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senior live with independence

We often hear this: Seniors choose to stay at home to maintain independence. What does it mean, and how can you help your senior loved one live with independence? Continue reading. 

What is living independently at home for seniors?

Having complete control of your own life is independence. However, it is a different scenario for seniors because of age, health, and mobility factors. Therefore, independence means giving them a chance—and choices—to decide on something. It also means allowing them to do tasks with our help or an in-home caregiver. 

Why is maintaining their independence important?

Seniors who require very little to no help can live with independence. However, you must encourage independence in your loved one even if they have health and mobility issues. Primarily, by supporting them to remain as independent as possible, you are helping decrease the feeling of being a burden to the family. The analysis of the World Health Organization on the World Values Survey indicated that “older people who feel they are a burden perceive their lives to be less valuable.” This puts them “at risk of depression and social isolation.” By promoting independence, you help them avoid getting depressed and isolated. In addition, you give them the chance to feel a sense of purpose as they are provided with opportunities to continue enjoying activities. You also let them contribute to the lives of the people around them. 

How will you maintain their independence?

To help a senior loved one live with independence, allow them to: 

  • Make decisions

It can be as simple as asking them what food to eat, what TV program to watch, what curtains to use or even how to arrange furniture to move freely at home. 

  • Choose a care option

Let your senior loved one participate in the discussion about their care plan, particularly in choosing the best possible care option for them. By including them in the planning, you give them the feeling they are, somehow, still in control of their lives. If you decide on hiring an in-home caregiver, you also engage them in the recruitment process. 

  • Continue their everyday and social activities

As long as possible, allow them to continue doing the tasks or activities they are used to, such as gardening and helping with food preparation. In addition, let them meet with their friends, go fishing or attend social gatherings.


Never assume that your senior loved one can no longer live independently. There are ways that you can encourage independence. By providing them with information and asking for their opinions and things they can and cannot do, you can help your senior loved one live with independence. 

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