As people age, the autonomy and independence they enjoyed earlier in their lives is often denied by the negative, ageist attitudes of those who believe older women and men are unable to make their own decisions, or disregard those choices when they do. It prevents older people from making important decisions about their finances, employment, living arrangements, family life and participation in community life. This situation has been detected throughout societies – from governments and local authorities, to local leaders and family members
Everyone should have the opportunity to make decisions about the care and services they receive and the risks they are willing to take.– especially our senior populations. While aging can sometimes make independent living difficult, small supports, such as home wellness solutions and home-delivered meals, can help seniors maintain independence in their own homes.
Loss of independence can be discouraging to older adults. They have spent their entire lives living independently, working jobs, raising families, and making decisions. The natural effects of aging can sometimes make independent living harder than it once was. Difficulties with mobility, behavioural health conditions such as isolation and loneliness, and financial strains are just some of the contributors to a loss of independence in aging adults.
While we cannot avoid some barriers to independence, we can take the time to understand the importance of independence in seniors and look for ways to increase opportunities for independent living. Some of the benefits of older people making decisions about the care and services they receive and the risks they are willing to take are: feeling like an individual, maintaining balance and strength, it gives them sense of purpose, it aids with memory skill, it gives them sense of control and it helps them to develop positive relationships.
If you or somebody you know is experiencing elder abuse, and live in or around Toowoomba our Seniors Legal and Support Service (SLASS) may be able to help you with you with free legal advice and information or referrals or other services near you. Call 07 4616 9700 or go to HERE to find out more.