Maintaining Independence: Promoting Autonomy in Live in Care Settings
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As our loved ones reach the latter stages of life, their autonomy becomes a critical issue.
There are many challenges to providing appropriate and respectful care for the elderly, particularly when they begin to rely more heavily on others for their daily needs.
Here we explore the importance of independence and autonomy in live in care settings.
What is Autonomy?
Autonomy is tied to human dignity and respect. From a practical perspective, it’s the capacity of a person to make decisions about their day-to-day life based on their values, beliefs, and preferences. This notion extends well beyond the borders of healthcare and social care and touches on the very essence of human existence.
In the context of health and social care, autonomy refers to the capacity of service users to make informed decisions about the care, support, or treatment they receive. It’s about enabling individuals to make choices about their own lives rather than having others make decisions for them.
Why is Independence Important to Elderly People?
The principle of autonomy finds its expression in practical examples such as informed consent. An older individual, despite potential physical frailties, remains a person capable of making independent decisions, assuming their cognitive faculties are intact.
These people have the right to control their own lives and rely on others only to the extent they feel necessary. The value of independence for the elderly really can’t be overstated. It promotes self-esteem, reduces depression, and enhances their quality of life. It reminds them, and others, that they remain valuable contributors to society, capable of making informed decisions about their lives. Ultimately, it helps to maintain their self-respect.
Examples of Promoting Independence
Promoting autonomy in live in care settings involves incorporating the individual in important decision-making processes about their care. This can range from choosing meal times and the menu, selecting their preferred activities, or deciding on the best care plan.
Taking the time to familiarise yourself with their life story can provide a meaningful context for their preferences and values, enabling more informed, person-centred decision-making. Past experiences can offer valuable insights to the present and can make an enormous difference in their ability to maintain a sense of autonomy and independence.
Promoting autonomy also means recognising the right to take risks. It might involve supporting decisions that others might not necessarily agree with, but which uphold the individual’s sense of self and control over their life.
Independent and Specialist Care from the Professionals at The Live In Care Company
At The Live In Care Company, we understand the profound importance of autonomy in providing care services. Our professionals are dedicated to promoting and respecting the independence of those we care for. We ensure our clients remain active participants in their care decisions, thus promoting a sense of autonomy and dignity, ultimately leading to a higher quality of life.
We go the extra mile to familiarise ourselves with our clients’ life stories, providing them with the support they need to navigate their everyday lives while remaining firmly in the driver’s seat. Our care is not just physically nurturing but also emotionally supportive and cognisant of the individual’s unique needs and circumstances.