Helping Seniors Handle a Loss of Independance

Day-to-day activities, such as grocery shopping and doctor’s appointments, may seem like impossible tasks for those experiencing limited mobility. Plus, many older adults have enjoyed caring for others throughout their lives and are uncomfortable receiving help. Accepting help, especially from someone outside their family, is difficult for these seniors.

These symptoms may indicate that seniors are beginning to experience a loss of independence:

  • Forgetting day-to-day tasks
  • Missing appointments
  • Trouble getting in and out of the bathtub
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Less physical energy
  • Decreased flexibility

Although nothing can fully minimize the fear and anguish that comes with a loss of independence, there are things that can be done to help older adults address these issues.How can you help an aging parent, spouse, or loved one deal with a loss of independance?

  • Be patient. It may take time for your loved one to  accept the aging process and acknowledge a loss of independence
  • Encourage and promote relationships with family and friends
  • Help your loved one understand  that a loss of independence is common with aging and not a sign of personal failure

Even the most independent people occasionally rely on help from others. Once your loved one adapts to accepting help from others, they can devote their time and energy to enjoying new and positive experiences.  For seniors dealing with a loss of independance, receiving help should be viewed as a necessary ingredient to achieving a rich and full life.