Why older people want to retain independent living

As people age, the desire to retain their independence and live in their own home becomes more and more important. Being independent in their own home, surrounded by their personal belongings, provides older people with huge comfort and security. Maintaining independence whatever life throws their way, gives them purpose and provides a feeling of pride and self-worth. Living an independent life means that an elderly person can still decide what they want to do and how they live their life. It provides great dignity to an individual and does not make them feel like a burden to their families.

Let us take a look at 6 main factors why older people choose to retain independent living…

1: Autonomy and control

One of the primary reasons older people wish to live independently is the value they place on autonomy. Autonomy represents the ability to make one’s own decisions and manage daily activities without, or with minimal, reliance on others. This control over personal life choices is deeply linked to an individual’s sense of identity and self-worth. Losing this control can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression. Continuing to live independently allows elderly people to carry on shaping their lives according to their own preferences, routines, and values.

2: Personal Dignity

Naturally, maintaining personal dignity is another crucial factor in choosing independent living. Many older people do not want to become a burden on their family members or be seen as incapable or vulnerable. Independent living helps preserve a person’s dignity by allowing them to continue performing tasks and engaging in activities that provide them with a sense of accomplishment and usefulness. In turn, these positive feelings contribute greatly to maintaining self-esteem and mental well-being.

3: Health and well-being

Remaining physically and mentally healthy is top priority for many older people; having an independent lifestyle can have positive effects on both of these. Undertaking daily household chores and errands, maintaining a garden or outside space, engaging in daily activities they enjoy, all contribute to physical and mental stimulation. Older people living independently will mostly take responsibility for their own health needs and choose a lifestyle that benefits their health. They will also be more proactive planning and managing medical appointments and following any medication schedules they have been prescribed.

4: Social connections

Being in their own home and remaining in a familiar environment allows older people to maintain any social connections and community ties they have. They know their neighbours, have friends nearby, maybe even participate in local groups and community organizations. These social ties are incredibly important and hold immense value for older people. Healthy social interaction is vital to maintaining mental and emotional well-being, as well as providing a feeling of belonging. Moving away from independent living to a new environment often brings disruption and uncertainly to social connections, which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

5: Finances

Remaining financially independent and not being a burden on anyone is often a major concern for the elderly. Many of these individuals will have worked their entire lives accumulating enough funds on which they can comfortably retire. Living independently in their own home will often be the most cost-effective solution to the expensive alternatives of retirement homes and assisted living facilities. Remaining in their own homes, already familiar with the expenses of doing so, provides older people with great security and peace of mind. They know what funds they have, and if needed they can adjust their lifestyles accordingly to meet any restraints.

6: Technology

Many technologies now make independent living much easier. For example, mobility systems such as stairlifts and scooters, and adjustable chairs and beds. Online innovations that allow older people to connect with others quickly and easily: accessing virtual health care appointments, being able to instantly communicate face to face with family and friends and shop online for anything you could possibly think of. All of these technology tools can contribute to making independent living much easier and comfortable for older people.

Closing thoughts…

It is not surprising that older people choose to remain independent in their own homes. There are huge benefits being in a familiar, comfortable and secure environment, being in charge of your own decisions and following a lifestyle and activities you enjoy. Living an independent life can also provide major positive impact on both mental and physical wellbeing. It also allows an individual to retain their dignity, self worth and value in society. Using technological advancements, older people of all ages can continue being independent and live well in their own homes whilst remaining connected to the outside world.

Selectacare helps older people continue living independently in their own homes by providing a range of comprehensive home care services. Contact us on the numbers shown below to see how we can make a difference to your day!