When we think of Independence, to me it means freedom, the freedom to make your own choice and take action; the desire to be responsible for yourself or others, the will to survive any hardship that may come our way! Now if you sit and think about it, those are some pretty strong feelings…and those only come from one person! Imagine what your loved one thinks about independence. Have you taken the time to ask or listen?
If you take the time to think back on when you were once a young child do you recall defying your parent’s orders when they attempted to go against your independence as a child? Imagine how they must feel in an opposite position. Imagine what it would be like to grow your independence throughout life, overcoming challenges, making big decisions….and suddenly they come to a point where that is no longer as realistic. Regardless of ailments or deficit in health, mind or body everyone has the desire to be independent. As families we should allow our loved ones to express their desires to remain in control of their lives, how do they want to remain an active participant in decision making.
If Mom has always been responsible for her finances and suddenly is missing payments or not checking the mail, come up with a compromised solution! Ask Mom to show you how she handles her finances so IF and when the time comes your well educated on how Mom handles her business. In this situation you get the best of both worlds; quality time with your loved one, learning from their lifetime of experience and also allowing them to have some control of the situation. Ask Mom if it can become a new routine for the two of you to spend that time together, again benefiting quality time and providing you peace of mind Moms tasks are under control.
Now we do realize not every situation will be this easy to accommodate but the real point here is to listen up! Don’t try to barge into their lives and take responsibilities away. Listen, learn, and be creative, patient and understanding. They have had a lifetime of growing and learning and accepting their own independence, freedom and responsibilities. We should want to help them remain in control of their lives for as long as possible. When it comes down to it, put yourself in their shoes, would you want someone to tell you as you were when you were a child what you can and cannot do?