Elderly people shift from working full time, being extremely independent and active, to needing assistance or having a caretaker. As aging can have burdensome effects on them. Therefore they have to adjust from living independently to needing various types of support. Support includes but is not limited to wheelchairs, assisted walking, hearing, shopping, cooking and driving and so on.
Some effects of aging are inevitable therefore care is always needed. But elderly people must be encouraged to maintain independence as well as this encourages them. It brings a fresh sense of purpose and dignity. They are reminded that despite the fact that they can no longer work or do strenuous activities, they still have a sense of purpose. They have lived most of their lives making decisions for themselves, choosing what to do and when to do it. Having that eliminated might lead to behaviors like anger or depression. Little things like deciding what to eat, wear or decorating their personal space with meaningful items can impact them positively and show that they still have autonomy.
Being physically fit is also a good way for elderly people to continue to have a sense of independence. Engaging in activities that keep their brains active and keep some form of strength. Deciding to do activities like Zumba and yoga, and the increase in energy and hormones they feel after can motivate them to keep doing it. It also needs to be a routine for them so they can continue to retain their strength as it will wear out over time if not exercised. It is also more beneficial for those with less mobility or serious injuries who need to keep active to heal. Giving them the choice to pick what activity that interests them is a good way to start.
Giving elderly people independence is also a great way to encourage positive relationships and a mental state of mind. They do not feel like they are needy people or are treated like “babies”. They are provided with care and resources that make living easier for them but they still have a sense of control over what they do. This can also distract them from some ongoing effects of aging like financial limitations, deteriorating health conditions, impaired mobility, loneliness and isolation as though they have a community of care around, they can feel unrestrained. They can remain home or indoors, but they can also stay active and engaged.Though aging is inevitable, it is important to learn and understand the experiences of seniors in our community.