Senior Living Myth Three: “I will lose my independence.”
I can totally understand the feeling of being under someone else’s roof and having to change lifestyles and habits. When was the last time you did that? Was it in your parent’s home or perhaps in college? The transition can feel overwhelming at first. You may feel you have no control and you are dependent on others or perhaps being driven by a schedule feels unpleasant.
The truth is, older adults who live at home are almost always dependent on others. Do you pay someone to take care of your yard or shovel your snow? You may not drive anymore, so does your family or neighbor help you with shopping? Do you have to schedule it in advance? Do you rely on others to change light bulbs or make small repairs? Does your daughter fill your medication box? The need for help has probably happened slowly. Change is much more difficult as we age. Talk about what you are going through with a compassionate family member, friend, minister, rabbi, nurse or counselor.
Taking time and taking steps to care for your emotional and physical well-being shows your independence.
Focus on what you will gain. I no longer have to shop and cook, but I can if I want in my apartment. I will be less lonely. I no longer have to worry about home maintenance. I will only have to pay one invoice each month for most of what I need. These things and more can make an older adult feel more independent.
Participate in the community events as little or as much as you want. You do not have to participate in things you don’t want to do. Recognize you do have a voice in what happens in a senior community. Resident council meetings are opportunities to enhance the community you live in. Start your own gathering or club. Getting involved in your community shows your independence and gives you a sense of purpose—something all of us need.