If you or a loved one is experiencing a loss of independence, you may be able to maintain a sense of control.
Few, if any of us, look forward to losing independence. In fact, research reveals that 75% of older people feared losing independence while only 29% feared dying¹. It also revealed that 44% were worried about moving into an aged care facility.
Whether a physical, social or emotional reason prevents complete independence, it generally brings a sense of loss.
Understanding the cycle of loss
As people age, the loss of independence can stem from physical and mental changes, and social and emotional effects that dramatically alter day-to-day life.
For example, physical changes like diminishing vision or a loss of hearing can interfere with the performance of simple tasks like driving, walking long distances or communicating in general. Mental impairment can cause people to lose the ability to perform everyday tasks and become forgetful.
Such changes increase the need for help from others and add to feelings of dependence and inadequacy, while lowering confidence and stopping some people from participating in enjoyable activities. The overall impact can increase feelings of frustration, anger, guilt and isolation.
Adding to the burden may be well-intentioned loved ones who place restrictions on the person losing independence out of concern for their wellbeing. And the need to accept help often reinforces feelings of helplessness.
Increasing a sense of control
We all have a common need to retain some sense of independence and dignity while feeling we are making a valid contribution.
Some people facing a loss of independence may have previously been quite dependent on others – perhaps never holding a driver’s licence and relying on friends and relatives to drive them around.
But for many, a newfound dependence on others can be very difficult. The more capable and independent a person was in the past, the greater the loss experienced.
There are things you and your loved ones can do to increase the sense of control:
As a responsible adult child, you can guide your parents with the available elderly care services. We are also here to help and can be contacted on 1300 472 232 for sound advice on aged care accommodation and related financial decisions.
Perth Aged Care Financial Advisers