Prolonging and Encouraging Independence in Aging Family Members
As adult children we have to admit we recognize our role in the later. We convince ourselves this is care and that we are only looking out for our parent’s best interests. All the while we are raising, caring for, our children to be independent. An interesting dichotomy.
So what is care? In the context I am speaking of, Merriam Webster identifies care as; concern or tending to somebody or something. Nothing about independence and yet, in the positive context of raising our children, teaching independence is a large part of the care we provide. Fast forward to the senior years and the experience is just the opposite; in the interest of safety, independence declines.
As a parent and an adult child, I am no longer teaching independence. Rather, my role has transitioned to encouraging independence. Both, for my children and my parents. I may not be able to return my parent’s to their driving days but I certainly can and will continue to encourage them to be independent and engage in life to their fullest abilities.