Embracing Independence in Assisted Living

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 04 July 2012

One of the most difficult aspects of an assisted living transition is the coming loss of independence, be it perceived or actual. Think about it: after 60, 70 or 80 years of being independent, it stands to reason that the help offered in assisted living may not be welcome. At the very least, receiving assistance with daily tasks may take some getting used to. This time of adjustment is completely normal.

Instead of pushing your loved one to enjoy the freedom of having someone else do the cooking and cleaning, support them through this major life change. Be compassionate and caring; understand that relinquishing full privacy and control of one’s life is not easily done.

It is important to recognize that even in assisted living, seniors may still be quite independent. Sometimes, a move is made to enjoy the benefits of socialization, or to have access to assistance should the need arise. Also, even though there are staff members on duty for 24 hours a day, assisted living care is not truly round-the-clock. (Read Filling in the Gaps in Assisted Living to learn more.)

Find ways to empower the independence of your senior friend or relative this Fourth of July. Not sure where to begin? Have a conversation about it; ask what you can do to help him/her accomplish a sense of independence.



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