It can be easy to get caught up in the role of family caregiver. Your parents have done so much for you that, when they reach a point in their lives when help is needed, it’s natural for you to want to do everything you can to make sure they are taken care of. However, there is a difference between providing care for someone and doing everything for him or her. Older adults want to maintain their independence as much as possible, and while taking over tasks for an older loved one may seem helpful, it can sometimes have a negative effect. As a caregiver, you should strive to promote the independence of your loved one, not take over everything.

Why is promoting independence in seniors so important?

  • It allows them to be seen as individuals who are still capable of making a contribution to society.
  • It gives them a sense of achievement and self-worth.
  • It helps them feel that they are not dependent on help from others and can still do something for themselves.
  • It fights frustration and feelings of futility.

It can help to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if there were things you could do, but weren’t allowed to because someone else had taken over? Allowing your loved one to do things for himself or herself when and where possible provides a sense of purpose and can make the person feel less helpless. Need some help letting go of some of your caregiver duties and promoting independence in an older adult? Contact the care team at Live Free Home Health Care in Central New Hampshire to learn how we can help provide comfort, foster independence, and improve an older person’s quality of life.