maintains Purpose

Losing your independence can make it feel like you are unable to live life on your own terms and that you no longer have a purpose. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and in extreme cases, it can even cause people to develop depression or anxiety. 

By living as independently as possible, seniors will feel like they have a reason to get up each morning. This can make it easier for them to take care of themselves to the best of their ability which can, in turn, contribute to a longer and healthier life. 

Gives a Sense of Control

When someone’s health declines, it can feel extremely scary and like the person has no control over themselves or their lives. While we may not be able to ever have full control of our health, maintaining as much independence as possible can give back some of the control that has been lost. This can make managing an illness or coping with the symptoms of aging feel much more doable. 

Promotes Self-Concept

Not being able to do things for yourself that you have been doing for your entire life can make it easy to lose your sense of self. Additionally, some hobbies and passions may become more difficult or impossible to do, contributing to a loss of self-concept. 

A lack of self-concept can lead to depression and anger, which is why seniors need to continue to do their regular routines and hobbies as much as possible. 

Helps Keep Strength

If someone is doing everything for you, even things that you may still be able to do for yourself, you may have no need or ability to get up and be active. Sitting around all day can cause seniors to lose their strength, which can be extremely dangerous. 

As we age, our bones become more fragile, meaning that minor falls that we used to be able to get up from and quickly shake off can now cause serious damage. Having a need to get up and move around can help keep strength, which promotes a healthier life. 

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