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Many family members struggle to convince their aging parents to consider Evanston senior living. If you’ve tried everything you can to coax them, but you’re still not getting the response you are hoping for, don’t give up just yet. It’s probably because they are afraid of losing their independence. One of the biggest misconceptions about senior living is that they’ll be deprived of independence.

We understand that this can be stressful and frustrating for you. You may be stressed because you know that your parents’ health and safety are at stake if they continue to live at home and feel frustrated that you can’t get them to say YES to your request. But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. To address their resistance, you must put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they so badly cling to their independence and why it’s such a big deal for them.

a smiling senior couple at an Evanston Senior Living facility

Seniors and Independence

Why Does the Elderly Value Independence?

Older adults live for independence, and if they feel that this will be taken away from them, they will instinctively and vehemently resist you. They’ve spent years enjoying their freedom to make decisions for themselves, raise families, sustain jobs, and many more. Naturally, they would want to preserve it.

Unfortunately, the effects of aging can make it challenging to live independently. Studies show that the elderly are prone to falls and injuries. In addition, they also have problems with mobility, memory, and behavioral health conditions. Addressing these issues is paramount not only for their safety but also for the family’s peace of mind.

Reasons Why the Elderly Care About Their Independence

#1 Feel Empowered as an Individual

Having the power to decide for yourself can significantly impact how you feel. So, when there comes the point in your life when you can no longer manage to make those decisions, you will feel subjugated. Your elderly parents have lived their entire lives making their own decisions, and when they can no longer do that, they’ll feel angry and depressed.

The good news is that senior living communities will never take away their independence. They encourage senior autonomy, which is why independent living communities allow their residents to personalize their space to give them a sense of familiarity and encourage them to make daily choices like what food to eat and what clothes to wear. These may seem trivial, but they dramatically affect the elderly as it gives them a sense of control over their lives.

#2 Preserve Strength and Balance

Two critical factors that determine a person’s ability to stay independent are strength and balance. Many older adults aim to stay physically active because, aside from the health benefits, it also allows them to enjoy their independence.

Without strength, the aging adult will inevitably lose core balance and muscle mass. When they lose balance and strength, they become vulnerable to falls. Seniors who have succumbed to injuries end up staying in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for a long time, and this could affect their independence.

Maintaining physical strength can help prevent the occurrence of falls that could lead to loss of independence. There are programs intended for the elderly to teach them how to manage falls while building up their confidence, balance, and strength. You can also provide them with mobility devices for additional support.

an elderly couple playing video games at an Evanston Senior Living facility

#3 Provide a Sense of Purpose

Seniors who have lost their independence feel isolated. And when they feel isolated, they begin to develop feelings like depression and hopelessness, which can negatively impact their mental health and reduce their quality of life. For seniors, enjoying their independence gives them a sense of purpose.

They get to have the chance to make valuable contributions to their community, friends, and family and enjoy the activities they have always loved.

Their independence allows them to take on challenges, whether big or small, and they gain a sense of accomplishment when they overcome them. Although seniors’ mobility is already limited due to their age, they can still be able to do activities that help give them a sense of purpose.

#4 Helps Enhance Memory

Did you know that independent living can help improve seniors’ memory skills? As we age, our memory starts to deteriorate gradually. Luckily, independence can help enhance memory skills. Studies show that increased activity levels can boost blood flow to the brain, helping preserve memory. Daily activities can also help promote good memory.

#5 Sense of Control

Aging can change a person’s life dramatically. They cannot control wear and tear. Perhaps the only thing they have control over is their independence. Being able to live independently is something they take pride in because it empowers them. Even though they can no longer do most of the things they used to during their younger years, making decisions for themselves is enough to give them a sense of control. A sense of control gives seniors a feeling of self-worth, which will help enhance their mental health.

#6 Create Positive Relationships

Seniors seem to think that when they are given a caregiver, their independence is stripped away from them. This is far from the truth. An expert caregiver can build a strong and harmonious relationship with the elderly and teach them how to live independently by providing them with all the necessary resources and tools. Just because they have a caregiver doesn’t mean they’ll be entirely dependent. Caregivers can help set up safety features in their homes to prevent falls and injuries and teach them to use gadgets so they can keep in touch with family members.

an elderly woman talking to a caring staff at an Evanston Senior Living facility

Do You Have Questions About Evanston Senior Living?

Even if we want our senior loved ones to continue living the life they are used to, sometimes their age makes this difficult. There may come a time when you’ll need to convince them to consider senior living communities for their health’s sake. Your job is to let them understand what senior living is all about. It will not take away their independence but rather make their lives easier by offering help whenever needed.

At Senior Living Experts, our efficient advisors will work closely with you and your family to help get you the perfect fit. We have worked with more than 230 communities in the Chicagoland area, and we’ve explored a plethora of options to get you what you need. Contact us today to learn more.

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